Nimbus Targets iSCSI

Nimbus Data Systems today unveiled MySAN, which the company claims is the first free iSCSI target software for Microsoft Windows.

The company claims that with MySAN anyone can create an IP SAN in seconds using their existing server and storage hardware.

Nimbus said MySAN works by turning any Windows partition, such as a hard drive, internal RAID array, external storage system or even Fibre Channel storage — into an iSCSI target. This storage can then be assigned to any computer on an Ethernet network using iSCSI, giving users a vendor-neutral IP SAN.

“MySAN is groundbreaking software that will shake up the storage industry.”

—Brad O’Neill
Senior analyst
The Taneja Group.

“MySAN is groundbreaking software that will shake up the storage industry,” said Brad O’Neill, senior analyst at the Taneja Group. “Much like the release of Microsoft’s free iSCSI initiator catapulted iSCSI into the limelight, MySAN completes the picture with a free iSCSI target. Now anyone can deploy an end-to-end IP SAN using Windows in seconds and at no cost.”

Microsoft makes its iSCSI target available through Windows Storage Server OEMs.

MySAN is configured through an interface that lets users select the Windows partitions they would like to make available as iSCSI targets and then assign those partitions to hosts with a few mouse clicks. Built-in security ensures that hosts can only access their designated storage.

Nimbus is giving away two months of free support with MySAN, which it says can be used to make direct-attached storage (DAS) available as iSCSI targets on an IP network, and can also be used to convert Fibre Channel LUNs into iSCSI targets, providing SAN storage access where the cost of Fibre Channel is too great.

“For those who are looking for true entry-level, low-cost, iSCSI-based storage, this is a great move and builds on what Microsoft announced recently,” said Greg Schulz, founder and senior analyst at StorageIO.

“Nimbus and others offering Microsoft-based iSCSI solutions can seed the market,” said Schulz. “Those seeds could take root as future customers that will grow and evolve to need higher-end, more robust iSCSI-based solutions.

“The net result is that this could make it more affordable for people to try IP-based storage levering Microsoft-proven technology, then, once hooked, upgrade to more robust standard iSCSI-based IP storage solutions, resulting in a broader iSCSI market.”

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