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Vol. 7 No. 1 March 2008

Virtualized servers boost iSCSI adoption

The marriage of virtualized servers and iSCSI SANs is turning out to be a happy one for many users. Since VMware announced support for iSCSI SANs in June 2006, virtualization users have embraced iSCSI's lower cost and reduced complexity. Nearly two years later, the honeymoon still isn't over. Pat O'Day, chief technology officer at BlueLock, an Indianapolis-based provider of infrastructure as a service, says his young company has used only VMware and LeftHand Networks' iSCSI SANs in its two-year existence. "We were fully prepared that at some point we would have to investigate going into Fibre Channel [FC]," he says. "I still have it way out on the radar. But we're up to 50TB or 60TB now." Cost and flexibility drove BlueLock's selection of iSCSI. O'Day calls iSCSI "a very loose technology. Fibre Channel is so physically dependent on the infrastructure." iSCSI makes it easy to boot servers from BlueLock's main facility to its Salt Lake City data center, he says. iSCSI's lower cost was worth the slight performance difference. "...

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Features in this issue

  • Arrays score with both file and block storage

    Multiprotocol arrays that support block- and file-based storage through a single controller give users the best of both worlds: NAS for file-based information, and Fibre Channel or ISCSI block-based storage for databases and other transactional apps.

  • Case study: NY Mets add deduplication to roster

    With an extensive lineup of corporate data, photos and video, the Mets needed to recruit some backup help. The call went out for low-cost disk backup configuration, including deduplication and compression to reduce the amount of data to be backed up, as well as WAN optimization/acceleration to speed up the replication process. After much consideration, Data Domain was drafted for the job.

  • Ask the Expert:RAID rebuilds

    I run four 400GB SATA drives configured with RAID 5. I want to replace them with four 750GB drives. Can I rebuild and then swap individual drives?

Columns in this issue