Browse Prior Art Database

Obtaining Vital Product Data for a Small Computer System Interace Device

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000109980D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-25
Document File: 2 page(s) / 87K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Bender, CD: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This article describes a method for gathering and formatting VPD (Vital Product Data) for SCSI (Small Computer System Interface) devices. This method assumes that the desired data can be obtained via the SCSI Inquiry command but is not dependent on the format of the returned data.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Obtaining Vital Product Data for a Small Computer System Interace Device

       This article describes a method for gathering and
formatting VPD (Vital Product Data) for SCSI (Small Computer System
Interface) devices.  This method assumes that the desired data can be
obtained via the SCSI Inquiry command but is not dependent on the
format of the returned data.

      VPD has become very important in identifying hardware devices.
It consists of a well-defined format of keywords and data.  This
often identifies such information as manufacturer name, model name,
part number, serial number, EC level, etc.  Typically, a device will
return VPD to the system in the required format.  This allows the
system to use or display the data without any device-specific code.

      However, the VPD format is not an industry-wide standard and
many devices exist which do not return the desired information in the
required format.  The various SCSI devices are examples of such
devices.  Still, it is advantageous from a field support point of
view to be able to maintain VPD information on SCSI devices.

      Some of the existing solutions include:
1) Put the necessary support in the SCSI device to return the VPD in
the required format.  This solution could incur great expense to
redesign hardware support.  Even then, it only solves the problem for
future devices.  It does not address the problem with respect to all
of the SCSI devices currently available.  Therefore, this solution is
not acceptable.
2) Configuration code is provided for each of the SCSI devices which
obtains desired information from the device via the SCSI Inquiry
command and then formats it into VPD.  It needs to know how to match
particular pieces of data with particular VPD keywords.  Since the
data returned via the inquiry command usually differs from one device
type to the next, this means writing new code for each SCSI device
type that is added to the system.  Although this approach is often
used, it is not very desirable.

      The disclosed solution makes use of the device's configuration
data.  Each device ha...