Re: [storm] iSCSI version descriptors (for SCSI SPC-4)

"Knight, Frederick" <> Tue, 21 September 2010 13:12 UTC

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Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2010 09:12:31 -0400
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Thread-Topic: iSCSI version descriptors (for SCSI SPC-4)
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From: "Knight, Frederick" <>
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Subject: Re: [storm] iSCSI version descriptors (for SCSI SPC-4)
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Most of this is fine, but I do have 1 question.

We originally debated whether to create 1 draft that included everything (consolidated + SAM 4/5), or to create 2 drafts (1 for consolidated and 1 for new SAM 4/5 features).  The consensus at the time was for 2 drafts.

Put "running code" based stuff in the consolidated draft.

Put all the new stuff in the SAM4/5 features draft.

This suggestion (adding a new key to the consolidated draft) sort of muddies the waters.  I think we should be careful about starting down a path where we pick and choose which new features we decide to fold back into the consolidated draft, and which new features we decide to exclude.

As written now, the drafts create the key in the SAM draft (with the value 2), and the consolidated draft adds the value 0 and 1.

I'm not sure how much this matters, but we had reasons for the original choice we made about "running code" vs. "new" stuff, and while valid to revisit those reasons, I would prefer that we do so explicitly.


-----Original Message-----
From: [] 
Sent: Monday, September 20, 2010 11:46 AM
To:; Knight, Frederick;
Subject: iSCSI version descriptors (for SCSI SPC-4)

It's time to come back to this topic.

I believe that what should happen is to have SPC-4 point to an IANA registry for all iSCSI version descriptors other than the existing "(no version claimed)" descriptor (might be SPC-5 by the time we get all the pieces in place).  The reason for doing this is to put IETF in a position to create new version descriptors for iSCSI without having to ask T10 to do so (although, it makes sense to ask T10 to reflect the currently-valid version descriptors for iSCSI in each version of SPC).

Getting this to happen requires some work.  For starters, note that the existing 0x960 iSCSI version descriptor can be used by any version of iSCSI - "no version claimed" means that no assumptions can be made about presence or absence of functionality.  For that reason, my personal (not as WG chair) preference is that we create a version descriptor for RFC 3720 + RFC 5048 as reflected in the new combined iSCSI draft, in order to provide a means for an implementation to promise support for the corrections and clarifications in RFC 5048 - that descriptor should also promise support for NAA iSCSI names (RFC 3980) and the Node Architecture key (RFC 4850).  Not using any iSCSI version descriptor, or using the existing 0x960 version descriptor, doesn't declare absence of support - the only valid inference that an application client (initiator) can make is "don't know".  We do need to get to a conclusion on whether to define this version descriptor.

The actual mechanics for coordinating this across IETF and T10 involve several steps:
(1) The "iSCSIProtocolLevel" key should be defined in the consolidated iSCSI draft, including creation of an IANA registry for its values (range: 0 - 31) and defining the first two values:
	0 - unknown (equivalent to a NotUnderstood response to the key)
	1 - 3720 + 5048, etc., as reflected in the consolidated iSCSI draft.
I included 0 for completeness - it's not strictly necessary.  This moves creation of that key from the SAM 4/5 features update draft to the main consolidated draft
(2) The new SAM-4/5 features draft then defines the value 2 and adds it to that IANA registry.
(3) As an interim measure, after WG last call is completed, we (that probably means Fred and I) write a T10 proposal to create the version descriptors 0x961 and 0x962 (corresponding to the values 1 and 2 for the "iSCSIProtocolLevel" key).  That makes both version descriptors usable, and provides an opportunity for the (inevitable) T10 input on exactly how the values of the "iSCSIProtocolLevel" key are specified.
(4) After the RFCs are published for both drafts (yes, I'm an optimist), another T10 proposal then updates SPC-4 to cross-reference the IANA registry.

Combining steps (3) and (4) at T10 would require both early creation of the IANA registry and early assignment of the RFC numbers.  It's not immediately clear to me that this should be done - we can figure out whether/how to do this at the time when the first T10 proposal needs to be written.



> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mallikarjun Chadalapaka []
> Sent: Monday, March 08, 2010 2:06 AM
> To: 'Knight, Frederick'; Black, David;
> Subject: RE: [storm] SCSI Version Descriptors - iSCSI and SAM-5
> Agreed on the SAM-5 version descriptor.  I assume the new draft will in
> addition reference SAM-4.
> On the iSCSI version descriptions, I actually think creating a 3720+5048
> version descriptor is a good start.  As Fred says, existing implementations
> will be initially not reporting this so the initiator is left to other means
> to figure out the compliance level (and iSCSI provides the hooks to discern
> that).  However, I believe this new version descriptor will help provide
> clarity down the road as existing implementations catch up to the standard -
> as opposed to leaving it open-ended until all implementations catch up to
> the SAM-5 draft (which takes even longer to get to).
> So I guess my preference is to create a 3720+5048 version descriptor,
> assuming it's OK to approach T10 any time in future with a request to add
> additional milestones based on implementation feedback from the WG.
> Thanks.
> Mallikarjun
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: [] On Behalf Of
> > Knight, Frederick
> > Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2010 10:20 AM
> > To:;
> > Subject: Re: [storm] SCSI Version Descriptors - iSCSI and SAM-5
> >
> > I agree, we need to request a frozen SAM-5 version descriptor, and see what
> > they say.
> >
> > I'm reluctant to create a new descriptor to indicate compliance with something
> > old (3720+5048).
> >
> > All those existing implementations that support 3720+5048 will NOT have that
> > descriptor.  What is an initiator to think?  How will the initiator tell an
> > old compliant device that supports 3720+5048 with no descriptor from the new
> > compliant device that supports 3720+5048 but has the descriptor?  My fear is a
> > host that assumes that if the 3720+5048 descriptor you propose is NOT present,
> > then the device must NOT be 3720+5048 compliant.
> >
> > I'm reluctant to punish existing compliant devices by creating a descriptor
> > that they will not report.  The horse is already out of the barn, what good
> > will it do to post a "please close the door" sign?
> >
> > We should however, request that T10 create a descriptor that indicates
> > compliance with the new SAM features draft (which therefore means
> > 3720+5048+xxx; where xxx=the new SAM features RFC).  If the device doesn't
> > report this new descriptor, then you must use iSCSI mechanisms to determine if
> > the device is 3720 only, or 3720+5048.
> >
> > 	Fred Knight
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: []
> > Sent: Monday, March 01, 2010 5:53 PM
> > To:
> > Subject: [storm] SCSI Version Descriptors - iSCSI and SAM-5
> >
> > <WG Chair Hat On>
> >
> > We have some interesting technical decisions to make around asking for some
> > SCSI version descriptor values.  For those not familiar with them, a SCSI
> > device can return up to 8 2-byte version descriptors in bytes 58-73 of
> > standard INQUIRY data (see section 6.4.2 in SPC-3 or the latest draft of SPC-
> > 4).  A version descriptor value specifies both a standard and a revision.
> > Version descriptor values are defined by explicit action at T10; this serves
> > as an indirect control over which versions of standards to which a device can
> > claim to comply, and discourages compliance with revisions that are unstable
> > or otherwise unsuitable.  T10 only assigns version descriptors to drafts of
> > standards that T10 believes to be stable (e.g., suitable to implement from).
> >
> > The straightforward decision is that the iSCSI features update draft (draft-
> > ietf-storm-iscsi-sam) will need to reference a stable version of the SAM-5
> > standard (under development) prior to the completion of SAM-5 work at T10.
> I
> > suggest that Fred Knight (editor of the draft) and I discuss this at next
> > week's meeting of T10 (specifically, the CAP WG in T10) in a couple of weeks
> > and bring the resulting recommendation to the storm WG list and the Anaheim
> > meeting.  Based on what's in the current draft of SAM-5, T10 may assign a
> > version descriptor, or recommend that we wait for some more things that are
> > known to be inbound.
> >
> > The more interesting decision is version descriptors for iSCSI. Currently,
> > there's only a generic version descriptor value , 0x960h "iSCSI (no version
> > claimed)".  There are an additional 31 descriptor values available to iSCSI,
> > and so the question to the storm WG is - what would we like to see defined?
> >
> > I have two initial suggestions:
> > 1) I suggest asking that a version descriptor be defined for the combination
> > 	of RFC 3720 (iSCSI) and RFC 5048 (iSCSI corrections and clarifications)
> > 	to enable a device to claim that it has implemented RFC 5048.  We could
> > 	add additional RFCs to this set, e.g., RFC 3980 for NAA names, although
> > 	I'm not sure that's useful to know post-login.'
> > 2) I strongly suggest *not* asking that a version descriptor be defined
> > 	for RFC 3720 by itself, as I'm concerned that such a descriptor would
> > 	serve as a (small) disincentive to implement RFC 5048.
> > Please comment on these.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > --David
> > ----------------------------------------------------
> > David L. Black, Distinguished Engineer
> > EMC Corporation, 176 South St., Hopkinton, MA  01748
> > +1 (508) 293-7953             FAX: +1 (508) 293-7786
> >        Mobile: +1 (978) 394-7754
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