Are you taking the iSCSI plunge?


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iSCSI has momentum
FC isn't about to go away, but over time it could be relegated to just high-end applications. The continued existence of FICON (and even ESCON) is evidence that technologies remain useful despite the introduction of attractive alternatives. With so much invested in current FC infrastructures and the internal politics of who "owns the network" with iSCSI such a strong factor, the continued use of FC is assured for a long time to come. The technology is making strong inroads with companies of all sizes and among all industries.

ESG performed in-depth research focusing on iSCSI adoption, surveying 511 companies of all sizes and across all industries. Here's a summary of our findings:

  • iSCSI adoption is in the "early mainstream" stage. Of the 511 companies and organizations that were surveyed, 17% have iSCSI deployed in a production environment and another 20% plan to deploy an iSCSI SAN. Early adopters and planned adopters represent 37% of the companies we surveyed. Based on these statistics, ESG believes iSCSI is well within the "early mainstream" of market adoption.

  • There's significant activity across all market segments, but adoption is highest in companies with between 1,000 and 4,999 employees. Twenty-two percent of small enterprise organizations (those defined as having 1,000 to 4,999 employees) surveyed have deployed an iSCSI SAN, followed

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  • by 19% of large enterprise (20,000 or more employees) firms, 17% of midmarket (100 to 999 employees) companies, 12% of enterprise (5,000 to 19,999 employees) firms and 11% of small organizations (fewer than 100 employees).

  • Lower costs and ease of management are key reasons why early and planned adopters are embracing iSCSI. Lower capital and operational costs are the primary reasons respondents have implemented--or plan to implement--an iSCSI SAN. The ease-of-use aspects of iSCSI also rank very highly. Respondents feel iSCSI will provide lower operating costs, ease of deployment and management, and will allow them to leverage their current IT skills, which equates to iSCSI being easier to manage over its life cycle vs. Fibre Channel.

  • Early adopters are satisfied or very satisfied with their iSCSI SANs. iSCSI early adopters rated every aspect of their iSCSI SANs positively, including network performance, operational costs, capital costs, app performance, reliability for mission-critical apps, interoperability, ease of installation and ease of management.

This was first published in February 2007

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