While the storage industrys iSCSI and Fibre Channel over IP protocols finally reached standardization earlier last month, additional drafts may be needed to clarify wide-area networking connectivity, leaders of the Internet Engineering Task Forces IP Storage Working Group said.
The possible upcoming work has no effect on commercial products debuting now that use iSCSI and its sister specifications, but if passed, it could help with future management software.
"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," wrote David Black, senior technologist at Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC Corp. and co-chairman of the working group, in an e-mail to the groups public mailing list summarizing the drafts late last week.
"There are some people that got together that were working on gateways and bridges that wanted to see if they could come up with some standard ways to map between Fibre Channel devices and iSCSI," said Mark Bakke, technical lead in Cisco Systems Inc.s Storage Router Business Unit and author of six of the working groups 24 total drafts.
"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," Bakke said, in San Jose, Calif. "Theres nothing out there that really requires the draft right now. It may make it easier to do management tools in the future."
Also being considered, according to Blacks e-mail, are new drafts defining management information bases, or MIBs, for extended Fibre Channel management and for Internet Storage Name Service extensions to FCIP.
Replacing traditional storage networking with the Internet Protocol is expected to result in easier administration and configuration for users, but is also the subject of potential performance and security concerns.
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