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Zetera Rewrites iSCSI

With iSCSI just entering its first full year as a strong alternative to Fibre Channel in SANs, a startup is already sniping at iSCSIs heels with another IP storage technology.

founder and CEO Chuck Cortright says his Irvine, Calif.-based startup has patents pending for its own transport on top of IP that enables RAID without a specialized controller (see Zetera Unveils New Storage Solutions).
Zetera uses UDP (User Datagram Protocol) rather than the TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) used by iSCSI. The idea is to bump up performance without the need for TCP offload engine (TOE) cards.

Zetera says the method is cheaper and easier to use than iSCSI, which is cheaper and easier to use than Fibre Channel.

As iSCSI just begins to take off, is there room for a proprietary IP protocol developed by a tiny newcomer? Cortright and his fellow Zetera founders -- former Western Digital Corp. (NYSE: WDC) engineers Bill Frank and Tom Ludwig -- hope to line up enough partners to make their technology a de facto industry standard.

That would be quite an accomplishment for a 16-person startup with less than $5 million in funding. But the two-year-old company came out of stealth last week by announcing two partners, StorCase Technology Inc.
and Netgear Inc. (Nasdaq: NTGR), and Cortright says there are more signed up (see StorCase Uses Zetera Tech).

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