Companies Validate Wire-Speed Gigabit iSCSI Performance

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Alacritech, a provider of TCP/IP acceleration solutions, Nishan Systems, a supplier of native IP storage solutions, and Hitachi Data Systems announced that they have achieved wire-speed iSCSI (Internet SCSI) throughput on a single Gigabit Ethernet connection.

In the demonstration, an Alacritech Gigabit Ethernet Server and Storage Accelerator was connected to a Nishan IP Storage switch via a single Gigabit Ethernet link. The Nishan IP Storage switch was connected, in turn, to a Hitachi Freedom Storage system. According to the companies, Alacritech’s Server and Storage Accelerator maximized the sustained rate of iSCSI data at over 219 megabytes per second with less than eight percent CPU utilization, while the Nishan IP Storage switch provided wire-speed conversion from iSCSI to the Fibre Channel storage system.

“iSCSI promises to let users operate SAN, NAS, LAN, and wide-area networks as a single, integrated network. This option will help IT managers chose storage, server, and networking technologies that are more easily managed, scalable, and cost effective,” said Nick Allen, vice president and research director, Gartner, Inc. “TCP/IP offload engines should go a long way toward leveling the differences in resource consumption among storage networking technologies.”

Alacritech said its Server and Storage Accelerator uses patented, standards-compliant SLIC (session-layer interface card) Technology to address network processing bottlenecks. Its integrated storage network interface cards (IS-NICs) are designed to timize the performance of NAS appliances, iSCSI storage devices, and servers with TCP/IP offload functionality.

According to Hitachi, Hitachi Freedom Storage with its switch-based architecture is designed to meet the performance demands of high-speed storage networks. This architecture is fundamental to the company’s SAN solutions.

Nishan said its IP Storage switches support Fibre Channel switching, Gigabit Ethernet switching, and wire-speed conversion between Fibre Channel and Gigabit Ethernet. Each interface can be configured to support iSCSI end systems, Fibre Channel end systems, or Fibre Channel SANs. The multiprotocol switches also support, via iSCSI or iFCP, remote storage links of any distance across high-speed IP networks. The company said they can be used to connect existing Fibre Channel SANs through a standard E_Port interface or to build an IP SAN fabric that integrates Fibre Channel and iSCSI devices with data center, metro-area, or wide-area IP networks.

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