(Internet Protocol storage) Using the IP protocol to connect storage area networks (SANs) in remote locations. For Fibre Channel (FC) SANs, protocols are used to tunnel FC frames within IP packets (FCIP) or convert frames to packets (iFCP) to ride over IP. For non-Fibre Channel SANs, the iSCSI protocol converts SCSI data to IP packets.|
Fibre Channel Vs. iSCSI
Traditional SANs were developed using the Fibre Channel transport, because it provided gigabit speeds compared to Ethernet at 10 and 100 Mbps. When Gigabit Ethernet arrived, it became possible to interconnect FC switches over IP/Ethernet networks. For organizations without Fibre Channel, the iSCSI IP SAN provided a lower-cost alternative to Fibre Channel. In the large enterprise, both Fibre Channel SANs and iSCSI SANs (IP SANs) are used. See SAN.
This Nishan Systems model 3000 SoIP (Storage Over IP) switch converts between Fibre Channel and IP. Interoperating with other Nishan Systems products, users can build SANs with SCSI, Fibre Channel, iSCSI, iFCP and mFCP devices, and SANs can be extended across the metropolitan area network (MAN) and wide area network (WAN) without distance limitations. (Image courtesy of Nishan Systems.)