Tip

Selling iSCSI SAN storage or Fibre Channel arrays to SMBs

David L. Stevens, Contributor

When it comes to selling a storage area network (SAN) to a small and medium-sized business (SMB) the question of iSCSI storage systems vs. Fibre Channel (FC) arrays is sure to come up. Here are some differences to keep in mind when choosing a SAN for an SMB.

Cost

For the most part, an iSCSI storage system SAN is cheaper than a Fibre Channel array SAN. Reasons for this include the components, hard drives and networking technologies used in each type of SAN.

Networking technology

This may be obvious, but its worth mentioning: An iSCSI SAN uses a standard Ethernet network. An FC SAN uses a fiber network.

Bandwidth differences

Today most Fibre Channel array SANs support up to 4 GB of bandwidth, with talk of moving towards 8 GB. All iSCSI SANs support up to 1 GB of bandwidth on an Ethernet network with 10 GB on the horizon.

Performance differences

For applications that demand high performance, your best bet is to choose a Fibre Channel SAN. But most SMBs are not looking for the highest performance, so an iSCSI storage system SAN would be just the ticket.

Hard disk interfaces

iSCSI SANs commonly use SATA and SAS drives, primarily for their low cost and large capacity, whereas FC SANs use SCSI and FC drives for their high performance and reliability.

For additional comparisons, check out our more indepth

    Requires Free Membership to View

iSCSI vs. Fibre Channel tip.

About the author: David L. Stevens is a storage manager for Carnegie Mellon University where he manages multiple iSCSI SANs.
 

This was first published in January 2007

There are Comments. Add yours.

 
TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

Disclaimer: Our Tips Exchange is a forum for you to share technical advice and expertise with your peers and to learn from other enterprise IT professionals. TechTarget provides the infrastructure to facilitate this sharing of information. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or validity of the material submitted. You agree that your use of the Ask The Expert services and your reliance on any questions, answers, information or other materials received through this Web site is at your own risk.