An Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI) adapter is a network interface card (NIC) that enables the transmission of data between a host computer and an iSCSI-based storage array over Ethernet and TCP/IP network infrastructures.Content Continues Below
The iSCSI adapter, also known as an iSCSI host bus adaptor (HBA) or iSCSI NIC, facilitates the mapping of Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) commands to TCP/IP to allow the input/output (I/O) of data with iSCSI-based storage systems. The iSCSI adapter typically includes a network interface controller, a TCP/IP offload engine (TOE), and a SCSI adapter. The adapter hardware handles the iSCSI and TCP/IP processing functions to conserve the host's CPU processing power for server applications and to increase iSCSI storage area network (SAN) performance.
A hardware-based iSCSI adapter generally can provide higher levels of performance than a software iSCSI initiator, but the need for iSCSI initiator hardware has declined with the emergence of servers equipped with more powerful processing cores.