“The iSCSI adapters are priced anywhere between $1,000 and $2,000 and they are mostly 1GE today.”
Two things here, on cost – about the same price as a FC HBA then, but the switch port cost is much, much, much less in capital, maintenance and operation.(1)
On the 1GE point, the vast majority of servers can’t generate even 1GE of HBA traffic. The market driver for 10GE is not expected to take hold until 2009 at the earliest. That means 18 months to make a 10GE iSCSI adapter…. mmmm, I would be confident of that.
The issue is not TCP, but the fact that iSCSI is a different beast than FC and the storage community does not necessarily like it (if they did, do you think they are all so “blind” not to see the oportunity with iSCSI; they must be smarter than that!)
I don’t subscribe to this view. It possible to take a view that many companies are guided, if not led, by the vendor. Customers talk about partnering with the vendor to be successful. This leads to a mindset of ‘if the vendor says so, it must be true’.
I am minded of the story of James Dyson who invented the dual cyclone vacuum cleaner. Everyone told him that if a bagless vacuum cleaner was possible Hoover, the dominant manufacturer, would have invented it.
I believe that FibreChannel is led by vendors, and the vast majority of customers do not need even the FibreChannel that is in use today.
We need to keep in mind that storage folks have a job to do and have been doing it just fine so far. iSCSI is better, no argument there, but it’s different and not necessarily simple to understand and use for someone, who is already familiar with FC. Also, it’s one more thing to deal with and people are not just going to rip and replace FC because iSCSI is better. FCoE gives them a migration path and over time might make even iSCSI easier to adopt.
Summary “because thats the way it always been done”. What a load of tosh. If we always took that attitude, I would still be using Prime minicomputers with ArcNet or FDDI networking.
As a Network Architect, I am looking for opportunities to find competitive advantage. A key inflection point in product lifecycles need to gripped and exploited for move the network ahead.
Almost every Fortune 1,000 company has a large installed base of FC storage arrays and SANs.
Good for them. 99% of people eat junk food, even knowing that it is bad for their health. I bet you could also say, “Almost every Fortune 1,000 company has a large installed base of iSCSI Storage Arrays and SAN” and that would be true as well.
I hate this argument. As if big companies inherently has some special magic that proves that a technology / solution / software is a really good thing. They are no more likely than anyone else to:
- use a technology to its full potential
- use the clever features
- save money or develop operational advantage
My experience of large companies is that they will achieve a minimum level of function and develop none or only some of the advanced features. Complexity in large companies usually means outages and thus is not implemented.
Once again, this is about building a Unified Fabric over Ethernet and allow for the smoohest, realistic transition possible. iSCSI and FCoE should not be positioned as alternatives as they address and solve different problems.
I am all for unified fabrics, however, I completely disagree that iSCSI and FCoE solve different problems. Both iSCSI and FCoE provided network access to storage servers. Period. Differences in features or capabilities will be overcome and diverting money and resources into FCoE just means that iSCSI will take longer.
I hope other Network Architects will agree.
(1) when comparing FibreChannel switches versus Ethernet switches.