What is an initiator? What are the different types of initiators?

This article will talk about iSCSI initiators and their types. Will also see why we use an initiator.

What is an initiator?

It is software or hardware that enables the host computer to send data to an iSCSI based storage array using TCI over an ethernet network. The host initiates a sequence of I/O commands for the iSCSI based storage array or also known as the iSCSI target.

Types of initiators?

  • Software iSCSI initiator
  • Hardware iSCSI initiator

Software iSCSI initiator

It is an initiator type that comes with the OS and takes care of all I/O commands. But the major downside of having a Software iSCSI initiator it uses the host CPU resources to map the I/O commands.

Hardware iSCSI initiator

It is a host-based network interface card (NIC) added to the host. It will process I/O Commands maps and TCP/IP processing. They also have hardware-based encryption and all things are done by the dedicated hardware.

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