Adaptec has made a patent claim that could affect the iSCSI specification, although at least one key observer thinks the claim probably won't have much effect on IP storage adoption.
Adaptec posted a statement last month to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) IP Storage working group that said the company "has made a patent application that may relate to the work underway in the IPS working group, specifically to the work derived from draft-ietf-ips-iscsi-20.txt [the iSCSI specification]. This patent application describes a method and process for calculating a CRC [Cyclic Redundancy Check] on data received out of order without having to store and assemble the data."
Adaptec pledged that "any party will be able to obtain the right to implement, use and distribute the technology or works when implementing, using or distributing technology based upon the specific specification under openly specified, reasonable, non-discriminatory terms."
iSCSI, the IP-based storage networking standard, was adopted in February.
EMC Senior Technologist David Black, who co-chairs the IETF working group, said of the Adaptec claim, "It's hard to be certain because I have not seen the patent application, so this is based solely on the short description in the announcement. On that basis, I believe it only applies to some heavily optimized hardware implementations...There are numerous implementations to which it would not apply."
Black noted that previous iSCSI patent claims by Lucent Technologies and Phoenix Technologies covering Secure Remote Password technology have had no effect "because iSCSI does not require implementation of authentication technology that might be covered by those claims."
Adaptec began shipping iSCSI adapters earlier this month.
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