iSCSI: The Universal Storage Connection is an informative overview and in-depth guide to the emerging iSCSI standard, the technology that enables data storage, access, and management over networks, intranets, and the Internet. The iSCSI protocol reduces the total cost of ownership of shared storage solutions and enables an organization to tie together disparate systems and data, including both server class systems and laptop and desktop systems. Numerous leading technology companies, including IBM (R), Cisco Systems (R), and Intel (R), are currently supporting iSCSI initiatives. Written for network and data storage professionals, this comprehensive book introduces iSCSI and explores its growing role within the data storage industry. It describes each element of the technology in detail-from session establishment through error handling-and examines the relationship between iSCSI and the SCSI protocol from which it evolved. Specific topics discussed include: iSCSI's use in small office, midrange, and high-end settings TCP/IP fundamentals, and how they apply to iSCSI The importance of data integrity New hardware that addresses bandwidth and latency issues iSCSI naming conventions The establishment of a communication path between the host system and storage controller Commands and data sequencing Control of the flow of commands Task management Error handling Companion technologies, including discovery and security processes Backup and disaster preparation iSCSI performance issues In addition, the book includes an explanation of the technologies that hardware vendors are implementing to permit direct memory placement of iSCSI messages without additional main processor involvement. A helpful icon appears throughout the book, mapping out appropriate reading tracks based on your technical level. Comprehensive, clearly written, and organized for easy access, this iSCSI handbook serves as both an excellent starting point for those involved in data storage solutions and a guide to understanding the technically detailed Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) iSCSI Standards document.