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I've decided that I might want to venture into storage systems. Essentially, I'm going to be out of the workforce for 2 years in a developing country as my wife works for the UN. I'm thinking that this might be a good time to pick up a new set of skills and maybe try to do some freelance work.

My background is a Ph.D. in CS (crypto) from a top 5 US CS Ph.D. program and I've worked up to this point doing academic security research. I see data storage as something interesting that might be an interesting path into industry, since crypto seems to becoming more and more important in this setting.

I'm essentially looking for articles or books that are not too verbose and written for idiots. A google search on almost any topic about storage seems to come up with garbage that's apparently trying to get someone through some test for a cert or alternatively it's selling a product. Topics of interest would be:

  1. File systems. I'm looking at something that discusses enterprise file systems down to disk layout and algorithms and talks about design choices that went into the file system and what strength weaknesses they entail.

  2. Disk technology. I'm interested in something that goes down to the details about disk technology. Stuff like e.g. effects of vibration on reliability, common drive issues and what causes them. I'm not afraid of sources that do statistical analysis etc.

  3. High-level design of large-scale storage systems. I'm curious about things like how to sync data between data centers

I'm not sure whether this is the right forum to ask for a reading list, but I can't think of a better website. I know most of this probably can't be learned without significant hands on experience, but I can always try to be creative when building test setups.

In summary, I do not care about how to use some particular EMC box. I would like to understand about the issues that goes into designing the box. Academic research into storage is pretty hard to penetrate in a way that gives away useful knowledge before one actually understands well the issues that come up in practice that they are trying to solve.

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closed as off-topic by TheCleaner, MadHatter, Ward, Dave M, Nathan C Sep 4 '13 at 13:53

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking product, service, or learning material recommendations are off-topic because they tend to become obsolete quickly. Instead, describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve." – TheCleaner, MadHatter, Ward, Dave M, Nathan C
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Interesting subject but may not meet the requirements for this site as it is not in the question/answer format. There is a reddit sysadmin discussion group which may be more suitable. –  kafka Sep 4 '13 at 12:11
IBM has some excellent "Redbooks" on these subjects. You may also want to look into ZFS, btrfs, gluster ARC-vs-LRU caching etc, although these are all specific technologies they will give you a good idea of where the current "edge" is in large scale persistent storage is today. –  TheFiddlerWins Sep 4 '13 at 12:16
Welcome to Server Fault! Questions seeking product, service, or learning material recommendations are off-topic because they tend to become obsolete quickly. Please see the Help section or Here for more info. –  TheCleaner Sep 4 '13 at 13:07

1 Answer 1

I would definitely suggest ...


It's a good point to start. It explains filesystems, infrastructures and approaches on data management

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