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Vol. 3 No. 7 September 2004

User: I Want My iSCSI HBA

Home iSCSI users will tell you that you don't really need iSCSI host bus adapters (HBAs), specialized cards that can offload TCP/IP and iSCSI processing from a server's CPU. These users say that software-based iSCSI initiators are sufficient for most applications. Of the 1,500 or so iSCSI SANs in the world, fewer than 10% of them are using iSCSI HBAs, says Tony Asaro, senior analyst with the Enterprise Strategy Group. Nevertheless, one iSCSI adopter says that installing HBAs in servers connected to their iSCSI SAN has given them all the performance they need, added minimal cost to the overall environment and provided peace of mind. Mike MacNeill is director of technical operations for Cross Country Healthcare, Boca Raton, FL, which matches healthcare workers with temporary staffing opportunities. Last year, the company decided to deploy a SAN for its Windows and Linux application servers, including file serving, Exchange and SQLServer to get better disk utilization and improve its backup process. The company already had an IBM ...

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