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Network Storage Forum: Slash Storage Area Network Costs With I-SCSI

Jul 02, 2001, 20:00 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Elizabeth Ferrarini)

After we ran an article describing IBM's efforts in I-SCSI, many of our readers asked for more information on exactly what I-SCSI was and what it would be used for. This short article at Network Storage Forum should answer many of those questions.

"I-SCSI uses warm and fuzzy TCP/IP networks to carry data. With I-SCSI, data transfers and SCSI commands get packaged (or encapsulated) inside IP packets. Instead of having to go through a lot of hassle and expense to put together a fibre channel network just for storage, with I-SCSI you can use the tried and true old network standby, Ethernet. Besides, you probably already have an Ethernet network installed in your data center. So, forget the fibre channel. Using SCSI commands sealed away in the IP packets lets you use existing storage management software with little modification. Great. You won't have to spend hours learning some new storage management mumbo jumbo."

"By using I-SCSI, you'll get to save a lot of dollars on long distance links between pools of storage. Some of those exotic high availability strategies require data centers to be mirrored to locations several miles away. The cost of running a fibre channel connection over such a distance will make you think twice about the economics of doing this. On the other hand, I-SCSI enables you to use existing network connections without any modifications. You can use I-SCSI over short distances, too. Keep in mind, Ethernet technology is moving to gigabit Ethernet, which can support up to 125 Mbytes per second."

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