I picked up two books this weekend on storage area networks (SAN) and SAN virtualization. The first is Resilient Storage Networks by Greg Schulz and the second is Storage Virtualization by Tom Clark. Since there are relatively few books out there on storage, both authors spend time up front with very basic info about SCSI, Fibre Channel, FICON, etc. Resilient Storage Networks is a good overview of SAN technology and design. The best chapters are toward the end where it talks about large distributed storage network design and heterogeneous SANs with Windows, Unix, and Mainframe. Storage Virtualization, which I just started, looks pretty good as well. The author (who's written several good books on storage), goes into detail about virtualization possibilities at all levels of the storage stack from disk to array to fabric, etc. Storage virtualization is another foundational component required for dynamic systems and infrastructure optimization. Decoupling logical from physical, whether it be data from drives or operating systems from servers is the key. With these foundations in place, the appropriate management tools and processes can then be developed for optimization, ie. data located where its needed, or server cycles allocated to needed workloads. This is a topic I'll be writing about pretty frequently.
Dowloads available for XP SP2, Server 2003 SP1 both x86 and x64.
Here's a link to a post on the IE team's blog about RC1 installation changes.
One of my current projects is an architecture for an advanced technology demonstration lab. Basically a sandbox environment where the customer is going to test upcoming Microsoft and other vendor's products. The goal is to provide remote access to the lab environment so testers and pilot users can access the services. To this end, we're going to be using ISA Server 2006 to publish Exchange (OWA, ActiveSync Direct Push), SharePoint, and Terminal Services. In putting together my documentation I've collected some good links to share:
Publishing OWA and RPC/HTTP with ISA 2006
Publish Terminal Server
(www.isaserver.org is THE site for all things ISA)
Exchange 2003 Direct Push
Authentication in ISA 2006
Don Dodge, Microsoft's Director of Business Development for emerging businesses, has an interesting post on his blog about how Microsoft approaches acquisitions, the sweet spot of $50-200 million where we've had the most success, etc. He also has a list of the acquisitions over the last year or so. You can get a good sense of some of our strategic priorities from looking at those buys.