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ISCSI versus SAN

Posted on 2004-04-22
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Would like to know opinions. I have been using EMC's DMX/Clariion etc. My management has asked me to look for alternatives to EMC (due to the price and attitude).

Looking at ISCSI seems to be much cheaper, less infrastructure costs and no additional personnel to manage my switches since we have the network folks to manage the network.

Also, which company's are on the forefront.

Please advise.

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Question by:Unix_NT_Consultant
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prof666 earned 2000 total points
ID: 10896713
Well, Many companies support iSCSI, HDS IBM HP to name a few. The DMX is iSCSI capable also. Clariion is not. You can also get iSCSI software from storageTek that will turn a normal windows file server into an iSCSI share box.
You need to be careful about your assumptions of iSCSI. It is only good if you have a dedicated gig ethernet network, and all servers are on gig. Any host on less than gig will bomb badly. You're correct in saying that it is cheaper and less management overhead, but typically you need to invest in a separate LAN to segregate out traditional IP from  iSCSI (at least separate core switches), and thioe core gig switches are not cheap.
Overall it's worth doing, but remember that iSCSI is still in it's infantcy and it maybe worth running a pilot for a few non critical servers first before leaping in.

My overall opinion is talk to HDS, their pricepoint is a lot less that EMC, and they are very flexible and will talk through this with you, and can even setup a lab for you to play with options (depends upon which country you are in). HDS main labs are in Silicon Valley in US and in Stoke Pogen (N Slough) in UK. Manybe i'm Biased...I used to work for them in storage division.

Da Proff
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by:prof666
ID: 10896721
Oh for an edit key..my typing is sooo bad...

Da Proff
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by:prasanna_lakkundi
ID: 10897559
IBM has an array of offerings in iSCSI and SAN's both. I also think IBM has a good global support too(so making it easy to get support where ever u are).
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by:dovidmichel
ID: 10900532
I also like iSCSI but it might be a good idea to do an evaluation first. Figure out things like level of service, up time, current and future amount of storage needed, backup. For example streaming video needs very high through put and so you have to make sure the iSCSI offering will be able to provide that level of service. There are iSCSI controlers that have a processor on board to handle the overhead associated with IP. They can greatly increase the throughput and the cost. I'm not familure with HDS but it sounds like might be a good fit for what you need. It would also be good to speak with HP because they are coming out with a lower cost SAN offering that might be a good fit. One last thought the more you know about your needs the better they will be able to help you and the more likely your project will succeed, so do the background work.
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by:qlgc
ID: 10952976
The current comanies with availible products in iSCSI Storage are:
Eurologic and Intransa and NetApp.
If the loading on your server CPU is of importance on the host side,
There is Intel, Adaptac, Alacritech, and QLogic.
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by:qlgc
ID: 10952996
Clarification:
iSCSI is SAN.
SAN and FC have become synonyms over the years,
but FC was the protocol of choice for SAN
with iSCSI being the alternative protocol for SAN now.

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by:dfranklin80
ID: 12763697
I am in the middle of evaluating SANS from several vendors.  I've ruled out ISCSI at this point as I don't beleive the product it "there" yet and I will never put mission critical apps on bleading edge technology.

Using more traditional SANS with Fiber Channel Drives and SATA drives, I've looked at EMC, HP and Hitachi.  Thus far, Hitachi seems to be the price leader offering more storage and higher throughput for less money.
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