SCSI Overview

 For the improved performance of a distributed system, server
installation need to be robust and scalable. Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) is a technically advance system bus that provides high performance and better manageability for system data flow in distributed systems. 7

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SCSI Advantages 

The advantages of a SCSI disk system is that multiple devices can
be connected to a single bus. This proves useful in server installations that have large disk space and in fault tolerant RAID system.

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SCSI Types 

SCSI 1  SCSI 2  SCSI 3  iSCSI

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SCSI-I 

SCSI-1 is the original SCSI standard that was approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 1986. 

SCSI-1 features a narrow 8 bit bus and a 5 MHz clock speed, which enables data transfer at speeds of up to 5 MBps. SCSI-1 supports single ended signaling and passive termination. 

Moreover, it supports up to eight devices on the SCSI bus chain.

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SCSI-1: Single Ended Signaling 

 

SCSI-1 devices perform single-ended signaling, which involves signaling by using positive and zero voltage levels. A positive voltage indicates as on condition, whereas a zero voltage triggers an off condition. However, with higher clock speeds, the signal is degraded and corrupted if the SCSI cables are not proportionally shortened. Therefore, this signaling is the ineffective for the clock speeds greater than 5 MHz.

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SCSI-1 Differential Signaling 

Differential signaling is a more reliable option than single-ended signaling. This method which is also called as High Voltage Differential (HVD) signaling, uses two wires for voltage signaling. 

The difference in voltages determines as on or off condition. However, most SCSI-1 devices use single-ended signaling due to the high voltages used in differential signaling and its incompatibility with single ended devices.

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Passive Terminators 

The signals in the SCSI-1 buses connecting SCSI-1 devices are
terminated by using passive terminators. 

Passive terminators are simple resistors that are used to terminate
the SCSI-1 buses.

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Passive Terminators

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SCSI-2 

    

Advanced standards than SCSI 1. Supports Bus Speed ranging from 5 MBps to 20 MBps. Bus width 16 bits. Can support 16 devices at a time. Active terminators are used for cable termination. Signaling efficiency can be improved by using voltage regulators.

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Fast SCSI 

The FAST SCSI implementation includes devices that run with a
clock speed of 10 MHz and have an 8 bit SCSI bus. 

This results in a transfer rate of 10 MBps.

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Wide SCSI 

The Wide SCSI implementation of the SCSI-2 standard uses a 16 bit
bus width and the original 5 MHz clock speed, thereby providing an effective rate of 10 MBps.

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Fast Wide SCSI 

The Fast Wide SCSI implementation includes the features of Fast
SCSI as well as Wide SCSI to provide a better transfer rate. 

This system uses a 16-bit bus at a 10-MHz clock speed to enable a
transfer rate of 20 MBps.

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SCSI-3 

The SCSI-3 standard, uses faster clock speeds as compared to the
SCSI-1 and SCSI-2 standards. 

The internal clock speeds used in SCSI 3 range between 20 MHz
and 80 MHz. Moreover, SCSI-3 uses the Low Voltage Differential (LVD) technology for signaling.

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SCSI-3: LVD 

LVD signaling is an improvement on the original differential method.
The original differential signaling uses two wires for voltage ended systems. 

LVD overcomes these problems by using the same concept at lower
voltages and maintaining compatibility with single ended systems.

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SCSI-3: Multimode Operation 

For signaling, SCSI-3 devices can also use multimode operations.
This mode allows SCSI-3 devices to operate on single ended as well as LVD based systems.

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Versions of SCSI-3
Version Clock Speed (MHz) Bus Width (bits) Effective Data Transfer rate (Mbps) Ultra SCSI Wide Ultra SCSI Ultra 2 SCSI Wide Ultra 2 SCSI 20 20 40 40 8 10 8 16 20 40 40 80

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Versions of SCSI-3

Version

Clock Speed (MHz)

Bus Width (bits)

Effective Data Transfer rate (Mbps)

Ultra3SCSI

80

16

160

Ultra 320 SCSI

160

16

320

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iSCSI 

The Internet SCSI standard for SCSI systems is a standard for SCSI
block storage protocols that is used on high-speed TCP/IP networks. 

It uses high speed Ethernet hardware to build low-cost Storage Area
Networks. 

This proves cost effective as compared to creating fiber channel
SANs.

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SAS 

Traditional SCSI devices use parallel communication for data
transfers. This limits the speed of these data transfers. Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) is a new generation of SCSI devices that performs serial data transfers. 

The design of SAS enables higher speeds for data transfers.

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SAS 

SAS enables point-to-point data transfer at speeds of up to 3 Gbps.  Moreover, a single SAS port can provide support for up to 16256
addressable devices. 

SAS connectors are smaller than the traditional SCSI connectors.  This makes it possible to connect drive as small as 2.5 inches to
SAS connectors.

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