Brave New World: Operating IDE Hard Drives on SCSI Host Adapters

"To Boldly Go Where No Drive Has Gone Before." - IDE Drives On SCSI Controllers

With each new generation of drives, the drive manufacturers pull new aces from their sleeves: the latest top models are quicker, quieter and bigger than ever before. There are already 200 GB drives - 300 GB will not be long in coming. But there are no drives of this size for the SCSI interface, which is the standard in the server market.

Powerful server systems are characterized as being reliable, fast and equipped with vast power and capacity reserves. The first two can certainly be met by a harnessed team of top-class SCSI controllers and several high-end hard drives. But maximizing storage capacities can cause costs to mushroom all out of proportion.

At this point, it's only natural to start wondering whether you could use significantly cheaper IDE solutions - they do roughly the same job as their expensive SCSI counterparts. There are, however, still a few insurmountable arguments that speak against using them: there is usually some criterion that will stand in the way - the maximum device number, the reliability of modern hard drives or the lack of functionality of the controllers.

The Taiwanese manufacturer Acard has now developed an adapter card that allows IDE drives to be run with SCSI controllers.