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iSCSI Stretches Out

More and more vendors are putting their faith in iSCSI as a way for users to reap the benefits of emerging technologies such as 10-Gbit/s Ethernet.

This week, for example, startup 4Blox unveiled a software-based alternative to iSCSI HBAs; LSI extended iSCSI support across its Engenio product line; and OnStor CEO Bob Miller outlined plans to provide an iSCSI gateway device.

First up was 4Blox, which took the wraps off a software package called 4Mezzo to offload iSCSI processing in a manner similar to existing HBAs.

"With port aggregation of multiple gigs and technologies like 10-Gbit/s Ethernet, CPUs can become constrained," says 4Blox CEO Dan Munro. "Our software offloads the burden on the CPU for those workloads."

San Jose, Calif.-based 4Blox, which announced its first round of private equity funding last month, has teamed up with Red Hat to run its iSCSI software within that vendor's Enterprise Linux operating system. "When we have done one Linux version, it's easier to do others like AIX, HP-UX, Solaris, and SUSE," says Munro, adding that these are all on the vendor's roadmap, along with Windows.

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