June 08, 2011

iSCSI Finds Its Edge

Converged Storage needs in the IT market only continue to grow as they are driven by expanding video, mobility and cloud applications. To that point, the adoption of iSCSI SANs, with their inherent IP and Ethernet foundation, are beginning to take off.

Historically, IP and Ethernet economics led to widespread adoption in  Enterprise LAN’s (token ring, anyone?) and telephony (PBX).  For storage, iSCSI SANs are already a popular choice for mid-Enterprise Data Centers. And today, new technology advancements and product availability are fostering the next growth spurt. Let’s look at why …

  • Bandwidth. The year where 10G Ethernet takes off is now. Servers are being integrated with 10G Ethernet LAN on Motherboard (LOM).  With 10G Top-of-Rack provide 40G uplinks into End-of-Row switches, iSCSI gets to take advantage of the fastest networking speeds, so think of ever faster downloads and instant rich media transactions.
  • Quality of Service (QoS). Ethernet is a shared medium. Large deployments across the globe already leverage Ethernet for Data and Voice LAN convergence, for inter-server connections, and as converged medium for storage traffic using NAS and iSCSI technologies. These converged networks have taken advantage of the Ethernet and IP QoS settings to assign higher priorities for demanding applications, e.g., for telephony and storage. Ethernet enhancements are now being added to support a “zero loss” network more common in traditional Fibre Channel SANs. New standards evolution through IEEE’s Data Center Bridging (DCB) Task Group and early interoperability testing promise strong adoption of these new “lossless Ethernet” capabilities.
  • Cost-effective. Standards drive interoperability, acceptance, choice, volume and in the end lower costs for customers for the latest technologies. Rapid standardization and adoption has been inherent to Ethernet from early on, and are driving richer iSCSI adoption.
  • Scale. Based on IP, iSCSI leverages IP-based management and security capabilities required for high-performance SAN’s. This white paper is a good read, of an example using IP based polices to  automatically identify and protect iSCSI from non-iSCSI traffic on the network.


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Extreme Marketing Team

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