Spec Groups Eyeing New SCSI Standard

Serial-attached SCSI, or SAS, uses ordinary serial interfaces for SCSI storage devices, which could ease network traffic and bandwidth.

Although most big storage vendors tout the advantages of networked storage, direct-attached systems still dominate, and they use the traditional SCSI standards.

The newest technology is serial-attached SCSI (SAS), which is a way of using ordinary serial interfaces for SCSI storage devices. Doing so could ease network traffic and bandwidth, because SCSI uses point-to-point connections instead of parallel interfaces multipoint connections, said John Lohmeyer, chairman of the T10 Working Group and a principal engineer at LSI Logic Corp., in Milpitas, Calif.

SAS late last month ended its initial private vendor phase and entered T10s purview. By Thursday the seven-day waiting period for objections will end, Lohmeyer said.

T10 is the official SCSI group of the International Committee for Information Technology Standards, which in turns works with the American National Standards Institute.

Now "the [vendor] group has basically gone dormant," Lohmeyer said. "Most of the industry is kind of thinking of parallel in terms of the end of the line, [but for SAS] we brought in a rather complete proposal.

"Its probably 80 percent, 90 percent done" and "our goal is to forward it out of T10 [and to INCITS] in November," he said.

After a monthlong letter ballot over the Web, the proposal will likely reach INCITS by March 2003, followed by several months of public review, and then it could go to ANSI. If there arent significant objections, ANSI could finish its job, and SAS could be official, within 12 months from now, said Lohmeyer, whos worked on many such standards since 1981.

The borrowing of much of current Fibre Channel frames technology should help expedite SAS approval, which will likely end up in host-bus adapters and switches/expanders.