iSCSI

Most RAID-class NASes have supported iSCSI for some time and iSCSI (Internet Small Computer System Interface) has been around for awhile and was developed as a SAN (Storage Area Network) protocol.

You can think of iSCSI as a way to provide computers with the illusion of large volumes of direct-attached storage, while the storage actually sits in a NAS or usually larger storage farm somewhere on the network. The QNAP diagram below illustrates the concept.

iscsi_diagram

smallnetbuilder has a nice explanation of how iSCSI performance compares to SMB performance. You will be surprised about the results: NAS Too Slow? Try iSCSI - Setup-more, Features, Performance.

 

Designed for use in Storage Area Network, iSCSI SAN-RAID models do not need to be connected to and in

close proximity to DVR or NVR. Instead, units exist as part of network and can store video from one or multiple network recording devices regardless of physical location. Devices utilize iSCSI protocol, which allows them to transmit and receive signals over regular Ethernet cabling. Available with 8, 14, or 42 bays, SAN-RAID models provide storage from 3.3-36 TB.

Vicon Industries Inc., a leading designer and producer of integrated IP video surveillance and access control systems, is replacing its line of RAID storage devices with new iSCSI SAN-RAID models that make use of newer networking and storage technology. Like traditional RAID devices, the new models feature multiple, hot-swappable hard drives that provide highly secure storage of large quantities of recorded digital video. However, the new models are designed for use in a "Storage Area Network," meaning that they no longer need to be directly, physically connected to and in close proximity to a DVR or NVR. Instead the SAN-RAID units exist as part of a network and can store video from one or multiple network recording devices regardless of their physical location. Compared to the traditional "one-RAID-per-NVR" model, the SAN-RAID option therefore offers savings both in cost and physical space required by the units.

In addition, the new SAN-RAID devices make use of iSCSI protocol, allowing them to transmit and receive signals over regular Ethernet cabling (CAT-5 and other options). iSCSI protocol can transmit signals up to 25x farther than traditional SCSI connections used by the previous generation of RAIDs.

Vicon's new SAN-RAID devices are available with 8, 14 or 42 bays and provide varying amounts of usable storage, ranging from 3.3 to 36 TB. They will be available for shipment beginning mid July.

"Vicon's commitment to IP-based, open platform video management is clearly evidenced by the range of products we continue to bring to market, from megapixel cameras to NVRs to these state-of-the-art SAN-RAID storage solutions," stated Margie Gurwin, Vicon's Director of Marketing. "We are pleased to offer our customers the best that technology has to offer."

Howtoforge has a useful tutorial showing how to set up an iSCSI target and initiator on Ubuntu 9.04:

This guide explains how you can set up an iSCSI target and an iSCSI initiator (client), both running Ubuntu 9.04. The iSCSI protocol is a storage area network (SAN) protocol which allows iSCSI initiators to use storage devices on the (remote) iSCSI target using normal ethernet cabling. To the iSCSI initiator, the remote storage looks like a normal, locally-attached hard drive.

Howto here