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Show Time for iSCSI

More than 50 vendors will take part in the first public” demonstration of a working IP storage network at the Storage Networking World show in Orlando, Fla., next week.

So top secret is the list of participating companies in this demo that it would have been easier to find out who The Gnomes of Zurich are. That said, the list of participants is supposed to be a Who's Who of IT players -- including IBM Global Services, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). In addition, all of the major Fibre Channel switch manufacturers, as well as the server vendors and HBA manufacturers, are set to take part.

There have been several private demonstrations already this year by cliques of vendors looking to promote their own technologies (see IP Storage Coast-to-Coast and IP Storage Test Draws Crowd). The aim of the test in Orlando is somewhat different: to bring together all the work done by these various groups in the hope that it all works together.

”It will,” says Joe Gervis, director of product marketing at Alacritech Inc., which makes SAN chips and PCI cards and is participating in the demo (see Alacritech Demos Accelerator). “There’s been a spike in work done on the iSCSI [SCSI over IP] standard since the July plug fest to ensure that there is no more ambiguity in the spec."

Apparently, ambiguous vendors had previously interpreted the log-in process (or how two iSCSI devices initiate communication with each other) differently -- a fairly fundamental problem. This situation has now been rectified, according to Gervis.