While the storage industry's
iSCSI and Fiber Channel over IP (FCIP) protocols finally
reached standardization, additional drafts may be needed
to clarify WAN connectivity.
This was told by leaders of
the Internet Engineering Task Force's (IETF's) IP Storage
Working Group. The possible upcoming work has no effect
on the iSCSI commercial products debuting now, and its
sister specifications. But if the draft is passed, it
could help with future management software.
David Black, Senior Technologist
at EMC, and co-chairman of the working group felt that
additional drafts may be forthcoming on issues involved
in gateways and bridges between iSCSI and other SCSI
protocols. There has been work in this area, but the
draft has not been submitted.
Also being considered, according
to Black's e-mail, are new drafts defining Management
Information Bases (MIBs). These will be used for extended
Fiber Channel management and for Internet Storage Name
Service extensions to FCIP.
Mark Bakke, of Cisco's Storage
Router Business Unit said, "Some people got together
to work on gateways and bridges and wanted to see if
they could come up with some standard ways to map between
Fiber Channel devices and iSCSI. Bridges have their
own ways of mapping, and those are intellectual property.
The nature of a bridge or gateway, and how it maps things,
is really driven more by what customers do with them.
Trying to standardize those things too early probably
would not be really helpful."
Replacing traditional storage
networking with the Internet Protocol (IP) is expected
to result in easier administration and configuration
for users, but is also the subject of potential performance
and security concerns.