PyX Stakes Claim to FC-like Error Recovery for iSCSI

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PyX Technologies unveiled an iSCSI platform today that the company claims is the first to deliver error recovery capabilities previously available only
in Fibre Channel architectures.

PyX, a self-funded start-up that came out of stealth mode today at LinuxWorld, says it is the first company to deliver iSCSI server and client software to OEMs and VARs that meets – and exceeds – iSCSI Error Recovery Level Two with full Sync and Steering.

“This leap in technology offers enterprise-level error recovery previously only available in expensive Fibre Channel architectures,” the company says.

“Our ERL2 products allow one to recover failed segments of a transaction, while the full synchronization level that is included allows one to jump ahead in the stream to the next marker to continue the transaction,” says Dennis Burke, PyX’s VP of Sales and Marketing. “iSCSI competes directly with expensive Fibre Channel storage architects at less than 10% of its cost.

“However, without error recovery, iSCSI cannot match Fibre Channel’s reliability. All that changes when OEMs (hard disk drive, RAID, and HBA providers) and server builders utilize our Error Recovery Level Two client and server software.”

The company’s claim that iSCSI competes directly with Fibre Channel differs from the current consensus, which is that, for now, the two technologies are complementary.

“iSCSI absolutely does not compete directly with FC-based storage,” says Mike Karp, senior analyst at Enterprise Management Associates. “It plays in a different market, and is almost entirely complementary to Fibre.”

That, Karp says, is not directed at what PyX is doing, but rather at “how they are planning on taking it to market.”

PyX iSCSI Target and Initiator is sold as a standalone package that can be plugged in to any server running Linux, bundled as part of an operating system, or sold as an OEM product tailored to disk drive/controller manufacturers’ specifications.

“PyX has met all IETF standards milestones on a target/server and on an initiator/client,” claims Andre Hedrick, president and CTO of PyX. “We already have combined the technology of iSCSI and Serial ATA (SATA), so we are cutting-edge as well as backwards-compatible with existing infrastructures. Any vendor or reseller stuck at Error Recovery Level Zero can jumpstart their offerings with our PyX iSCSI Error Recovery Level Two software. An enterprise-class iSCSI solution is just not complete unless it includes error recovery.”

The company says it designed its iSCSI software to be a transparent interface for drop-in, inside-the-box storage. By utilizing PyX iSCSI technology, enterprises can use legacy network infrastructures while gaining speed, productivity, and security, the firm says. PyX iSCSI addresses a range of environments — from a single server to a WAN to the Internet — and allows SANs to be built using a common Ethernet infrastructure, enabling mainstream implementation.

PyX iSCSI can also be utilized in a wireless 802.11x environment to allow network transfer, storage, and access to data to or from any location within a cellular network, according to the company.

The firm has contracted with three OEMs – ASA Computers, Database Appliances, and Pogo Linux – for bundling its iSCSI software with their products, is in tests with several other OEMs, and is beginning to sign resellers, Burke says.

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Paul Shread
Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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