Although the price of storage hardware continues to decrease, the voracious demand for data and the accompanying increase in administrative costs threaten to swamp all other factors in reducing the total cost of ownership. Continual data growth has become the norm, and administrative costs run many times the cost of hardware. Midrange businesses are typically stuck with inefficient direct-attached storage (DAS) or forced to invest resources in complex and often proprietary technologies. There is also no guarantee that hardware will work together, and storage management remains cumbersome, at best. What is needed is a standard for networked storage that brings the benefits of consolidated storage to a broad range of businesses. Developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) as a response to the need for interoperability in networked storage, iSCSI lets businesses leverage existing skills and network infrastructure to create IP-based SANs that deliver the performance of Fibre Channel, but at a fraction of the cost.