iSCSI is a new storage protocol that offers lowered costs along with a simple interface. This type of storage does not require switches, a hardware technology that is a common feature of storage solutions that use FC (fiber) technology. Instead, iSCSI storage requires the use of an iSCSI initiator, which is often provided for free. This initiator serves to connect the server via Ethernet technology to an iSCSI array. Such connections are inexpensive and easy to both install and maintain.
Connectivity Advances Provide the Savings
The savings realized with an iSCSI storage solution rest largely in its new approach to connectivity. Simple Ethernet switches are all that is required; these are available at a discount from many large office supply stores, though many experts advise that enterprises obtain the highest possible quality of switches as these will lead to a more robust network in a variety of ways.
Since advanced switching ports and host connection hardware are no longer needed, enterprises can see their hardware ‘footprint’ decrease. This produces savings in more than a single category. Less expensive hardware no doubt means a reduction in costs: Ethernet switches as are used in iSCSI applications average $500 per port compared to $1000 for FC switches.
Ethernet switches also mean fewer costs in terms of maintenance and service since they have been used for so long that the technology has reached a high level of dependability. Reduced repair costs will produce an ongoing savings that will help to improve the bottom line for years to come.
IT consulting firms can offer enterprises expert advice about making the switch to iSCSI storage.