Storage companies synch up with Windows

In a boost for the emerging iSCSI networking standard, more than a dozen storage hardware companies have proven that their iSCSI-based products work with Microsoft's Windows. Microsoft on Wednesday plans to announce the news and to name the hardware vendors, which include Intel, Cisco Systems and Network Appliance. iSCSI (pronounced eye-scuzzy) is an Internet Protocol-based standard for transmitting data. Approved earlier this year, the interface makes it easier for computers to share and manage stored data over common Ethernet networks. It is an alternative to linking computers and storage through more specialized networks that use the Fibre Channel interface.

Jamie Gruener, an analyst with market research firm The Yankee Group, said iSCSI adoption has been slower than expected. One reason is that major storage system vendors such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM and EMC have not aggressively embraced the technology, Gruener suggested. None of those storage heavyweights was among the hardware companies announced by Microsoft.

Promoting iSCSI could edge in on the profits that storage systems companies get from selling networked storage gear using the Fibre Channel interface, Gruener said. In addition, the technology remains fairly novel, he said. "iSCSI's still in the proving grounds," he said.

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News source: news.com

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