iSCSI: Hot technology for 2008

The future of storage

ISCSI runs over plain, old Ethernet, which means you don't need a separate Fibre Channel network. You don't need host bus adapters. You don't need Fibre Channel switches. You don't need specialized IT staffers.

Bottom line: An iSCSI SAN is less expensive to set up and easier to run than a Fibre Channel SAN. Pure and simple.

Of course, Fibre Channel runs at 4Gbps, while a typical iSCSI SAN would be running over Gigabit Ethernet, so there is that. But as 10G Ethernet becomes more prevalent in the enterprise, even that advantage will go away.

In fact, recent testing at the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Lab showed that iSCSI can successfully run over a copper 10G Ethernet fabric. The testing, which was conducted in October, drew 37 vendors who gathered to test out 10G Ethernet in a variety of scenarios. (Compare data replication and backup products.)

So, if you're building a new SAN or expanding an existing one - and who isn't these days - don't ignore iSCSI.

Death greatly exaggerated

Last year, independent consultant Joel Snyder, who also does testing for Network World, caused a bit of a stir when he declared that Fibre Channel was dead. And Nik Simpson, a Burton Group analyst, called Fibre Channel a "dead technology walking" during a presentation at last year's Catalyst Conference.

Of course, Fibre Channel, as it pertains to its massive installed base, is far from dead. Companies with large investments in Fibre Channel will continue along the Fibre Channel path until something forces them to change course - either the need for an upgrade of existing gear as it ages, or the need for an upgrade caused by changing business demands.

According to a recent IDC report, iSCSI only accounts for about a 3% share of external disk storage, and the research firm expects it to hit 20% by 2010. So, iSCSI certainly has a long way to go before it displaces Fibre Channel.

But the trend line is clear. The Enterprise Storage Group (ESG) recently surveyed IT execs who already had network-attached storage (NAS) deployed in their enterprise. Thirty-two percent said they plan on replacing NAS with iSCSI to some extent over the next three years, while 47% said they will keep their NAS, but will deploy iSCSI for new buildouts.

When ESG surveyed IT execs who already had a mix of Fibre Channel and iSCSI, 25% said they planned to replace Fibre Channel with iSCSI to a significant extent over the next three years, while 42% said they only use iSCSI for new storage demands.

The good thing is that it's not an all-or-nothing proposition. You can keep your NAS, keep your Fibre Channel, and deploy iSCSI where it works in your enterprise.

Snyder puts it this way: "Network World readers who want to be on the power curve should be buying iSCSI. Yes, probably, there are individual situations where a single 4G Fibre Channel interface for a particular application is better than iSCSI today. But for 90% of the people who want to buy SANs, the right answer is iSCSI."

Read about the other seven hot technologies for 2008:

Data leakage prevention: Hot technology for 2008
Two-factor authentication: Hot technology for 2008
NAC: Hot technology for 2008
Web 2.0: Hot technology for 2008
802.11n: Hot technology for 2008
Green IT: Hot technology for 2008
Virtualization: Hot technology for 2008

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Neal Weinberg

Neal Weinberg

Network World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?