Nexsan Technologies Inc. entered the iSCSI SAN market today with a new gateway for its disk arrays that offers end-to-end Ethernet-based services.
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The Nexsan iSeries gateway performs storage services including snapshots, replication, real-time mirroring, and data migration over Ethernet rather than Fibre Channel. Previously, Nexsan's SASBoy, SATABoy, SASBoy and SASBeast arrays offered FC and iSCSI connections to the host but storage services only ran over FC.
The iSeries will be packaged by Nexsan channel partners with the SATA and SAS arrays.
"iSCSI has really been validated over the last year or so," Nexsan's senior vice president of marketing, Bob Woolery, said. "It's mature enough that customers across a broad range of applications and industries are saying, 'We need it.' "
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Nexsan could have created a native iSCSI disk array rather than a gateway, but at least one VAR prefers the flexibility of the gateway approach. "You can't duplicate intelligence on every storage device. It gets very expensive," said Uri Zilberman, president of Mahwah, N.J.-based RADirect Inc. "With a multilayered architecture, you get a good performance-to-cost ratio."
Using the gateway approach, users can also cobble together a NAS/SAN multiprotocol array using the gateway Nexsan rolled out last year.
Zilberman said he'd like to see Nexsan add support for 10 Gigabit Ethernet to its iSCSI platform. A few vendors are selling 10 Gigabit Ethernet iSCSI SANs, and 10 Gigabit Ethernet will form the foundation for Data Center Ethernet or Converged Ethernet, which will fuel Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) initiatives also under way in the industry.