FC vs. iSCSI: Five tips in five minutes

Recently, there has been a buzz among storage pros about how FC and iSCSI stack up. Check out this expert advice, so you can decide what is right for your organization.

Recently, there has been a lot of buzz among storage professionals about how Fibre Channel (FC) and iSCSI stack up. Some have gone as far as to say that there is a war between these two competing technologies. Others indicate that they are not really competing for the same market -- that iSCSI is being used in entry-level SANs and FC continues to dominate the enterprise data center.

FC is designed to transmit data between computer devices at data rates of up to 4 gigabits per second ( Gbps) (and 10 Gbps in the near future). It is designed to connect computer servers to shared storage devices and for interconnecting storage controllers and drives. It's a high-performance, high-cost technology.

iSCSI (or Internet Small Computer System Interface) is an IP-based storage networking standard that has been touted for the wide range of choices it offers in both performance and price. Some analysts say iSCSI is reliable enough for important data and is frequently used for Microsoft Exchange storage. And, because iSCSI uses TCP/IP and SCSI, which have existed for decades and are well understood in the storage world, it's an appealing option for many in the industry.

But, how do you figure out which is right for your environment? Check out the expert technical advice below, and get started learning about how these technologies compare, so you can make the right decision for your environment.

  • ISCSI vs. FC performance: A closer look
    Think that FC is faster than iSCSI? Vice versa? Storage expert Tony Asaro explains why the real answer may surprise you.

  • Using iSCSI for clustering
    Storage expert Christopher Poelker offers insight on setting up clustered storage with iSCSI and how it differs from clustering with FC.

  • How to compare FC and SCSI
    Storage expert Greg Schulz offers advice on how to compare FC and SCSI technology.

  • iSCSI: What is it good for?
    Tony Asaro explains why iSCSI is rapidly growing and is a viable alternative to a FC SAN, and the reason that iSCSI performance is an often misunderstood issue.

  • Will 10 Gbps iSCSI trump Fibre Channel?
    Storage expert Brett Cooper considers whether performance is the key criteria for deploying a specific storage protocol.


  • This was first published in April 2006

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