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What to expect from iSCSI

Hi, I am trying to learn what I can expect of iSCSI. According to the Internet drafts, iSCSI must (MUST) comply with IPv4 and IPv6 (of course). But the same drafts also write of Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet. How is the iSCSI going to work over the "public" Internet where you can't expect a Gigabit bandwidth, and how about latency issues? What kind of bandwidth and latency do you suppose are acceptable for iSCSI? Isn't this really for LAN and MAN environments? (The I-D says it should work for WAN, though.)

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Current functionality of iSCSI is limited in scope. That said, iSCSI is block I/O based and can be much easier to implement than a SAN. If a company does not have any SAN expertise, then building an iSCSI network would be simple using current knowledge in IP based networks. Current topology should be limited to a LAN or private WAN, although it is block based, it suffers from the same latency issues as any IP network. Fibre SAN infrastructure is much more efficient for transferring large amounts of Data and should be used when performance is paramount. As IP network bandwidth increases and the iSCSI standard matures, it may give Fibre SANs competition. For now though, NAS and SAN is the way most customers are going.

This was first published in May 2001

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