Special Report

iSCSI storage: Rising profile in enterprise data centers

iSCSI storage has long been regarded as a more natural fit for small- to medium-sized business (SMB) server rooms than enterprise data centers, its performance outpaced by Fibre Channel (FC).

And while iSCSI's performance still comes up short compared with FC, over the past few years, a number of factors have converged to propel iSCSI storage to a greater presence among enterprises than in the midmarket. According to Framingham, Mass.-based IDC, iSCSI grew to 17% of the total networked storage market in the third quarter, while Fibre Channel market share has dropped from 72% to 61% since 2007.

Our Special Report on iSCSI storage examines how market dynamics, advancements in iSCSI gear and related technologies, and the economy have contributed to the increasing adoption of this storage networking protocol. We also provide five best practices to maximize iSCSI storage-area networks (iSCSI SANs) in a virtual server environment, and learn some implementation tips from an IT administrator from the University of Alaska Fairbanks who switched from NFS to an iSCSI storage system.

iSCSI SAN finally proves worthy alternative to Fibre Channel SAN for the mainstream
After years of consideration as the lesser of two storage networking protocols, iSCSI SANs are getting some respect in the enterprise, and analysts expect the upward trajectory to continue. Find out what factors have caused the shift in the market and what effect 10 Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) will have on iSCSI SAN adoption.

iSCSI SANs in a virtual server environment: Five best practices
iSCSI SANs are well suited to a virtual server environment, but they lead to different issues than when implemented with physical servers. We spoke with storage experts to learn how to approach an iSCSI SAN implementation in a virtual server environment. Discover the best practices for maximizing iSCSI SAN performance and efficiency in virtual environments.

iSCSI storage system implemented by University of Alaska Fairbanks
In this interview, Shawn Houston, technical lead in the Biotechnology Computing Research Group at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, discusses his department's adoption of iSCSI. Houston explains why iSCSI was chosen, what products his group is using for the iSCSI environment, what problems they ran into and what others considering such a move should know before implementing an iSCSI storage system.

This was first published in February 2010