What are SAS, SATA, Fibre Channel and FATA disk drives? When will there be an iSCSI disk drive?

Well, with the right marketing and packaging, we could say there's already an iSCSI disk drive today. But a native iSCSI disk drive -- an actual hard drive adapter (HAD) with an Ethernet

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port using the iSCSI protocol stack, similar in architecture to a Fibre Channel drive, just isn't here, and I don't think we're going to see a native iSCSI drive for a while because the economics just aren't there yet.

Still, I think we might see some interesting packaging beyond what we're seeing now. Today, a vendor puts some drives in a box, connects through an iSCSI controller and calls it an iSCSI drive. We may see variations of that where the iSCSI controller is brought into the drive enclosure itself. Similar to USB hard drives where the USB controller is added to the drive package to adapt a standard ATA drive to a USB interconnect. We're seeing this type of packaging with network-attached storage (NAS) where several simple drives are installed behind a basic NAS adapter.

Go back to the beginning of the Disk Hardware FAQ Guide.

This was first published in May 2007

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