Integrating iSCSI and FC storage


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Array-based iSCSI integration
Large storage array vendors like EMC, HDS, HP and NetApp tout their arrays as the best place for iSCSI-FC integration. Leveraging multiprotocol arrays is especially attractive for companies that have standardized their infrastructure on one of these vendors, which offers a single management point for iSCSI and FC. "[EMC] Navisphere Management Suite transparently manages storage for both iSCSI and FC, all the way from provisioning to setting up replication," says Peter Lavache, senior manager, storage products marketing at EMC.

Multiprotocol arrays eliminate the need for iSCSI bridges or gateways, allowing hosts to directly connect to storage arrays via iSCSI. But not all FC arrays sold by these vendors are iSCSI enabled; iSCSI support depends largely on array type and age. NetApp has been an iSCSI proponent for some time and all of its arrays have supported iSCSI since 2003. Today, all NetApp boxes ship with iSCSI as the default protocol. Other vendors have taken a more cautious approach. EMC supported iSCSI in its high-end Symmetrix arrays since inception, but only recently began offering native iSCSI support in its midrange Clariion CX3-20 and CX3-40 arrays. Similarly, HP supported iSCSI in its high-end StorageWorks XP arrays, but only added native iSCSI support to its midrange StorageWorks EVA arrays in 2006.

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This was first published in February 2007

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