10G iSCSI Solutions Move Closer to the Mainstream - InformationWeek

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2/21/2008
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10G iSCSI Solutions Move Closer to the Mainstream

Because of its IP based design and potential to lower storage costs, iSCSI has been gaining momentum recently. One reason why the technology may be worth a close look is it is now starting to support 10G bps transmission rates.

Because of its IP based design and potential to lower storage costs, iSCSI has been gaining momentum recently. One reason why the technology may be worth a close look is it is now starting to support 10G bps transmission rates.Unlike traditional storage solutions, iSCSI is based on the IP protocol. Typically, standards based systems are priced lower than products based on proprietary interfaces, and that is one attraction with the emerging technology, which costs from 10% on the low end to 50% at the high end less than other storage solutions. In addition, this approach fits more easily into small and medium business networks than alternatives, and these companies do not have to hire technicians with rare storage skill sets.

Yet, some companies had been leery of deploying iSCSI because it did not support highspeed network connections. The top mark was 1G bps, which was less than some enterprises desired.

In response, vendors have been working on a higher speed option. Fujitsu, a leading provider of 10G bps Ethernet switches, and RELDATA, a supplier of storage systems, have delivered a joint solution. The two announced that Fujitsus XG 10 GbE switch family and RELDATAs 10GbE 9240 Storage Solution work together. The Fujitsu XG family provides the switching component and RELDATA delivers the storage infrastructure.

The availability of higher-speed iSCSI solutions should make the technology more appealing to small and medium businesses. It is now able to support bandwidth intense storage requirements. Proponents of its main competitor, Fibre Channel, have been working to deliver a version of it that runs on IP networks. Such products are still in development and may arrive too late to slow iSCSIs continuing momentum.

Do you use any iSCSI products now? What has your experience been like? What do you see as its most significant downsides?

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