iSCSI Storage has long been regarded as a perfect fit for small and medium scale businesses, than enterprise data centers. This was due to the fact that many storage seekers were in an opinion that iSCSI performance still comes up short compared to FC over the past few years.
But in recent times, things have changed and are favoring iSCSI storage technology to a vast extent. This is due to the fact that, over a couple of years, a number of factors have converged to propel iSCSI storage to a greater presence among enterprises than in the mid market.
According to Framingham based IDC, iSCSI market grew by 23% of the total networked storage market in the third quarter of 2014, while Fibre Channel market share has dropped by 26%.
Factors like market dynamics, advancements in iSCSI gear and related technologies, and the economy have contributed to the increasing adoption of this storage networking protocol.
An IT admin from University of Alaska Fairbanks is willing to speak further on why his organizations chose to transform its database from NFS to iSCSI. Due to some reasons, the name of the admin has been withheld. According to the IT Administrator, iSCSI offers enthralling benefits which are lined up below:
- ISCSI SAN performance and efficiency has gained a lot of audiences in virtual server environments. If iSCSI SANs are implemented with the best practices, then they can surely yield more than a storage experts expectations.
- A Fibre channel SAN needs special switches and expertise, whereas, iSCSI implementation and management is like a breeze.
- Server Virtualization trend has also contributed to iSCSI’s growth. Many of the advantages of virtual servers come from having a networked storage and these servers already have Ethernet connections. Another boost is the rise of multiprotocol, or unified storage systems packed into a single box which offers iSCSI and Network attached storage for block and file storage.
- First time SAN users are turning into patrons of iSCSI, as they do not have to invest in the training and expertise which is otherwise required in FC infrastructure.
- For companies where price becomes more of an issue, iSCSI storage is like a boon, as they can get the best storage infrastructure for a nominal cost. They are many companies which turned up towards more of a commodity solution like iSCSI, due to the high costs involved in FC infrastructure.
- A gradual replacement of Gigabit Ethernet with 10 GbE and probably with a 100 GbE in coming years will surely boost the sales of iSCSI in coming years.
- With today’s available technology, iSCSI storage can be benchmarked with 90% performance capability of Fibre Channel at a fraction of cost.
- As said in earlier paragraphs, iSCSI can not only support converged infrastructures, but can also blend hyper-convergence into its protocol operations. Features such as Thin provisioning, Deduplication, Synchronous replication, Asynchronous replications can also be obtained on an iSCSI Storage.
- Software Defined Storage which is an on-demand trend among storage seekers can be availed on iSCSI storage.
- iSCSI SAN finally proves worthy alternative to FC SAN for the mainstream IO. This is due to the fact that iSCSI SAN usage fuels cost advantage, eases the management concerns and its performance is utmost when it comes to virtual servers.
Due to these reasons, iSCSI SANs are getting some respect in enterprise data centers, along with their SMB counterparts. Analysts expect that the upward trajectory will continue for iSCSI in coming days.