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Vol. 5 No. 8 October 2006

New Ethernet protocols could challenge iSCSI

iSCSI is the user favorite for block-based Ethernet storage. But there are two competing Ethernet protocols--ATA over Ethernet (AoE) and Storage over IP (SoIP)--that may be able to gather enough momentum with home and small business users to overtake iSCSI in the enterprise. AoE and SoIP offer higher speeds without the performance overhead associated with TCP. AoE doesn't use IP at all, but rather the native Ethernet protocol, thus avoiding IP overhead. SoIP works with the User Datagram Protocol (UDP); it gives users the flexibility to assign an IP address to individual storage targets so UDP can communicate with multiple targets concurrently and stripe data across multiple disks for better performance. "Unlike TCP, which puts data in order, UDP can use two additional IP commands--broadcast and multicast," says Ryan Malone, senior director of marketing at Zetera, Irvine, CA. "This allows us to take advantage of UDP's ability to talk to a bunch of IP addresses at the same time." Zetera and Coraid have taken different approaches ...

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