Command Queuing and SAM

Ralph Weber -- VMS -- ZKO3-4/U14 weber at
Tue Feb 15 15:52:38 PST 1994

>"Jim McGrath"    9-FEB-1994 15:33:47.88
>To:	SCSI at WichitaKS.NCR.COM
>Subj:	Command Queuing and SAM
>                      Subject:                              Time:  2:55 PM
>  OFFICE MEMO         Command Queuing and SAM               Date:  2/8/94
>Is it required by SAM that any SCSI protocol support all of the traditional 
>queuing functions (e.g. head of queue, ordered, abort, clear queue, etc...).?  
>It would be a goodness if only unordered queuing and some abort function 
>(reset anyone) be required.
>The reason I am opening this is because of ATA command queuing, where I want 
>to develop a very simple solution.  Functions other than unordered are either 
>useless or can be emulated by the host (i.e. just send down commands one at a 
>time for ordered commands).  This simplification should help in making
>queuing easier for ATA implementations.
>Feedback is appreciated.

I am of two minds about this.

For the specific needs of my operating system (OpenVMS), the need for queuing 
functions other than unordered occur only in the multi-initiator cases.  So, 
if ATAPI is limited to single initator configurations, then ATAPI disks that 
only do unordered tagged operations are ok.  Conversely, if ATAPI drives are 
complex enough to do multi-initiator support right, then why should a little 
more queuing firmware matter?

However, I find the "just send down commands one at a time" concept has 
appalling performance implications.  Any system that frequently uses ordered 
commands as a synchronization tool will find itself in single-step mode nearly 
all the time.  Then, the question becomes, "Why pay for queuing at all?"

I do not much care which set of cleanup functions you support (abort, clear 
queue, etc.).  My experience says that the QErr bit in the Control mode page 
is the heart of all interesting cleanup models.  Make sure that QErr works for 
both 0 and 1 settings, give me a BUS DEVICE RESET equivalent, and I will be 



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