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Difference Between SATA and SCSI Serial ATA SATA uses a half-duplex, serial connection to the devices rather than the original parallel connection of ATA. SATA uses the ATA command set, which is simpler but provides less robust functionality than the SCSI interface used with SAS. The SATA interface has gone through three major generations: 1.5 Gb/s targeted at replacing ATA in the desktop and consumer markets. 1.5 Gb/s with extensions targeted for workstations and low-end servers. This generation added native command queuing. 3 Gb/s targeted for workstations and low-end servers. This generation increased the data transfer rate. SATA is the best solution for price-sensitive, low I/O workload applications and dominates the desktop market due to low cost and the lighter workloads of desktops. Serial Attached SCSI SAS uses a point-to-point, full duplex serial connection and the SCSI command set, which has more performance and reliability features than the ATA command set. For example, SAS devices can be dual port. This allows the device to access the full bandwidth of a SAS link. These additional features come at a cost, however. SAS devices are more expensive than SATA devices for the equivalent storage capacity. First generation SAS supported a link speed of 3 Gb/s. The current generation supports a link speed of up to 6 Gb/s, or 600 MB/s, in each direction. SAS is the best solution for mission critical, high I/O workload applications. Fibre Channel was designed to overcome following limitation of Parallel SCSI. 1) Cable length of about 6m 2) Only about 15 Devices can connect between HBA (Initiator) and Target (Disk, CD etc) 3) No arbitration fairness. In SCSI, device with highest ID will always win arbitration 4) Due to Class 1 protocol, only one device can actively communicate over the bus 5) Clock skewing and Signal integrity issues related to Parallel SCSI Bus Since Parallel SCSI hard disks has high reliability it was deployed in Enterprise and data centers while IDE disks has less reliability so it was was deployed in the desktop systems. One of the major disadvantage of IDE, it is not a true bus. Due to this, only maximum of two devices can be connected between Initiator and Target. However, this was enough for most desktops users SAS and SATA protocol was invented during early 2000's due to design limitation of Parallel SCSI and IDE/ATA interface. SAS was designed as replacement for Parallel SCSI and SATA for IDE interface. Both SAS/SATA use 8b/10b encoding for its physical layer. SATA still has limitation of connecting only one device to the HBA. However, most of the HBA has about 4-8 ports, so it is possible to connect 8 SATA devices using single HBA. Typically SAS HBA also has 8 ports so in theory it can connect only 8 SAS devices. However, SAS differed from SATA with introduction of SAS Expander which can expand topology (similar to Ethernet Switch) supporting large number of devices. In theory, SAS Expander can support about 64k devices which are adequate for most enterprise deployments. SAS differs from FC as following 1) SAS is Connection Oriented Protocol (Class 1). Both Initiator and Target need to agree before data transfer can occur 2) Unlike FC, SAS supports Control and Data domain protocol. Control domain protocol is used to configure Expanders

Client setup
On the client side things are pretty easy. You can just mount a shared NFS directory (located on remote.machine.com) by issuing the command mount remote.machine.com:/shared/directory /local/directory Simple. I put an entry in my /etc/fstab that allows me to mount the directories easily (but not automatically... I have encountered problems with this): machine:directory localdirectory nfs noauto,noatime,user,rw,nosuid,hard,intr,sync 0 0 CAVEAT: Note that NFS behaves very strangely with symbolic links. If a symbolic link refers to a file "/usr/share/testfile" on the REMOTE system, then if you mount the remote share and try to access this symbolic link then it will look for the file "/usr/share/testfile" on your LOCAL machine. The way that I work around this is to use "relative" symbolic links, like "../../testfile". This keeps the link referencing on the REMOTE machine. I really think that NFS should be fixed to take this into account.

Samba (Microsoft Windows networking/SMB/CIFS)


Since I'm busy I cannot describe this right now. To install the samba subsystem just install the Debian packages "samba" and "smbclient". To CONFIGURE Samba you have two choices: either use the KDE tool mentioned at the top of this page, or manually tweak "/etc/samba/smb.conf". The documentation concerning this is easily found on the net, so I won't bother duplicating it. However, I must admit that Samba can sometimes be very painful in Linux. Some day I'll come back and say more...
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