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SubjectRe: SCSI/ISCSI, hardware/software
>Such iSCSI card from a user point of view as well as for system running 
>on a computer with it is just another SCSI card, not matter which
>transport it uses and how much software it runs onboard, so for they it
>doesn't differ from FC or parallel SCSI one, which I think you would not
>call a software unit. As usually, you only need appropriate driver for
>_SCSI_ subsystem.

The point I'd like to make is that _I_ would not call it a software unit
or a hardware unit, because I don't think in most contexts (including that
of this thread), it makes any difference which technology is used in the
implementation. What _does_ matter is 1) this card comes preassembled. I
don't have to find and load independently produced software onto it, or
worry about interoperability. 2) It's below the Linux kernel, which means
I won't need to mess with Linux applications or kernels except to load a
low level SCSI driver. It also means it doesn't place any load on my main
CPU and probably goes faster than something implemented in or above my
Linux kernel would.

And there's the separate point that it would be a misnomer to say that
this card is an ISCSI initiator (it's only part of one); so even if the
card itself can be called hardware, that still doesn't mean you can say
you have a hardware ISCSI initiator. Same is true of a parallel SCSI host
adapter card.

Bryan Henderson IBM Almaden Research Center
San Jose CA Filesystems
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