Few doubt the ubiquity and dominance of IP and Ethernet technologies
in the networking world. And now overcoming some of the early
barriers such as TCP overheads, IP Storage is leveraging the volume
driven economics of IP everywhere to create a new wave of storage
interconnectivity to build an integrated native IP storage network
that will transport data seamlessly in local (LAN), metropolitan
(MAN) and wide area networks (WAN) environments.
storage recently has generated agreat deal of interest within
the storage industry, as it offers unified
management and proven, readily available, high-speed networking.
It also provides a smooth transition path from today's proprietary
Fibre Channel SANs to standard IP and Gigabit Ethernet SANs.
to higher performance iSCSI lies in riding on the coattails of
the networking technologies as it moves to adopting 10 Gigabit
Ethernet and beyond on switch infrastructures and adoption of
highly secure techniques such as IPsec v6. This would enable new
opportunities for enterprise IP SANs to outshine Fibre Channel
in coming years.
- high performance NICs for Storage & Security
iSCSI will expand the market making SANs available to the SMB
(Small and Medium Businesses) which hereto was not able to avail
of the expensive, vendor proprietary and expensive solutions affordable
only by very large enterprises only. For a few years both FC and
iSCSI technologies will co-exist addressing different markets
and user requirements. As web services and XML start to dominate,
the low cost iSCSI solutions would provide a cost effective solution
for the three tier applications - web servers, file-server applications
IP Storage or iSCSI follows the true and tried SCSI client/server
model with hosts acting as client initiators and disk storage arrays
playing as server targets with both having native iSCSI interfaces
directly or through bridges.
For block data
transport, iSCSI provides its own layer over TCP/ IP. Security is being
provided by IPSec v6 standards used by the networking industry or can
be implemented by other public key or use of kerberos.
(Integrated Security Overhead, iSCSI acceleration and TCP offload engines)
functions are being made part of NICs and made available from a number
of companies to mitigate any performance degradation in transversing
the TCP/IP stack.
data between SAN islands, storage tunneling uses IP networks for SAN-to-SAN
connectivity and has cost advantages over dedicated dark fiber. However,
the burden of supporting two separate management systems is not likely
to be acceptable to IT managers, who typically demand levels of integration
that are greater than storage tunneling can provide.
The Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) transport protocol links Fibre Channel
fabrics over distance. FCIP has minimal IP facilities, since its aim
is not to replace Fibre Channel with IP but simply to facilitate further
deployments of Fibre Channel fabrics via IP tunneling.
In contrast, the
Internet SCSI (iSCSI) protocols replaces the Fibre Channel fabrics with
Gigabit Ethernet and IP infrastructures, anywhere on the IP network
regardless of geographic location.
- the next frontier
Once the end-to-end IP storage infrastructure is established,
TeleStorage will emerge strongly changing the way corporations
build their data center infrastructures. With the overbuilt dark
fibre capacity available from the new telecom carriers, expect
to see applications such as video-on-demand and grid computing
to kick in as the present recession wears off. SSPs will then
reincarnate to provide managed storage services across collocation
facilities and customer sites using a seamless storage over IP