If you haven’t heard the term “eat your own dog food,” this is the philosophy that what you tell others to do, you are willing to do yourself.
As we’ve been selling more and more SANs to complement our Cisco UCS solutions, there has been one overwhelming revelation that I didn’t expect: iSCSI is going to win over Fibre Channel (FC).
For a long time, if you wanted a SAN, and you wanted high performance, then you invested heavily in FC. It guaranteed performance from the server to the SAN by having dedicated FC cards in the server attached to dedicated FC switches. The SAN had its own little network to guarantee this performance. FC started out at 1Gbps, then 2, 4, 8, and now I’m hearing 16Gbps. This sounds great, except when you look at the stats: 95% of SAN users need less than 2Gbps in performance. Most of us just don’t have large data centers that demand this upper level of performance.
iSCSI, on the other hand, is Ethernet based. It takes SCSI data and puts it into a TCP/IP packet and then wraps it in an Ethernet frame to transmit it down the wire. In the past, it was hard to guarantee performance unless we used separate Ethernet switches just for the SAN. As Ethernet networks have improved in performance, this issue no longer exists. Today, with 10Gb Ethernet lossless Ethernet networks, we can demonstrate that the iSCSI network has guaranteed performance. And, with 10G, the speed and bandwidth available far exceeds what we typically need. Now we can implement iSCSI storage networks for a fraction of the cost of a Fibre Channel storage network and yield the same, if not better, results.
If you have Fibre Channel today, it may make sense to keep it for now. But the next time you replace your SAN, it’s definitely worth considering iSCSI. If you are new to buying a SAN, I would only consider iSCSI, especially if you are implementing a 10Gb network.
A couple weeks ago I spent some time in Las Vegas at the annual Cisco Partner Summit. This is a good time to hear about Cisco’s vision and strategy. It constantly evolves, and given our heavy reliance on Cisco as a vendor, it’s important that our strategy is aligned with theirs. Cisco has a vision to be the #1 IT company in the world. They are well on their way to accomplishing that. They are either #1 or #2 in every market they participate in, with significant leads in many areas.
It’s hard to believe they own 50% of the voice/collaboration market after entering it just 15 years ago, and are #2 with blade servers after just 5 years. They love to disrupt industries. As Cisco continues down this path of being the #1 IT company, we have the opportunity to join them on several fronts to grow our business – both deeper and wider.
Deeper, in that we will continue to offer a wider breadth of technology than in years past. Wider, as we are able to serve more clients and widen our opportunity base. We have had a very deep expertise in voice/video/collaboration these past 12 years, and we have acquired the skills to have this same level of expertise in virtualization.
Our strategy is to be a company that has two primary offerings: collaboration (voice, video, content) and virtualization (servers, hypervisors, storage). These two pillars are built on a network foundation that includes switching, routing, wireless, security, and structured cabling. This has been our go-to market strategy this past year and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.
As always, feel free to contact us today to learn more about how Telcion can utilize our go-to strategy to your benefit.