iSCSI between buildings?
If I put an iSCSI storage box in one building, can I access it from another building using dedicated iSCSI switches connected via SFP\GBIC fiber modules?
or would this have to be done with fiber channel? or NAS?
The idea being to distance the disk based server backups from the server room.
AFAIK, iSCSI is SCSI over TCP/IP. So it uses standard eithernet switches. Essentially the answer to your question, i think, is yes. You can set up dedicated switches for the data network in seperate buildings and trunk the switched with fibre. The only rules on distance are the standard ethernet/fibre cable length rules that applies to any TCP/IP network.
EDIT: That said I would be interested to learn if distance/hops drastically effect speed?
Yes no problem at all. You don't even need to use any dedicated links for it (massive caveat re performance here) I run an iSCSI box in a different building using the normal LAN as a backup device, it only gets hit out of hours so I can ignore the performance worries with it.
iSCSI between buildings is very possible, but do use network switches with a good specification. Ideally you would like sub 2 millisecond pings, but less than 5 milliseconds is acceptable between devices.
FYI HP Lefthand Networks iSCSI device has a network RAID feature that takes advantage of highly available campus clusters (iSCSI mirrors between buildings). Therefore it can be done.
We've got it running between buildings here.
Using VLANs (of course) to separate the iSCSI traffic out from the normal LAN traffic.
We are using it for backups, so high traffic is out of hours mostly.