Introduction to iSCSI

iSCSI is one of the hottest topics in Storage because it allows you to create centralized SANs using TCP networks rather than Fibre Channel (FC) networks. Get a handle on the main iSCSI concepts and terminology.

SANs (Storage Area Networks) are popular as a storage system for many reasons. Most commonly they are popular because the storage is centralized allowing easier management, easier maintenance, very good performance, and it has a good price/performance ratio. Typical SANs are constructed using Fibre Channel (FC) networks and FC hard drives, although SATA, SAS, and SSD drives are used in SANs today.

FC storage has very good performance from the storage hardware to the client using FC networks networks at 2Gb/s, 4Gb/s, and now 8 Gb/s speeds. But FC based SANs require an FC card in each client as well as an FC network (switches) in addition to the normal TCP networks that clients have, adding cost and complexity to servers.

FC based SANs are popular because of very good performance and all of the benefits of centralized storage. But at the same…

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