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Sun Changes iSCSI Tune

Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) apparently thinks IP SANs are not a "mistake" anymore -- which is how the CTO of its storage group described iSCSI a year-and-a-half ago -- as the company has certified its servers to work with EqualLogic Inc. arrays (see Sun Certifies EqualLogic IP Arrays).

EqualLogic, a startup based in Nashua, N.H., sells storage systems that use iSCSI, an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) specification for sending block-level data over IP networks (see EqualLogic Unfurls iSCSI Flag). Its PeerStorage product has now successfully completed Sun's Blade Server Verification and Solaris Ready Certification programs, becoming the first iSCSI device to be OK'd for Sun servers.

In a statement, Patric Chang, director of market development engineering at Sun, says EqualLogic's PeerStorage IP-based storage arrays provide Sun customers "a low-cost storage option with enterprise-level management and performance capabilities."

That's practically a 180-degree shift from what Balint Fleischer, CTO of Sun's network storage group, told us in a March 2002 interview.

"I'm not sure iSCSI is the right storage protocol the industry needs," Fleischer said at the time. "I think storage needs to move away from block-level storage protocols and embrace other semantics." He added that Sun would support iSCSI if customer demand emerged, "but otherwise we don't see a lot of headaches that it solves." (See Sun Says iSCSI May Be a 'Mistake'.)

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