Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

EMC Corp. is embracing full Internet SCSI support across its storage system portfolio to help small and midsize businesses deploy lower-cost SANs using their existing IP network infrastructure.

However, EMC, with its late entrance to satisfy escalating SMB demand for iSCSI offerings, faces an uphill battle in wooing midtier storage customers that were forced to invest in alternative iSCSI options long ago.

The Hopkinton, Mass., company will unveil this week new EMC Clariion networked storage systems equipped with native iSCSI support, including the new Clariion AX100i, Clariion CX300i and Clariion CX500i models.

EMC already supports the iSCSI protocol on its Symmetrix DMX systems, Connectrix storage area network switches, NetWin systems and Celerra NAS (network-attached storage) products. The Clariion AX100i and CX500i are now available. The CX300i will be available next quarter, said Jay Krone, director of Clariion Platforms for EMC.

Factors contributing to iSCSI growth include customers extending Microsoft Corp.’s Windows-based direct-attached storage architectures toward larger networked storage and bridging the IP connectivity gap to remote offices.

According to a recent report released by IDC, of Framingham, Mass., iSCSI Target Array Spending for small companies featuring 40 to 99 employees will grow from $1 million last year to $7 million this year and up to $56 million by 2007. Spending for midsize companies of 100 to 999 employees will grow from $10 million last year to $16 million this year and up to $246 million by 2007.

Faced with sudden doubling of storage capacity due to new clinical applications for centralized scheduling and a patient-record repository, Mark Rivard, network systems specialist for Johnson Memorial Hospital, in Stafford Springs, Conn., chose EqualLogic Inc.’s PS100E iSCSI product for its ability to manage storage in-house.

Rivard said the future costs of Fibre Channel would run roughly $3,000 to add a server, as opposed to $300 per server to attach to an iSCSI disk-based storage system. “If EMC had the same thing that EqualLogic had at the same time, we would have had to think about it,” he said. “But they weren’t even in the game.”

Rapid data growth, spawned by new reservation needs, led Chris Hughes, director of IT for Independence Air Inc., based in Dulles, Va., to use Network Appliance Inc.’s FAS960 on iSCSI to consolidate six file servers, Microsoft Exchange, and Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle Corp. databases. Hughes said NetApp won over EMC because of its ease of use and Windows interface; also, he didn’t need to buy a costly host bus adapter and Fibre Channel ports to overcome non-iSCSI support.

Check out’s for the latest news, reviews and analysis on enterprise and small business storage hardware and software.