Three vendors help to move iSCSI closer to market

Well done Alacritech, Nishan and Hitachi! Hitherto, I have expressed my impatience with the slowness of the iSCSI vendors in bringing IP storage solutions to the market. However, last week, these three companies announced the ability to achieve wire-speeds out of the application server, through the IP storage-area network and to the storage.

The collaborative effort to perform this is certainly the first steps to making IP SANs a reality. The test configuration included a dual-processor Intel server with Alacritech's Server and Storage Accelerator host bus adapter. The server was connected to Nishan's IP Storage Switch via Gigabit Ethernet. The IP Storage Switch then hooked to the HDS Freedom Storage Fibre Channel Storage System as well as Fibre Channel JBOD (just a bunch of disks).

The application that was used to test the configuration was Iometer, a server performance tool developed by Intel. Iometer generated the traffic that was pushed across the Gigabit Ethernet link. With this test, the configuration was able to provide full-duplex iSCSI throughput of just over 219M bytes/sec. For more information on the details of the test, you can contact either Alacritech or Nishan.

Great stuff... However, as a former performance engineer, I believe every performance report must be stamped with, "Results in your application environment may differ."

So, how do you, as a customer get a hold of this configuration? Well, you don't, just yet. All three companies have products available today, but not the exact test configuration. The Gigabit product by Alacritech will be available early in the second quarter.

So while you are waiting for this technology to become available, work on your IP infrastructure to support Gigabit, or greater, speeds.

Anne Skamarock is an analyst with Enterprise Management Associates (

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