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iSCSI Strides On

iSCSI-based storage offerings are going from strength to strength, according to new research from analyst firms Gartner and IDC. (See SCSI Celebrates Anniversary, Gartner Highlights Disk Growth, IDC Cites Disk Growth, and External Storage Hits $4.2B.)

In recent years, iSCSI SANs have been behind a flurry of product releases from the big storage vendors as well as being behind the success of pioneering IP SAN startups. (See How To: Plan an iSCSI SAN, Globalstor Ships NAS/iSCSI, Microsoft Accelerates iSCSI Support, and Silverback Hoists $16M.) But now, it seems the iSCSI market is establishing itself in a more widespread way amongst customers who dont want to invest heavily in Fibre Channel. (See B&S Insider Inspects iSCSI and SAN Ceasefire!.)

Gartner's research, released today, reveals that the market for external controller-based (ECB) disk storage gear totaled $3.8 billion in the first quarter 2006, up 8.6 percent over the same period last year. Donna Taylor, Gartner principal research manager and the report's author, told Byte and Switch that iSCSI is playing a part in this growth though the firm hasn't broken out iSCSI's specific percentage just yet. "The momentum is picking up -- iSCSI is catching on," she says. "A lot of vendors have come out the door with products that satisfy a lot of different areas."

Still, Taylor warns that iSCSI is far from being a sizeable portion of the market. Many users are taking a "wait and see" approach to the technology, carefully evaluating the progress of early adopters. "iSCSI is gaining momentum, [but] I wouldn't say that it's a done deal," she explains. "That's because a lot of companies are deciding what they will do."

Certainly, a number of users have told Byte and Switch that, while keen on iSCSI, they have yet to deploy it within their own data centers. (See Alliance Systems and World Wildlife Fund.)

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