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Training and Deployment Savings with iSCSI as Well
It seems that enterprises can save money with iSCSI (which is a good thing), but will it decrease the amount of time presently being spent on training and deployment? Greene believes that leveraging existing networking expertise and centralizing storage via iSCSI SANs will certainly reduce training and deployment expenses -- particularly those expenses related to traditional direct-attached storage management. "One of the long-term benefits of iSCSI is the potential savings of time and money that will be gained in being able to administer the network through existing LAN management tools," says Gulhati. Schott adds that iSCSI will reduce the amount of time now being spent on training and deployment because it not only uses standard networking technologies, but also has the broad support of iSCSI operating system vendors, switch vendors, and storage providers.
So back to the original question, is iSCSI still just a pipe dream, or has it finally arrived to the status of a mainstream technology? Gulhati seems to think that with its ease of interoperability, management, and administration, iSCSI certainly has the underpinnings of becoming a well-deployed mainstream technology. Schott believes that iSCSI has transitioned itself from a "promising vision" to a reliable technology with broad industry support. "This has occurred because of the completion of the standard, broad industry support of the standard, and a compelling value to customers who want to lower storage complexity and costs."
Most agree that iSCSI had to go through the normal evolution necessary to become an accepted standard. Greene says that before the specification was ratified, it was a platform for forward thinkers to access and incorporate into their medium range plans. However, once the standard was in place, he says, he began to see many of those early adopters moving forward aggressively, while the next round of technologists began to design iSCSI into their future architecture. "Their rate of adoption, based on customer feedback, which we expect to be very rapid, will determine when iSCSI becomes a mainstream component of IT infrastructure," he concludes.