iSCSI Defined Internet SCSI (iSCSI) is a draft standard protocol for encapsulating SCSI command into TCP/IP packets and enabling I/O block data transport over IP networks. iSCSI can be used to build IP-based SANs. The simple, yet powerful technology can help provide a high speed, low-cost, long-distance storage solution for Web sites, service providers, enterprises and other organizations.
An iSCSI HBA, or storage NIC, connects storage resources over Ethernet. As a result, core transport layers can be managed using existing network management applications. High-level management activities of the iSCSI protocol - such as permissions, device information and configuration - can easily be layered over or built into these applications. For this reason, the deployment of interoperable, robust enterprise management solutions for iSCSI devices is expected to occur quickly. First-generation iSCSI HBA performance is expected to be well suited for the workgroup or departmental storage requirements of medium- and large-sized businesses. The expected availability of TCP/IP Offload Engines in 2005 will significantly improve the performance of iSCSI products in future