Focus on: iSCSI

Posted on January 01, 2006


Here’s a brief sampling of some of the more-recent iSCSI-related product announcements, ranging from full-blown IP SANs to silicon controllers:

StoneFly Networks’ OptiSAN is based on the company’s Storage Concentrator systems and advanced RAID technology to boost performance of IP SANs based on the iSCSI protocol. The bundle includes synchronous mirroring and snapshot capabilities for disaster-recovery applications. Users can upgrade to a StoneFly Backup Advantage SAN with backup-and-recovery software and/or to the company’s Replicator CDP for asynchronous mirroring with application-aware continuous data protection (CDP) functionality.

An OptiSAN configuration with 3.5TB of capacity (14 250GB SATA drives) is priced at $17,995. A high-end configuration with 7TB of capacity (14 500GB SATA drives) is priced at $23,995.

Rasilient has qualified Hitachi’s Deskstar 500GB SATA II disk drives for use in Rasilient’s RASTOR 4000 storage system, which combines iSCSI and/or Fibre Channel front-end connectivity with SATA II drives. The result is 7.5TB (using 15 dual-ported drives) in a 3U form factor. SATA II features supported in the disk subsystem include 3Gbps throughput, staggered spin-up of drives, and native command queuing (NCQ).

iStor Networks recently announced general availability of its GigaStorATX multi-port Gigabit Ethernet iSCSI-SATA controller. The company claims that the system-on-a-chip (SoC) delivers up to 860MBps of bandwidth and support for up to 8TB of storage capacity. The Giga-StorATX is available in several versions, including four or eight Gigabit Ethernet ports and support for 8 or 16 SATA drives.

SBE is targeting telecommunications OEMs with its iSCSI-based HighWire SAS iBlade for embedded applications. The blade includes front-end support for iSCSI, support for Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) or Serial ATA (SATA) disk drives, the PyX iSCSI software stack, and SAS HBAs in a PCI Mezzanine Card (PMC) format from Astek (based on LSI Logic chip sets). The blade can plug into any CompactPCI system. The iSCSI software includes full error recovery (ERL2), automatic load balancing, and multi-path capabilities. Other features include a PowerPC processor, up to 1GB of SDRAM, and support for GbE.

DataCore Software this month introduced a series of iSCSI software packages based on the company’s SANmelody 2.0 software. The basic package supports multi-terabyte virtual storage pools, disk performance acceleration, Windows disk migration for SQL and Exchange users, and “point-and-click” disk capacity. Pricing starts at <$1,000. Optional packages include features such as thin provisioning, support for Fibre Channel, and snapshot and Volume Shadow Copy Services support.

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