discussion of SCSI-3 tape drives on Fibre Channel next month

Doug Hagerman, 508-841-2145, Flames to NL: 19-Apr-1996 2256 hagerman at starch.enet.dec.com
Fri Apr 19 20:05:02 PDT 1996

* From the SCSI Reflector, posted by:
* "Doug Hagerman, 508-841-2145, Flames to NL:  19-Apr-1996 2256" <hagerman at starch.ENET.dec.com>

I would like to hold a discussion about issues related to SCSI-3 tape
drives connected to FC-AL interconnects. The discussion would be at
the SSC meeting next month (I will ask to be added to the agenda).

The purpose of this discussion is twofold. First, to determine whether
the current FC-AL standard and associated documents including FCP, PLDA,
and the relevant SCSI-3 documents including SSC and SPC are adequate to
cover the requirements of tape drives with native connections to Fibre
Channel Arbitrated Loops. Second, to determine whether this point in
time could be used to "clean up" the SCSI tape interface implementations
to make future driver development easier.

The first question has to do with the special requirements of FC-AL in
combination with the special requirements of tape drives, particularly
in light of the fact that the FC-AL device profile PLDA  (Private Loop
Device Attach) was written with a distinctly disk orientation.

The second question has to do with whether future tape drives of the type
suitable for use on FC-AL systems will be different enough from current
products to allow an improved agreement on how they should work, from the
driver's point of view.

I am not a tape expert, but it has been stated by several representatives
of the Fibre Channel committee that their companies are interested in
putting tape drives on Fibre Channel. This is the chance to talk about
this possibility.

I will follow this with a short description of some of the issues
as I understand them, with the hope that this will lead to further
discussion. The Fibre Channel community is eager to add good tape
support to the appropriate documents; we need the help of experts in
the field.

The May SCSI meeting is in Fort Lauderdale the week of May 6-10. I'll
send out the date of the SCC meeting when I get a better idea of
what the exact schedule will be.

Doug Hagerman
Digital Equipment Corp.

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