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Special Supplement: iSCSI: Low-cost alternative to FC

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Storage August 2006 Special Supplement

Despite the obvious benefits of iSCSI vs. FC, iSCSI isn't impinging on FC's dominance in the enterprise. iSCSI SANs are replacing DAS, not FC. "Fibre Channel and iSCSI are complementary technologies today," says David Dale, chairman of the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) IP Storage Forum.

DAS has been an IT administration pain point for many years because it lacks scalability, is very difficult to expand and more susceptible to failure. Companies that based their storage infrastructure on DAS ended up with many distributed, standalone storage islands, all managed independently. "By deploying an iSCSI SAN from LeftHand Networks [Inc.], we were able to consolidate 86 servers with [DAS] down to 40 servers that are connected to an iSCSI-connected storage pool," says Charlie Maner, chief information officer at Fitchburg State College in Fitchburg, MA. "Besides drastically simplified administration, we ended up with a less-expensive, yet more robust and easier to expand, storage infrastructure."

One of the driving forces for transitioning from DAS to SAN is accelerating data growth. Looking to expand capacity and get a better handle on backup and disaster recovery, Terence Choy, network manager at Nancy's Specialty Foods in Newark, CA, decided to replace an overburdened DAS environment with an iSCSI SAN from StoneFly Inc., San Diego. "We have slashed administrative

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costs while optimizing our storage in ways that weren't possible before implementing the StoneFly IP SAN," explains Choy.

This was first published in August 2006

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