iSCSI will overtake fibre channel

Storage newcomer EqualLogic has praised iSCSI and is questioning the future viability of fibre channel as the protocol of choice...

Storage newcomer EqualLogic has praised iSCSI and is questioning the future viability of fibre channel as the protocol of choice for Sans.

EqualLogic will add replication technology to its own San, allowing snapshots of data volumes to be moved automatically within a building, across a campus, or to a different geographical location.

"We view fibre channel as yesterday's technology," said John Joseph, vice-president of marketing at EqualLogic. "It's just a matter of time before fibre channels suppliers start selling iSCSI products."

Joseph claimed the company's PeerStorage 100E, which uses iSCSI, an IP-based transport technology to move block storage, has already displaced several Sans based on fibre channel technology.

Joseph credited the adoption of PeerStorage to its own merits, but he added that iSCSI will grow in popularity because people understand IP and that its prevalence will make it more cost-effective than fibre channel.

But fibre channel equipment suppliers still believe the fibre channel protocol has merit. Ed Chapman, senior director of the storage technology group at Cisco Systems pointed to the recent activity within the FC Industry Association (FCIA) to make the protocol run at 4Gbps via a simple firmware upgrade.

iSCSI only runs at 1Gbps, but there are efforts to move it to 10Gbps. Fibre channel will also move to 10Gbps. Both are expected to reach 10Gbps in 2005.

Scott Tyler Shafter writes for InfoWorld



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