ATTO Technology, Inc. has announced the availability of ATTO xCORE hardware accelerated iSCSI, a low latency implementation of standard TCP/IP based iSCSI, in their ATTO XstreamCORE ET 8200 storage controller.

“iSCSI has been connecting storage solutions for decades and manufacturers have been attempting to make iSCSI more efficient with greater speed and lower latency. In theory it is possible to make iSCSI faster but in practical implementations manufacturers are still limited by TCP/IP,” says Tom Kolniak, senior director of marketing at ATTO Technology. “ATTO found a solution. The challenge of adding iSCSI support to the XstreamCORE meant implementing TCP/IP in hardware without TCP/IP offload engines.”

ATTO XstreamCORE ET 8200 is a top-of-rack 1U storage controller that connects any external SAS device, such as a JBOD of HDDs or SSDs, a RAID array or external tape devices, and presents them on an Ethernet SAN fabric. 

XstreamCORE has low latency because of xCORE hardware acceleration and ATTO intelligent Bridging Architecture resulting in only 2-4 microseconds of added latency, Kolniak says. SAS LUNs attached to the ET 8200 are connected via four 12Gb wide lane SAS ports and mapped and presented via two 40Gb Ethernet ports as RDMA based ISER and/or iSCSI targets.

To reach its performance goals XstreamCORE ET 8200 utilizes the parallel processing capabilities of custom xCORE ASICs that feature multiple parallel I/O acceleration engines that work together to move data at an extremely fast rate. Combined with the lossless RDMA Ethernet protocol iSER (iSCSI Extensions for RDMA) and hardware accelerated iSCSI, XstreamCORE integrates with SAS storage to create high bandwidth shared Ethernet storage solutions.

“ATTO’s initial release of XstreamCORE ET 8200 supported connecting SAS devices to Ethernet networks via iSCSI extensions for RDMA over RoCE v2,” says Jim U’Ren, product manager at ATTO. “Using iSER is a very efficient, Fibre Channel-like technology for new installations that utilize Linux OS and RoCE, however those that require the use of Windows or IllumOS operating systems have challenges deploying iSER. ATTO hardware accelerated iSCSI works everywhere iSCSI is supported and achieves speeds that rival RDMA-based iSER.”