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iSCSI Gang Talks Big

Despite claims by Fibre Channel proponents, including those touting a new Fibre Channel-over-Ethernet (FCoE) spec, iSCSI is on the rise, say its supporters. (See Ethernet Storage to Morph Again.) And they're using 10-Gbit/s data rates, SAS support, virtualization, and other features as evidence of cracking the enterprise market.

Take LeftHand Networks, which today said it will work with HP's ProLiant DL320s server (in addition to IBM's x3650 servers), enabling support of SAS, SATA, and hardware RAID 6. "iSCSI supports small and large SANs. Customers no longer compromise on features, performance, and capacity," asserts John Fanelli, VP of marketing at LeftHand.

LeftHand also unveiled its 10-Gbit/s roadmap. (See LeftHand Adds 10-GigE SANs.) More accurately, LeftHand reiterated its previous assertion that it will offer full integration of 10-Gbit/s Ethernet in its SAN/iQ software sometime this summer. (See 10-Gig iSCSI SANs Set for Takeoff.)

Today, it's possible to use SAN/iQ with 10-Gbit/s, LeftHand maintains, but it requires customers to load the 10-Gbit/s drivers into the NICs that populate the IBM and HP servers LeftHand uses to host its iSCSI SANs. That can wind up being costly and complicated, so LeftHand's message to customers is "Wait a few months and do it with us."

LeftHand is boasting high growth figures. Spokesperson Tracy Floming says LeftHand doubled sales in 2006 and is set to do the same this year. The vendor claims to have sold close to 5,000 systems since 2004. Its customer base is over 2,000, and the employee roster is at roughly 200.

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