Dexchange demonstrates iSCSI over Internet WAN

JOHANNESBURG (01/16/2004) - Dexchange recently announced the successful deployment of a FibreStream Virtual Storage Gateway (VSG) in what is believed to be the first successful demonstration of iSCSI over an ADSL Internet-based WAN between South Africa (SA) and the U.S.

The Minneapolis-based VSG was remotely configured from Johannesburg to provide both NAS and iSCSI (SCSI over IP) to a local Windows XP client.

Norman Michaelis, technical director of Phoenix Integration Systems LLC, who assisted with the demonstration, says, "Setting up the unit was relatively easy using a standard browser, and basically involved creating two virtual volumes, one as a shared volume, and the other as an iSCSI target. Once the necessary security parameters are set, access is automatic from authorized, iSCSI-enabled clients."

"We thought there may be some problems relating to latency, but everything went smoothly, and performance was limited only by our ADSL bandwidth. The VSG performed flawlessly" says Michaelis.

Although aimed primarily at Ethernet LAN SAN applications, the ability to work via a WAN opens up a host of possibilities relating to the centralization of critical data, offsite data storage, offsite backup, and disaster recovery -- particularly for applications that require direct access to block-type storage, e.g. databases.

The VSG is a combination of software and hardware that plugs into a standard Ethernet network, and uses NAS and iSCSI protocols to serve both file and block-based data simultaneously over Ethernet.

The VSG can be configured with internal Raid storage using SATA disks, and also supports external SCSI and Fibre Channel-attach storage for additional disk capacity. Storage is then organized into volumes that can be formatted either with a Journaling File System for file serving (NAS), or retained in block format for iSCSI serving (SAN).

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