iSCSI Suppliers Seek Servers

iSCSI on clustered third-party servers may be the next big thing

July 8, 2006

2 Min Read
Network Computing logo

iSCSI SANs could get a boost from clustered servers.

Increasingly, makers of iSCSI SAN software are porting their products to third-party hardware, specifically Intel-based servers, a move that's making their wares more palatable to data center managers. (See How to Build an iSCSI Disk Array.) Taking the next step to clustered servers only makes sense.

LeftHand Networks, which offers an OEM bundle of its SAN/iQ iSCSI target software with HP's ProLiant DL380, says customers can use Microsoft Cluster Server to scale their iSCSI networks. "It's not just a failover cluster, but a peer-to-peer cluster," boasts LeftHand marketing VP Karl Chen.

Chen has no specific figures for how many customers are deploying SAN/iQ on clustered servers, but he says that the HP bundle accounts for "more than half" the volume of sales on non-LeftHand hardware. Chen also claims that LeftHand has nearly 2,000 customers.

One VAR says LeftHand's solution with HP is selling well. According to Gary Gammon, SVP of marketing for the enterprise division of storage VAR Bell Microproducts, sales of LeftHand's SANiQ plus HP server are exceeding sales of LeftHand arrays alone."It takes some of the trepidation out of moving to iSCSI if you can run it on your existing platform," he notes.

Other vendors are pursuing sales of iSCSI software on third-party clustered servers. FalconStor claims the capability, and Nimbus Data Systems is apparently considering it. The company plans to unveil iSCSI software for third-party servers this month, says CEO Tom Isakovich, and clustering may eventually be part of the picture.

The storage industry is full of potential for iSCSI products on clustered servers. Microsoft's Windows Computer Cluster Server can be used with products such as LeftHand's SAN/iQ to create iSCSI systems. And vendors like Ibrix have clustered file systems that can be adapted to an iSCSI environment.

There is some resistance to the movement, mostly based on performance questions. Spokesman Roman Kichorowsky of EqualLogic says his company sees no benefit in porting its iSCSI software to third-party hardware. He says that enterprise sales call for vendors to guarantee "the whole package:" firmware and hardware. EqualLogic's value is partly in that kind of quality control, he insists.

Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch

  • Bell Microproducts (Nasdaq: BELM)

  • EqualLogic Inc.

  • Ibrix Inc.

  • LeftHand Networks Inc.

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

  • Nimbus Data Systems Inc.0

Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox

You May Also Like

More Insights