Encapsulating IP Using SCSI

Mr. Elliston is working on a protocol for using SCSI devices to network Linux clusters in order to transfer data at high speeds.
Future Directions

The encapsulation protocol for IP over SCSI has been documented and drafted a number of times and has passed through the Internet Engineering Task Force and is now published as a RFC document (RFC 2143).

There has been a good deal of interest in this concept. Another Linux user and recent computer science graduate, Randy Scott, has implemented the IP over SCSI protocol with success. His project does not exactly meet the protocol given in the RFC, but it does prove that the concept works. Randy's work, however, illustrates that there is an issue of performance when it comes to IP networking in the Linux kernel, most of which was beyond his control. It is understood that there is some doubt as to whether a network interface could have a maximum transmission unit (MTU) of 64KB.

My own implementation has not been getting as much attention from me as I would like. Until recently, work was progressing well. I have a modular network interface which can be brought on-line using insmod and ifconfig, and IP packets can be sent onto the SCSI bus and the correct SCSI ID selected using my implementation of an address resolution protocol (ARP).

The next step is to verify the modifications made to the device driver for initializing target mode, then receive data from the SCSI bus and pass it up the protocol stack. I would be grateful to receive any help in completing this project from interested individuals.

Ben Elliston is a software engineer currently working for Cygnus Solutions. His interest in computers just gets him into trouble, so in his spare time, he enjoys rock climbing, mountain biking, playing the guitar and spectating at rallies. He can be reached at bje@cygnus.com.


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