Ask the Expert

What will it be, iSCSI or iFCP?

This is a Q&A from SAN School Lesson 8.
Click here for more SAN School lessons.

If iSCSI can map FC to IP, why should I use iFCP?

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iSCSI is used for block access to disk resources for HOSTS over IP for servers that do not have Fibre Channel HBA connections to a SAN. This requires an iSCSI driver for each server for the LAN NIC and either native iSCSI storage arrays or an iSCSI bridge from that converts iSCSI traffic to FC traffic for traditional FC-based SAN storage arrays.

iFCP is a protocol used between SAN islands to create a SWAN (storage wide area network). Both iSCSI and iFCP use IP as the transport mechanism, but they are used for different applications. iFCP is used for connecting fabrics together, and iSCSI is used for IP hosts to access disks.


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The views and opinions expressed by Christopher L. Poelker are his alone and not necessarily shared by Hitachi Data Systems.

This was first published in May 2004

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