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Proprietary Gear Seeks Foothold

Maybe you have to be a rocket scientist to see the wisdom of using proprietary Ethernet protocols in enterprise applications.

How else do you explain two groups in NASA independently implementing Coraid EtherDrive devices within seven months when most enterprise customers shun such one-off solutions?

Coraid and Zetera are challenging the conventional wisdom with storage systems based on a proprietary Ethernet protocol built on open software. Zetera uses User Datagram Protocol (UDP) rather than the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) used by iSCSI. (See Zetera Rewrites iSCSI.)

Coraid uses a protocol called AoE (ATA over Ethernet) instead of TCP. Linux servers see each disk connected to a Coraid device as a local physical drive.

Like iWarp, these are largely untested Ethernet alternatives to using TCP, which requires extra computing resources. (See Ohio Opts for iWarp.)

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