Are old SCSI tape drives not all created equal?

Paul Berger phb.hfx at
Wed Aug 17 14:45:51 CDT 2016

On 2016-08-17 4:11 PM, Guy Sotomayor Jr wrote:
>> On Aug 17, 2016, at 12:01 PM, Maciej W. Rozycki <macro at> wrote:
>> On Wed, 17 Aug 2016, Mouse wrote:
>>> SCSI is more than just the physical interface.  Traditional SCSI is a
>>> parallel interface, with a bunch of signals and grounds.  But, layered
>>> atop the physical interface, there is also a command/response protocol
>>> which is, strictly, independent of the physical layer.  (I have seen it
>>> said that the SCSI protocol is very similar to both ATAPI and SAS,
>>> probably because it influenced their design, though I haven't read
>>> enough of any of them to really have a good handle on it myself.)
>> I don't know of SAS offhand, however ATAPI is pretty much SCSI over ATA.
>> That is really SCSI commands and responses wrapped into the so called ATA
>> packets (hence the ATAPI acronym, standing for ATA Packet Interface) which
>> are chunks of data sent and retrieved with the ATA data write and read
>> commands.  The USB storage protocol works similarly as well.
> If you *really* want to see how this was screwed up, take a look at
> Fibre Channel (which is basically SCSI over an optical Fibre network).
> While the commands are standard, you can’t really build a Fibre Channel
> configuration without using (a lot) of vendor unique commands.  And guess
> what?  Each vendor has their own set!  It’s so bad that each combination
> has to be tested (even down to the Fibre channel cards…the commands
> they support are not all the same).  In other words, just because I have a
> working configuration with brand A card, brand C switch and brand E
> disk array, does not mean that I can put in a brand B switch and still expect
> it all to work.  The sad thing is that the industry is/was happy with that.
> TTFN - Guy
No fSCSI is SCSI over fibre transport layer just like iSCSI is SCSI 
encapsulated in IP packets.    Fibre channel protocol is just a 
transport layer just like ethernet.    You can put whatever you like 
into the fibre channel packets, most commonly it happens to be SCSI but 
it is also pretty common to IP over fibre.   Likewise you can put 
whatever you want into an ethernet packet, most commonly it is IP but 
FCOE is fibre channel protocol over Ethernet transport layer, and then 
on top of FCOE you would run fSCSI.

SAS is another serial SCSI protocol as was IBM's SSA and for the most 
part Apple's firewire.


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