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Before native iSCSI disk and tape devices appear en masse, users will be able to bring parallel SCSI disk subsystem and tape devices into the networked storage fray using iSCSI-to-SCSI bridges.
Already, a few generic bridges have appeared. Okapi Software has the ipXtensionCord: a 10/100 model for $995, and a Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) version for $2,495.
One place for the ipXtensionCord might be in front of a tape drive, making that tape resource available to any number of local or remote iSCSI servers.
Over the Internet, Okapi has seen data transfer speeds of 9MB/s. "That's enough to spin an older model DLT drive at full capacity," says Bob Farkaly, Okapi's chief marketing officer.
Higher-end bridges are also available. ATTO Technology has the iPBridge 2500C/R/D, a dual-channel GbE-to-SCSI bridge that offers two GbE ports bridged to two Ultra160 SCSI ports. Available in rackmount or standalone configurations, it supports both iSCSI and NDMP.
Crossroads, too, has a first generation iSCSI-to-SCSI bridge due in the spring/summer timeframe, and says it will ship an iSCSI blade for its Crossroads 10000 storage router by the end of the year.
This was first published in January 2003