In mid-February EMC added iSCSI support for Clariion. Network Appliance claims it has more than 1,000 customers using some form of iSCSI. Is this the validation necessary to say iSCSI has arrived?
I think there will be usage beyond stranded server or less-demanding IP SAN installations. Attachment of specialty devices and tape solutions will probably be the next area. However, right now the small and medium business market consolidation needs will be the main consumer. There still is a bit of confusion over TCP off-load engine (TOE) cards. Are they really necessary to speed up performance? Should they be used sparingly with certain applications? Are the price points for using TOE cards compelling enough?
Yes, they speed operations by mainly off-loading the server. What this does is postpone getting a larger server to handle the processing overhead of the network stack involved in iSCSI. To this point, most iSCSI installations have not been in performance demanding environments -- it's good enough. So, sparingly would be the answer now. The argument will be whether to invest in the accelerator cards or to buy a bigger server. Have you noticed any managerial issues with who owns the network? Is IP storage causing some role shifting in the data center?
iSCSI is primarily not in the traditional data center so it hasn't been an issue in the environments it has gone into. I think storage is so critical in the enterprise data center that storage professionals will control it regardless of the network connection technology. What else can Storage Decisions attendees expect to learn about integrating iSCSI at your session?
We will go over some of the research that needs to be done before making a deployment of iSCSI in a tiered storage hierarchy and talk about deployment strategies.
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