New iSCSI initiator hits the target
Illustration by Portia Remnant/shutterstock.com
In 2006, IBM launched the IBM i integration with BladeCenter* and System x* solution into the market. The solution let customers integrate their x86 servers with their Power Systems* servers running IBM i using the Internet SCSI (iSCSI) protocol. This integration is important because it provides storage-area network (SAN) functionality without requiring you to manage a SAN.
iSCSI was developed as a storage-networking standard for linking data-storage facilities, where SCSI commands (disk reads and writes) are sent across a network in TCP/IP packets. The solution has two sides: initiator and target. The initiator is the system making the iSCSI requests for storage or data. In the integrated solution, the initiator side is the IBM BladeCenter or System x server. The target is the system receiving the iSCSI requests for storage or data. IBM i running on the Power System is the target in the solution (see Figure 1). A host bus adapter (HBA) is required on each side of the solution. On the initiator side, the hardware adapter is called the initiator HBA. On the target side, the hardware adapter is called the target HBA.
The integrated solution delivers simplification and integration of customers’ x86 servers that run the Microsoft* Windows* 2003, Windows 2008 and VMware ESX. IBM i provides all of the storage for the x86 environment, which enables simplified storage management, enhanced server availability and a single point of recoverability. For more on how i integration with BladeCenter and System x servers can help solve your Windows server woes, see “A Window of Opportunity” (www.ibmsystemsmag.com/ibmi/august08/features/21083p1.aspx).
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