HP and Adaptec Bond Over iSCSI

In a touching "hands across the ocean" moment, two leading players form an iSCSI alliance

July 27, 2001

2 Min Read
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Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HWP) just cant get enough of storage networking, it seems. Hot on the heels of its acquisition of StorageApps yesterday (see HP Acquires StorageApps), it has announced an iSCSI initiative with Adaptec Inc. (Nasdaq: ADPT) (see Adaptec, HP Get Scuzzy).

This is good news for the IP storage camp, as it demonstrates that über player’s like HP are taking the relatively untried and unapproved standard seriously.

Both companies are voting members of the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) iSCSI Group, but decided to form an independent alliance to push interoperability between their specific technologies.

The move has raised hackles in some quarters. "What the f*** is the point of having a [SNIA iSCSI] Group if anyone who feels like it is going to up and do their own testing?" huffs a product manager at a storage networking company, who requested anonymity.

The recent "official" SNIA iSCSI plug fest included as many as 31 vendors all aiming to kick-start interoperability tests. (see IP Storage Test Draws Crowd) “It’s impossible to work with them all at once, so you have to prioritize,” says Max Steinhardt, VP and general manager of Adaptec’s storage division. “HP and Adaptec both believe IP storage will be the fastest growing SAN fabric over the next four years, so we make good partners.”Initially, HP will include Adaptec’s AEA-7111C iSCSI HBA in its SAN package. But once Adaptec closes its acquisition of Platys Communications in the next 30 to 45 days, it expects HP to come knocking on the door for more (see Adaptec Pockets Platys).

Platys makes a storage router accelerator (SRA) that bridges applications from iSCSI to Fibre Channel; iSCSI chipsets; and TOE (TCP/IP offload engine) cards that remove from the server the processor-intensive TCP/IP stack required for iSCSI communication. “We hope to work with HP on all these technologies,” says Steinhardt.

Research from IDC shows that quality, reliability, and strong technical support are important SAN purchasing criteria. "The HP and Adaptec announcement, coming from well known suppliers, is an important ratification of IP storage," says Robert Gray, director of storage research for IDC.

— Jo Maitland, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch http://www.byteandswitch.com

Want to know more? The big cheeses of the storage networking industry will be discussing this topic in a session at StorageNet, Byte and Switch’s annual conference, being held in New York City, October 2-5, 2001. Check it out at StorageNet2001

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