Access "Getting ready for IP SANs"
This article is part of the Vol. 2 No. 11 January 2004 issue of Storage products of the year 2003
Understanding iSCSI host connections Because iSCSI sits on top of TCP/IP, any standard network interface card (NIC) could be used to connect a host to an IP storage area network (SAN). However, special-purpose iSCSI cards are becoming available that can reduce CPU utilization and potentially provide greater levels of performance--albeit at a higher price--than a general purpose NIC (See "Network interface card options," below). With a conventional NIC, all functionality above the GigE level is provided in software, including all SCSI, iSCSI and TCP/IP functions. The impact on the host depends on the CPU load and the I/O characteristics of the application. A lightly loaded CPU may have sufficient headroom to provide good iSCSI performance. A moderately busy CPU may even be able to support a light to moderate iSCSI load. There are two alternatives for offloading the iSCSI processing overload: TOE NICs and iSCSI adapters. A TCP/IP Offload Engine (TOE) NIC offloads all TCP/IP operations. This type of interface isn't specific to iSCSI at all, and could be used as... Access >>>
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