Combining Virtualization with iSCSI Storage

As businesses expand virtualization strategies in partnership with managed services providers, many of them are beginning to see how an iSCSI storage system can help them maintain a more robust host cluster.

What is iSCSI?

iSCSI stands for Internet Small Computer System Interface and consists of a storage solution designed to run on Internet Protocol networks.  Since these kinds of networks are so common, iSCSI is useful for the transmission of data through WANs (wide area networks) and LANs (local area networks) as well as over the internet itself.  In the last capacity, iSCSI systems allow for data transfers over great distances. 

iSCSI Used with Server Virtualization

One of the most important facets of a virtualized workspace is the need to keep host servers from experiencing downtime.  Each server failure can lead to a major disruption of company activities since it may support a dozen virtual machines or more, all of which will fail with the server. 

In order to prevent such catastrophic outages, many businesses use clusters that will enable an alternate host server to take over should a primary one fail.  This requires a pooled storage solution so that both primary and alternate servers can communicate with required data resources.  The iSCSI protocol is ideal in this situation.  Typical iSCSI systems use TCP/IP connections, routing data through a high-speed connection that is dedicated to this one task only so that applications requiring intensive I/O can function well.


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