tape drives (IBM SSA, IBM England -> Xyratex)
Roy J. Tellason
rtellason at verizon.net
Sat Apr 26 08:33:49 CDT 2008
On Saturday 26 April 2008 02:18, jim s wrote:
> The cdrom drive may have hooked up directly by SCSI to the host. The
> tape drives may have been on the SSA bus.
> IBM invented SSA to sabotage Fibre channel back in the day, promised to
> merge it so it would be media compatable (not protocol) compatable with
> FC to stop FC.
> As a result, how many out there have either? only recently has SATA
> taken root using some advances in the serial transfer chips.
> Anyway the tape drives may or may not be that clean an interface if they
> have a bridge or such to the SSA even if you find the 68 pin connectors.
> Most of the SSA stuff was built by a company I worked for (over 10 years
> ago for purposes of the forum) which was based in Portsmith, England and
> with a large facility in Havant England. They are still around after
> major implosion making FC and SAN storaage, and are called Xyratex.
> IBM gave a group of local (to England) senior management the disk
> operation there, and $100m (or # dont recall which) and a 5 years of IBM
> support for their hardware there and told them to split it off. As a
> result they had a big building wired with Token Ring and OS2 print
> servers trying to work with NT. It was wonderful to see such a waste of
> time trying to make such junk work.
> Anyway, were the SSA systems you had large Power systems, or AS/400?
The system I got bits out of was a rather large rack, though the guy who was
storing it at his place was able to transport it in his van. What I've
gotten out of there so far is a whole bunch of those plug-in drives, mostly
around 4.3 or 4.5GB, two different types -- one type has oddball connections
on the back of the drive itself making them otherwise useless to me, the
other has a 68-pin connection, which plugs into a little board that fits in
to the plastic enclosure that holds the drive. There's also one enclosure
that you can plug a whole mess of these into, currently down in the
basement. I would tend to assume that some power supplies (probably more
than one) would get plugged into that. I have two different types of power
supply that came with this stuff as well, listed toward the bottom of this
And one that I haven't dug into yet is still sitting in a box, I think it's
another enclosure of this sort, but it's not nearby and I haven't had the
chance to go and get it yet. That box was still sealed with "IBM tape" until
I popped it to get the manual out that was on top of things.
These enclosures apparently went into the big rack that the guy still has, or
had the last time I was out there, I haven't been in touch with him for a
They apparently had two complete systems at one point in time, the one I'm
getting having been a backup.
Nobody that I've talked to has expressed any interest whatsoever in any of
this stuff, the usual comment being that the drives were "too small". So
I'll be salvaging what I can out of the stuff, and scrapping the rest of it.
Maybe build a RAID5 array or two out of some of those 68-pin drives if I can
find the right cabling and a box big enough to put a bunch of drives into.
I'm told that the whole setup was "replaced by PCs". I've no idea what
they're running on them, though...
Member of the toughest, meanest, deadliest, most unrelenting -- and
ablest -- form of life in this section of space, a critter that can
be killed but can't be tamed. --Robert A. Heinlein, "The Puppet Masters"
Information is more dangerous than cannon to a society ruled by lies. --James
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