What are the differences between iSCSI and Fibre Channel (FC) SANs. We are deciding on storage for backups. I prefer SAN 2 GBps speed for backups, but some are saying that iSCSI is the future.

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First, both FC and iSCSI support block access for storage using the SCSI command set that is useful for performing backup as well as general data access. You will get arguments for and against FC and iSCSI as well as block vs. file.

Take a look at what is important for your environment today and in the future. What type of servers do you use currently, and what are you planning to use in the future? What type of workload do you have? Is it storage intensive or performance intensive? Are you a network-centric or storage-centric environment? Also take a look at what your overall networking needs are and how combining storage access with those will help or impact storage and network management.

This was first published in June 2005

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