Backers of iSCSI, a standard for connecting networks of storage devices to servers using conventional Internet Protocol (IP) networks, began a "plugfest" Monday to try to see if different companies' devices could work together. Plugfests are common events for testing communication standards during early stages when prototypes or early products exist but pitfalls are still likely. The Storage Networking Industry Association, an industry group involved with iSCSI and other storage standards, organized the event in Durham, N.H.
The iSCSI standard, backed by companies such as Cisco, Hewlett-Packard and IBM, is slower than the current Fibre Channel technology for building data storage networks, but many companies are betting that it will catch up. And because it uses the most common computer-networking standard, many believe it will be cheaper than Fibre Channel.