Microsoft Loops In 15 Vendors To iSCSI Initiator

Companies that qualified include Adaptec Inc., ADIC, ATTO Technology, Cisco, Crossroads, FalconStor, EqualLogic, Intel, Intransa, LeftHand Networks, McData, Network Appliance, QLogic, SpectraLogic and

The number of vendors involved helps the fledgling iSCSI market, but the inclusion of network powerhouses like Cisco is particularly helpful, according to James Opfer, a research vice president in Gartner's storage group. "This all makes it easier for people to connect additional servers using iSCSi to various targets, as well as using iSCSI to get to gateways for Fibre Channel," Opfer said.

The announcement is likely to heighten the prominence of the iSCSI storage option, a fledgling market at best right now. But with Fibre Channel ports and host bus adapters that are twice the cost of iSCSI gear, more enterprise storage buyers are weighing the tradeoffs between Fibre Channel's superior performance to iSCSI's cost-effectiveness. And in the medium to small business, cheap is more likely to trump speed.

Gartner forecasts that by 2007 iSCSI will connect more than 1.6 million servers to SANs, surpassing Fibre Channel.

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Zane Adam, director of product management and marketing for Microsoft's enterprise storage division, said qualification of the iSCSI hardware targets and host bus adapters ensures interoperability and quality assurance. When activated on a server, Microsoft's iSCSI Initiator enables block-based storage over longer distances using existing infrastructure.

This story courtesy of TechWeb .