Open Source iSCSI Gains Traction

The recent merger of two key open source iSCSI initiator projects could be the spark that ignites Linux iSCSI.
Linux and iSCSI are two technologies that are gaining ground in the storage space. And thanks to a reborn effort, the two may be poised to gain together.

In April, two of the leading open source iSCSI initiator projects, Open-iSCSI and Linux-iSCSI, merged, potentially heralding a new era for iSCSI on Linux.

In another sign of a maturing market for open source IP storage networks, PyX Technologies was acquired by SBE Inc. earlier this week after securing licensing deals with LSI Logic and ONStor.

A Commercial Beginning

The Linux-iSCSI project, like many open source projects, did not begin its life as an open source project. Cisco Systems developed the original iSCSI initiator stack for iSCSI internally and then open-sourced it.

''Historically, Cisco released the Linux-iSCSI project as open source in mid-2001, with code that had been started internally in April 2000,'' Cisco Technical Marketing Manager Lincoln Dale told Enterprise Storage Forum. ''This has since grown into a project with all major iSCSI vendors contributing.''

The reason for the merger of Open-iSCSI and Linux-iSCSI projects wasn't about the survival of any one project, but rather about getting a Linux iSCSI initiator more rapidly adopted.

''One of the main reasons we approached and decided to combine the projects is that we had hoped we could combine efforts so that the initiator would get into the kernel faster,'' Open-iSCSI developer Dmitry Yusupov said. ''It wasn't about who is better. At the beginning, it was about why the kernel doesn't have an accepted solution yet.''

Yusupov said the merger has been a positive experience overall, and although there were some disagreements, they were resolved quickly.

This article was first published on EnterpriseStorageForum.com. To read the full article, click here.

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