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ISCSI Shakin' Goin' On

As the iSCSI bandwagon rumbles ahead with momentum, some seats are getting taken, and a small group of players are already falling overboard.

A fleet of startups and one established player, Adaptec Inc. (Nasdaq: ADPT), have taken the lead in low-end iSCSI, but there are signs that the segment's open for more.

The chief evidence is Adaptecs earnings from last quarter, which indicate it's starting to see some solid iSCSI sales (see Adaptec Posts Q4 Profit). Adaptec was among the handful of storage companies that increased revenues over the final quarter of 2003, and CEO Bob Stephens claims Adaptec’s new iSA1500 Storage Array is an early hit. That array includes low-cost SATA drives and is aimed at companies looking to replace direct attached storage with low-cast SANs.

Stephens claimed on the earnings call that Adaptec has won a Tier 1 OEM deal; and at least one analyst, Kaushik Roy of Susquehanna Financial Group, suspects the agreement could be for iSCSI gear with IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)
or Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL).

“There is a significant iSCSI market coming,” Roy says. “And there’s more competition coming. It looks like LSI Logic

will get into that space, too.”

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