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Fibre Channel for Mass Storage by Ralph H. Thornburgh

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1.1. Current Mass Storage Architectures

Current architectures (data transfer protocols) have three major problems:

  1. Limited speed

  2. Limited distance between devices

  3. Limited number of devices supported

Figure 1-1. Current Limitations

For example, the small Computer System Interface (SCSI) parallel interface is restricted to:

  • the bus being no longer than 25 meters

  • 32 SCSI devices per bus

  • a double cable system

In today’s modern computer system environments, these restrictions are very limiting to design and confining in space, and it gets worse. The two-byte wide SCSI P-cable limits configurations to 16 devices.

The single-ended SCSI protocol is limited ...

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