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ISCSI: Next Big Thing or H-IP-E?

On the Chinese calendar, 2004 will be the Year of the Monkey. On the network storage calendar, 2004 will be the Year of iSCSI -- according to an IP storage panel that met today in New York.

The panel was part of the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA)s IP Storage "On the Road" Seminar Series. It consisted of an IDC

analyst and six IP storage vendors, who agreed that iSCSI's time has come, even though Fibre Channel will stick around for a long time.

This forecast agrees with the most recent Byte and Switch Insider report, which states that after more than three years of hype and hope, IP storage networks are finally coming to market with all the necessary ingredients (see B&S Insider Scopes IP SANs).

“ISCSI has taken a lot of crap up until this year,” says Robert Gray, IDC’s head of storage systems research. “But it’s really busting out now.”

Gray and his fellow panelists say the stars are aligned for iSCSI, thanks to a number of drivers: support of iSCSI by Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT); a rollout of iSCSI products from a range of other vendors; the continued data explosion; an increased focus on disaster recovery; the desire for better management of storage for small and mid-sized businesses; and an increase in spending on networked storage. Missing from the list: a desire to replace Fibre Channel SANs.

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