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Virtual Iron Inks iSCSI Deal

Virtual Iron became the latest virtualization vendor to jump on the iSCSI bandwagon today, adding support for EqualLogic's iSCSI hardware to its software platform.

The vendor announced plans to move into the iSCSI space earlier this month, although this is Virtual Iron's first deal with an actual IP SAN vendor. (See Virtual Iron Dangles iSCSI Savings and Virtual Iron Announces 3.5.)

Virtual Iron, which is attacking market leader VMware on price, is again playing the dollar card in its partnership with EqualLogic. "ISCSI certainly addresses the cost issue," says Mike Grandinetti, Virtual Iron's chief marketing officer, adding that Fibre Channel is significantly more expensive than iSCSI.

There is no doubt that iSCSI is growing in popularity as a cheaper alternative to Fibre Channel, and more and more vendors are looking to tap into the technology. (See 10-Gig iSCSI SANs Set for Takeoff, The iSCSI Subtext to 10-GigE, EqualLogic Tops Offs SAS Series, and Overland Offers Appliances.) Analyst firm IDC, for example, estimates that from now through 2010, iSCSI SANs will show a CAGR for worldwide revenue of 74.8 percent, compared to 4.1 percent for Fibre Channel. (See Connecting the iSCSI Dots.)

The big selling point of iSCSI virtualization is that users can link storage into their virtual infrastructure without buying additional kit. Firms looking to connect a Fibre Channel SAN, on the other hand, would have to invest in Fibre Channel HBAs, which can cost around $2,000 a pair.

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