Exchange Server 2007 will propel iSCSI market

Analysts expect a 75.8% increase in iSCSI revenue between 2005 and 2010, thanks in part to Exchange Server.

The adoption of Microsoft's Exchange Server 2007 is expected to drive market growth for the Internet Small Computer System Interface, or iSCSI, according to analysts and technology integrators.

"iSCSI is an ideal storage solution," said Brad Nisbet, a storage analyst at IDC, a Framingham, Mass.-based research firm.

An Internet Protocol-based storage networking standard that uses TCP/IP to transfer data, iSCSI needs only an Ethernet interface to link data storage facilities. It is less expensive and technically simpler than Fibre Channel, which uses fiber optics to link data storage devices.

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Because many Exchange environments are on existing Ethernet networks, it lends itself to iSCSI, Nisbet said. "[Exchange Server 2007] is going to be a huge driver in the growth of the iSCSI market," he said. "Exchange and iSCSI is a match made in heaven."

IDC predicts a 75.8% increase in iSCSI revenue between 2005 and 2010, according to the company's Worldwide Disk Storage External Revenue by Installation report. The firm estimates that in 2010, iSCSI revenue will be around $5.1 billion, up from $305 million in 2005.

iSCSI is already on a growth trajectory for this year, when revenue in the first quarter from iSCSI storage area network products grew by about 38% over the first quarter of 2005. That's according to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker, released in June.

Along with Exchange Server 2007, any company that is adopting a real-time collaboration platform will also contribute to the growth of iSCSI, said Richard Opal, vice president of Peters & Associates Inc., an integration firm based in Elmhurst, Ill.

"It will be SharePoint 2007, Office 2007 and Exchange 2007 -- all of that collectively will drive the iSCSI market segment," Opal said.

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