When is iSCSI the best choice for customers?

iSCSI can be the right protocol for customers who fall into one of two classes. Small to medium sized businesses and customers without a preexisting Fibre Channel infrastructure can take advantage of iSCSI's inexpensive implementation and ease of use.

I would say there are two classes of customers who are going to be interested in iSCSI. The first is small to medium-sized businesses or new businesses that have no existing Fibre Channel infrastructure. People who are ready to break away from direct-attached storage need clustered storage for clusters or high-performance computing. In those cases, they may not be in the mind set to deploy a full Fibre Channel infrastructure.

Another area where people would be considering iSCSI -- even if they already have a Fibre Channel deployment -- would be smaller, cheaper development environments or people who need more speed in terms of deployment. A lot of my customers who use iSCSI report it is easier and faster to connect a server to storage from scratch than with Fibre Channel. Not having to pull cables, set up zoning that could be sensitive to other enterprise applications goes a long way. "Click, click, click and it is done" are the terms I hear.

Listen to the iSCSI vs Fibre Channel podcast here.

This was first published in November 2007

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