Hitachi Data Systems has partnered with McData to offer small-and medium-sized enterprises a lower cost alternative for FC SANs, the Hitachi TrueNorth iSCSI SAN Solution. SMEs cannot afford FC SANs. The HDS iSCSI SAN includes the Hitachi Thunder 9570V modular storage system, the McData Eclipse 1620 SAN internetworking switch, and enablement services.

Scott Genereux, vice president, global marketing and business development, Hitachi Data Systems, said. “Our new iSCSI solution provides an alternative for customers who have been priced out of the SAN market by the high cost of Fibre Channel.”

Market demand for iSCSI is increasing. IDC forecasts that the iSCSI array market will jump from $216 million in 2003 to nearly $5 billion in 2007. IDC says a number of factors are contributing to this, including:

- iSCSI can be implemented anywhere IP networks are available. - Organisations can leverage IP capabilities including SAN management, Quality of Service, load-balancing, routing and security. - SCSI and Ethernet/IP are well established and enable organisations to leverage their existing IT infrastructure and knowledge. - Most OS vendors, including Microsoft, have pledged support for iSCSI and the SNIA's IP Storage Forum expects nearly all operating systems will offer iSCSI support by the end of 2003.

The iSCSI SAN is the first offering available as part of HDSs’ iSCSI strategy. There will be a range of iSCSI solutions for both the SME and enterprise market that will be complementary to the existing Freedom Data Networks SAN and NAS portfolio from HDS. Additional iSCSI offerings will be announced in 2004.

The Hitachi TrueNorth iSCSI SAN Solution is available today directly from HDS and its channel partners. Prices start at about £35,300 depending on configuration.