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Controller card and disk drive orientation for maximizing electrical performance and reducing cost within a storage enclosure

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000032893D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Nov-17
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Nov-17

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

State of the art Fibre Channel Disk Drive enclosures (either RAID or Storage Expansion) are designed to support high speed electrical signaling rates of 2Gb/s (FC-AL interfaces) with 4Gb/s following close behind. These high speed interfaces communicate information between the controller cards and all of the disk drives (current best case density is 16 HDDs in 3U (5.25"). To complicate matters a high speed interface, such as PIC-X, may also be required between the controller cards for controller-to-controller communication. All of these requirements dictate an optimal positional interdependency amongst all the drives and controller cards. A Fiber Channel Disk Drive enclosure has been designed to address the total set of these requirements with an optimum location and orientation of disk drives and controller cards as well as an internal midplane. Such an implementation is also key to incorporating future disk drive technologies (e.g. 4Gb/s) and higher bandwidth controller card functions which require absolute minimum net lengths.