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Maximizing Database Structures



Physical Database Design: The Database Professional's Guide to Exploiting Indexes, Views, Storage, and More, Sam S. Lightstone, Toby J. Teorey, and Tom Nadeau. More information in relational databases places a strain on databases, performance, and maintainability. DBAs face greater pressure than ever to optimize database structure for system performance and administration. This book discusses the concept of how physical structures of databases affect performance, including specific examples, guidelines, and best and worst practices for a variety of DBMSs and configurations. Something as simple as improving the table index design has a profound impact on performance, according to the authors. This book aims to improve the methods of different forms of relational databases, such as online transaction processing, enterprise resource management, data mining, and management resource planning.

The authors examine physical database design and include an introduction to and examples of the major concepts of physical database design, using methodologies and tools for relational databases: Oracle, DB2 (IBM), and SQL Server (Microsoft).

The book focuses on physical database design for exploiting B+tree indexing, clustered indexes, multidimensional clustering, range partitioning, shared nothing partitioning, shared disk data placement, materialized views, bitmap indexes, and automated design tools.

Morgan Kaufmann; ISBN 0123693896; 448 pp.; $49.95.

The Mass Storage Page

Jan Axelson's Lakeview Research page contains resources that serve as a developer's source for computer interfacing, especially Ethernet and Internet communications for embedded systems, USB, mass storage, parallel port, and RS-232 and RS-485 serial communications. The page also contains information about 8052-Basic microcontrollers and making printed-circuit boards.

Visitors to the Web site can find links to information and code samples for USB mass-storage-class devices and hosts, as well as the mass storage class specifications from USB-IF—a draft of the Mass Storage Class Compliance Test Specification, which describes tests that will be incorporated into the USBCV compliance tool, including required and optional commands for different device types.

The site also includes a link to a beta version of the USBIF's compliance tool, which now includes mass-storage-class tests.

Fibre Channel Industry Association

The Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA) is a nonprofit international organization of manufacturers, system integrators, developers, vendors, industry professionals, and end users.

The FCIA is committed to delivering fibre channel infrastructure technology to support a wide array of applications in the mass storage and IT-based arenas. FCIA working groups and committees focus on specific aspects of the technology, targeting both vertical and horizontal markets including data storage, video, networking, and storage area networking (SAN) management.

Fibre channel, a one- and two-gigabit interconnect technology, allows concurrent communications among workstations, mainframes, servers, data storage systems, and other peripherals using SCSI, IP, and other protocols to meet the needs of the data center. It provides interconnect systems for multiple topologies that can scale to a total system bandwidth on the order of a terabit per second. Fibre channel is a technique for SAN.

Visitors to the Web site can find a selection of links grouped under the Recent Fibre Channel News Items section. In the case studies section, the site explores four typical applications at advanced-level and entry-level studies.

An events calendar lists FCIA and industry-wide events important to those interested in fibre channel technology.

Advantage of Data Management



Data Lifecycles: Managing Data for Strategic Advantage, Roger Reid, Gareth Fraser-King, and W. David Schwaderer. The authors explain that businesses now rely almost entirely on applications and databases, increasing data and storage needs at astounding rates. It is therefore imperative, in the authors' view, for a company to optimize and simplify the complexity of managing its data resources.

Many storage products are now available, however the authors believe that the challenge remains for companies to manage their storage assets and align the resources to the various departments, divisions, geographical locations, and business processes to achieve improved efficiency and profitability. This book aims to identify ways to incorporate an intelligent service platform to manage and map data storage. The authors give an overview of trends and technologies in storage networking and cover issues such as worldwide compliance.

The authors provide a guide to data and storage methodologies, processes, technologies, and compliance issues, address the need of an encompassing intelligent data and storage management platform for modern businesses, and give an overview of data technologies and concepts such as utility computing and information lifecycle management.

The book explores lifecycle management and strategies, shows ways that the authors say reduce the total cost of storage ownership and produce rapid return on investment, and helps readers make purchasing decisions on storage tools and storage management solutions.

This book is an introduction to modern data lifecycle management for network managers, system administrators, storage/system architects, network managers, and information management directors, as well as CIO/CTOs and their teams, senior IT managers and decision makers, and database administrators.

Wiley; ISBN 0470016337; 268 pp.; $110.

Serial ATA Trade Association

Serial ATA is a replacement for the Parallel ATA physical storage interface. The Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO) is the group responsible for developing, managing, and driving adoption of the Serial ATA specifications. It is an independent, nonprofit organization developed by and for leading industry companies.

Officially formed in July 2004 by incorporating the previous Serial ATA Working Group, the SATA-IO provides the industry with guidance and support for implementing the SATA specification. The standardized SATA specification replaces a 15-year-old technology with a high-speed serial bus expected to provide support for up to 10 years.

The SATA-IO's goal is to drive industry adoption by defining, developing, and delivering standardized specifications for the Serial ATA interface. Get the latest information on Serial ATA specs, tools, and upcoming releases throughout this Web site.

The technology section of the Web site contains information on technical overviews, specifications, errata and design guides, naming guidelines, a technical library, the feature of the month, and eSATA products.

There is also information on news and events, interoperability, and becoming a member.

Building MPLS into Your Network



MPLS and Next-Generation Networks: Foundations for NGN and Enterprise Virtualization, Azhar Sayeed and Monique Morrow. The authors aim to help readers understand the business case for deploying MPLS-based services and solutions, provide network managers and architects a precise MPLS primer, define MPLS service problems and solutions, and include return-on-investment models for MPLS-based solutions.

Network managers often question the value that MPLS brings to their business environment. This book provides managers with a guide for evaluating the benefits of MPLS-based applications and solutions.

The book guides the network manager through the business case for MPLS by exploring other technology alternatives, including their applications, benefits, and deficiencies. Understanding the service creation process as the basis for MPLS-based solutions is pivotal when describing the benefits that MPLS offers, in the view of the authors.

The book also explores MPLS technology and its components, providing an overview of the architecture. The advantages of this technology, according to the authors, are new revenue opportunities and a total cost of ownership reduction.

The authors cover specific aspects such as security, network management, advanced services, and the future of the technology.

Cisco Press; ISBN 1587201208; 422 pp.; $40.

Storage Networking World

15–18 October 2007


Storage Networking World aims to attract IT management and professionals interested in networking and maximizing their companies' storage capabilities.

At SNW, attendees can choose from more than 140 educational sessions and network with peers from around the globe—plus visit with solutions providers. SNW's agenda makes it an appealing and well-respected assembly of storage networking professionals in the world.

Conference tracks, spread over two days, will include analyst perspectives, an industry primer, professional development, an SNIA tutorial, and topics on virtualization and infrastructure and data.

The Era of Recovery Management session track will be presented by Arun Taneja, founder and consulting analyst for Taneja Group. The storage industry has focused on backing up data to tape as a means to protect it. This focus, in Taneja's opinion, has been so myopic that he believes users have lost focus on the goal to be able to recover—rather than simply back up—data. Taneja will discuss what recovery management is and what to expect from the vendor community during the next 12 months. As a result of participating in this session, attendees will be able to define recovery management and its makeup in terms of what aspects are important, questions to ask, and what to expect from vendors in the future. In addition, Taneja will opine on which vendors are leading the pack.

Storage Expo 2007

17–18 October 2007


Storage Expo is, according to conference organizers, the UK's only dedicated data storage event. It provides visitors with the opportunity to compare data storage solutions from suppliers.

Storage Expo targets IT professionals concerned with issues such as data storage, storage archiving, back up, content management, green IT, storage networking, storage security, disk storage, holographic storage, SAN, NAS, virtualization, and much more.

Visit the Web site to use the new Storage Directory that lets visitors select products or services that most interest them, with search results providing a list of exhibitors, press releases, case studies, white papers, product information, and sales brochures and marketing materials.

Stream 1 at the conference will be a technical seminars session, covering data storage issues and technological advances. Stream 2 will be a business strategy seminar, focusing on the challenges and issues facing management, CTOs, CFOs, and other board-level directors.

Data Center Management

Basic Data Center Rules



Data Center Fundamentals, Mauricio Arregoces and Maurizio Portolani. This book aims to help readers master data center basics to build server farms that enhance Web site performance. Readers can learn design guidelines that show how to deploy server farms in highly available and scalable environments and plan site performance capacity with discussions of server farm architectures and real-life applications to determine system needs.

Today's market demands that businesses have an Internet presence through which they can perform e-commerce and customer support and establish a presence that can attract and increase their customer base. Underestimated hit ratios, compromised credit card records, perceived slow Web site access, or the infamous "Object Not Found" alerts make the difference between a successful online presence and one that is bound to fail.

Challenges of e-commerce and customer support can be solved in part with the use of data center technology, according to the authors. Data centers switch traffic based on information at the network, transport, or application layers. Content switches perform the "best server" selection process to direct users' requests for a specific service to a server in a server farm. The best server selection process takes into account both server load and availability and the existence and consistency of the requested content.

This book helps readers understand the basic concepts behind the design and scaling of server farms using data center and content switching technologies. It addresses the principles and concepts behind planning, implementing, and managing Internet and intranet IP-based server farms.

Cisco Press; ISBN 1587050234; 900 pp.; $70.

Wireless Center Solutions



Administering Data Centers: Servers, Storage, and Voice over IP, Kailash Jayaswal. To create a well-designed data center, including storage and network architecture, VoIP implementation, and server consolidation, users must understand a variety of key concepts and technologies. This book explains what the author believes are those factors on the way to implementation and management.

Readers who need an introduction to the technologies, a refresher course for IT managers and data center personnel, or an additional resource for advanced study, can find these guidelines and solutions useful as a solid foundation for building reliable designs and secure data center policies.

The author explains common causes and high costs of service outages and discusses how to measure high availability and achieve maximum levels.

Readers can learn how to design a data center using optimum physical, environmental, and technological elements, explore a modular design for cabling, points of distribution, and WAN connections from ISPs, and see what must be considered when consolidating data center resources.

The author shows readers how to create a data center environment that is user- and manager-friendly, and explains how high availability, clustering, and disaster recovery solutions can be deployed to protect critical information. Readers can find out how to use a single network infrastructure for IP data, voice, and storage.

The book covers the administration of all operating systems, data and network security, new trends in storage options, and server, network, and storage management.

Wiley; ISBN 047177183X; 632 pp.; $55.00.

Data Center Management

This site aims to make the marketing and evaluation process efficient for conducting data center management-related technology searches. Visitors to the site can compare data center management software, hardware, and reseller and service offerings, and find data center management white papers and other research.

KnowledgeStorm Data Center Management is part of the KnowledgeStorm network of sites.

ROI calculators let visitors build a business case and support technology decisions. Nucleus Research designed the ROI calculators for use on the site. The tools can calculate return on investment, total cost of ownership, payback period, and net present value.

Articles available through the site cover topics such as research and education: avoiding costs from oversizing data center and network room infrastructure; explanation of cooling and air conditioning terminology for IT professionals; transport infrastructure: making the appropriate decisions to support a data center networking environment; and data center control: five guidelines for evaluating KVM over IP.

Business Facility From the Ground Up



Build the Best Data Center Facility for Your Business, Douglas Alger. This guide to designing and operating reliable server environments can help readers keep data centers cool, clean, scalable, and secure, as well as learn about what the author believes are the five principles of effective data center design.

The author discusses ways to avoid the natural and man-made hazards that can jeopardize a data center site, how to lay out key infrastructure objects within the data center for greatest efficiency (from buffer zones to server rows), how to apply proven installation methods by studying sample illustrations of both overhead and under-floor systems, and how to extract the best practices and design strategies for both in-room and standby electrical infrastructures.

Other topics in the book include how to avoid accidental downtime, improve productivity, and ensure user safety; safeguarding and streamlining network infrastructures with a well-organized physical hierarchy; understanding the special challenges of retrofitting overburdened server environments; and how to implement solutions from an array of sample illustrations and examples of essential data center signage.

The author also covers topics such as safeguarding servers with operations standards for people working in or visiting the data center, downloading templates used by Cisco to design its data centers, customizable to square footage and geography, and avoiding excess construction costs by designing a data center that meets current and future needs.

All data centers are unique, but they all share the same mission: to protect a company's valuable information. The author distills this complex topic by sharing his first-hand and worldwide experience and expertise.

This book is divided into two parts: The first part covers data center design and physical infrastructure details, and the second part covers data center management and operations. Readers can also access supplementary online materials for installation instructions, which include customizable data center design templates, written cabling specifications, and sample drawings.

Cisco; ISBN 1587051826; 408 pp.; $60.

Data Center World

16–19 September 2007


Data Center World is an educational resource for data center professionals, presented by AFCOM, an association for data center professionals.

This biannual event, launched in 1981, aims to provide hands-on educational programs for data center professionals to use management, business, and technology to run a data center. Conference sessions cover a mix of these issues, with particular emphasis on management and technology topics.

Each year, Data Center World recruits more than 45 speakers for this event. Conference attendees have an opportunity to meet many speakers face-to-face during networking events.

The conference has welcomed professionals from hundreds of data centers from some of the biggest corporations, nonprofit organizations, and academic institutions in the country.

One of the data center management session tracks is called "Virtualization and Data Center Automation." Many people consider the data center as the brains of an organization and assume it is optimized and running at full capacity. In reality, according to the session presenter, many only use 15–20 percent of available computer capacity. One way to promote business growth is to overhaul the data center, which includes hardware, software, security, and staff. However, the required cost, availability of property, and adequate power make this problematic. A better approach to supporting growth, according to the presenter, is increasing utilization of existing resources through application virtualization. Using software to virtualize enterprise applications across a shared infrastructure is a technology that is gaining prominence as a means to automate, consolidate, and virtualize the data center, providing benefits such as saving money on hardware, IT personnel, and licenses, greater utilization of existing equipment, and better management of applications. This session track will explore virtualization and its impact on data centers.

Gartner's Data Center Conference

27–30 November 2007

Las Vegas

For more than 25 years, Gartner has hosted this conference on data centers. This event will cover servers, IT operations, storage, business continuity, and disaster recovery. Experts will be on hand to look at best practices from throughout the data center field.

Attendees can learn about servers and storage, including virtualization, consolidation, workload management, procurement, and major platforms. Gartner analysts will explain how to increase agility and service quality while reducing costs.

The conference will analyze the risk and rewards in next-generation virtualization technologies and share how to avoid creating new problems down the road. Attendees can learn about emerging storage technologies designed to help data center executives manage, secure, back up, and archive the burgeoning data.

Sessions will explore how to run Unix, Linux, Windows, and z/OS server environments pertaining to new management and operations technologies, processes, and organizational structures.

Business continuity and disaster recovery planners can learn about tools and information for enlightening senior executive teams on exposure if commitment and attention to this critical area is not increased.

At least 30 senior Gartner analysts will participate in the conference, providing an opportunity to discuss specific data center issues with experts. The conference specifically targets attendees such as data center professionals and their business counterparts, including IT operations, data center, and consolidated operations executives, storage planners, managers, project leaders, and asset managers and planners of data centers, and vendors involved in developing, marketing, or maintaining products and services for IT operations centers.

Interop Berlin

6–8 November 2007

Berlin, Germany

Interop is a conference that addresses technology integratation into business models. This year's event in Berlin will include an educational program covering topics on business technology, workshops, panels, and sessions.

Interop Berlin will focus on the needs of the European business technology industry, providing a platform for builders, buyers, and sellers of IT products and services to meet and do business. The conference will consist of six key themes: infrastructure and services, IP communications, wireless and mobility, data center and server systems, IT security, and physical security.

The three-day event will explore industry perspectives through special-interest lectures. Each day's activities conclude with a keynote program. The conference will explore various areas of technology. The infrastructure and services segment explores networking and services (including IPVS, WAN, and outsourcing), active/passive communications (DSL, ADSL, VDSL, ATM, and cable), PABX, optical systems, and application delivery. The IP communications track will examine issues such as IP Telephony/VoIP, collaboration, and unified communications.

The data center and server systems segment will explore storage, server systems, system management, cluster systems, optimization, virtualization, SOA, back up, recovery, and power management.

Data Center Management Blog

FindTechBlogs is a KnowledgeStorm network site, and provides topic-specific blogs in the technology industry. One particular blog deals exclusively with data center management.

The Web site provides technology vendors opportunities to reach business and technology professionals conducting research on the Internet.

Recent posts on this blog include discussions on topics such as ISAPI install and uninstall help, Web security threats—general to specific, data integration, and management.

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