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SD2003: iSCSI - The new storage interconnect on the 'block?'

In his recent iSCSI session at Storage Decisions 2003, Sean P. Derrington, consultant of enterprise storage and servers at Appergy, Inc., discussed the future roles of both iSCSI and Fibre Channel as storage networking interconnects.

To put the state of iSCSI in context, Derrington outlined critical issues affecting the storage market today. Economically, he said, IT dollars are still tight. But, the storage market is seeing significant innovation with over $1.1 billion invested by venture capitalists since July 2002.

With this in mind, Derrington said storage managers should pay special attention to creating storage infrastructure design, determining technical storage requirements like business continuity and disaster recovery, and delivering storage services.

Derrington paid particular attention to how to extend SANs beyond the campus. He predicted that iSCSI and Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) will be the two dominant IP transports for SCSI block commands and that FCIP will be the dominant WAN bridging transport for both FC and iSCSI-based campus SANs. All others (iFCP, mFCP) will be niches or pass into obscurity, he said. As for the future of iSCSI, Derrington said it is suitable for both enterprise and SME markets, but that it is not mission critical.

The bottom line for Derrington is that FC will remain the dominant storage interconnect for the majority of data centers. Though iSCSI will put pricing pressure on FC vendors, for the time being, iSCSI will

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mostly provide connectivity for low-end servers, he said.

Presentation slides and other links to the full session proceedings are available here.


About the speaker: Sean P. Derrington is a consultant for enterprise storage and servers at Appergy, Inc. He specializes in issues related to storage management infrastructures, storage subsystems, Fibre Channel, SANs, NAS, backup/recovery and disaster recovery architectures, with a concentration on e-business, transactional and analytic storage infrastructures. Prior to joining Appergy, Derrington served as senior program director of server infrastructure strategies at META Group. He has a B.S. degree in Material Science and Engineering as well as a B.S. degree in Engineering and Public Policy, both from Carnegie Mellon University.

This was first published in September 2003

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