IP Storage and iSCSI in Asia Pacific Region

 
 

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IP Storage and iSCSI in Asia Pacific Region

Cost savings is a common thread around the technologies that may be used with next-generation storage. The perceived high implementation costs and the support and management challenges associated with Fibre Channel Host Bus Adapters and SANs, are of concern to many users. As a result, leveraging familiar connectivity technology is very attractive to these users and one that is appearing as a key element of their future storage strategy.

Storage over IP is an intriguing concept, one with many proponents and many views as to likely costs and how it should best be implemented. In a survey conducted early in 2003 by IDC in Australia and New Zealand, 7.4 per cent of Australian and 6.8 per cent of New Zealand organizations indicated they had already deployed storage over IP for some storage needs in 2002. This was expected to increase to almost 14 per cent of organizations by the end of 2003 and 23 per cent by the end of 2004.

iSCSI has been on the horizon for almost four years. It has the potential to be a disruptive technology by bringing server block I/O into common IP networking. The primary benefits of an iSCSI SAN - the consolidation of storage and storage management - can be realized with even the lowest performing and inexpensive implementations.

iSCSI's introduction, however, has been delayed while performance concerns have been addressed, standards finalized and the products developed to meet these new standards. These products are expected to be available during the next few months.

Recent research has shown that the most important barrier to the adoption of IP storage is the perception that the performance is poor. iSCSI performance, however, is not inherently slow. Poor choices can lead to disappointing results. For a suitable price, performance can be purchased; it is one of the many options available with iSCSI SANs.

The imminent availability of high performance iSCSI adapters and IP storage switches has the potential to dramatically change the SAN landscape. The way you build your iSCSI SAN, the options you choose and the decisions you make, will affect the cost, performance and reliability of your data access. This is why it is important to be aware of the options available to you and how these choices determine total cost of ownership, application performance and the return on investment.

IDC expects that iSCSI adoption will commence in most countries in the Asia Pacific region during 2003 with progressive deployment expected in 2004. In many cases, an iSCSI implementation will be complementary to existing fibre channel SANs. Overall, IDC believes the two most likely places where iSCSI will be adopted are:

  • In smaller organizations that haven't networked their storage, yet are familiar with TCP/IP.
  • Large organizations that will use iSCSI to link FC SANs.