iSCSI or Fiber Channel for your virtual environment?

Back in the mid-2000’s, iSCSI came on the scene and has proven to be a disruptive technology as it continues to displace Fiber Channel implementations.  Fiber Channel is more expensive and more complex than iSCSI and many organizations have discovered that iSCSI meets their needs without any issues at all.

So, which should you choose for your virtual environment?  Frankly, it doesn’t really matter for most organizations.  Only if you’re really pushing your storage communications fabric to the very limits does the transport choice really become a major concern.  At 10 Gb Ethernet prices come down, reasons to use iSCSI go up.  Further, VMware with vSphere 5.x has simplified the use of iSCSI storage in the hypervisor, making it an even more viable option.

For smaller environments, iSCSI is generally preferred due to ease of deployment and the ubiquity of gigabit Ethernet NICs on servers.  Large organizations that need more than 10 Gb of storage throughput should deploy Fiber Channel.

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