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IP Storage Test Draws Crowd

An interoperability test of the iSCSI protocol is drawing a crowd of more than 30 startups and established vendors to the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab (IOL) this week.

The test is being sponsored jointly by the lab and the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA). SNIA has promoted and marketed the event as one of its IP Storage "plugfests," and UNH designed the test methodology and software suites.

Both the IOL and SNIA are consortiums that charge membership fees. But participants in this week's event don't have to belong to either group in order to join the test. They only have to pay the engineers' fees. That detail seems to have been key to enabling the mix of vendors who've shown up to attach their wares to the testbed. A partial list includes:

iSCSI, short for SCSI over IP, is one of three approaches being standardized by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in order to extend SANs beyond purely SCSI or Fibre Channel links to IP networks.

In all, 31 vendors registered for the test, and all of them showed up yesterday for the event, which ends Friday afternoon. "The turnout has been fantastic," said one participant. Contributions to the tests seem to be coming equally from providers of servers and storage devices, he noted.

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