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iSCSI Hikes Its Nielsen Rating

TV ratings company Nielsen Media Research finally considers iSCSI ready for primetime in its heterogenous SAN.

Nielsen is using an Intransa Inc. iSCSI system in its new fourth storage tier, with more gear from Intransa and a second iSCSI vendor -- probably EqualLogic Inc.
-- to follow. Nielsen technology strategist Rob Stevenson says he plans to connect iSCSI systems to a virtual tape library for archiving.

Stevenson had to be convinced about IP SANs, though. He always liked the price, but with 1.2 Pbytes (yes, that's petabytes) of research data to store and more than 250 Tbytes per month to back up, he couldnt sacrifice too much performance. After all, without Nielsen’s data, we’d never know how many people watch Desperate Housewives on a given week.

Stevenson considered iSCSI back in September 2003, when Nielsen consolidated its storage system from multiple sites into a 20,000-square-foot data center in Oldsmar, Fla. (see Nielsen Media Research). But he didn’t like the industry buzz he heard about iSCSI at the time: that its performance wasn’t up to snuff, mainly because the drivers were unstable.

“I initially thought iSCSI would be a good solution because of cost,” he says. “Unfortunately, I didn’t hear much good about iSCSI back then. People were very dismissive of it.”

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