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Documentation / scsi / FlashPoint.txt

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Based on kernel version 4.13.3. Page generated on 2017-09-23 13:56 EST.

1	The BusLogic FlashPoint SCSI Host Adapters are now fully supported on Linux.
2	The upgrade program described below has been officially terminated effective
3	31 March 1997 since it is no longer needed.
11	FREMONT, CA, -- October 8, 1996 -- Mylex Corporation has expanded Linux
12	operating system support to its BusLogic brand of FlashPoint Ultra SCSI
13	host adapters.  All of BusLogic's other SCSI host adapters, including the
14	MultiMaster line, currently support the Linux operating system.  Linux
15	drivers and information will be available on October 15th at
16	http://sourceforge.net/projects/dandelion/.
18	"Mylex is committed to supporting the Linux community," says Peter Shambora,
19	vice president of marketing for Mylex.  "We have supported Linux driver
20	development and provided technical support for our host adapters for several
21	years, and are pleased to now make our FlashPoint products available to this
22	user base."
24	The Linux Operating System
26	Linux is a freely-distributed implementation of UNIX for Intel x86, Sun
27	SPARC, SGI MIPS, Motorola 68k, Digital Alpha AXP and Motorola PowerPC
28	machines.  It supports a wide range of software, including the X Window
29	System, Emacs, and TCP/IP networking.  Further information is available at
30	http://www.linux.org and http://www.ssc.com/.
32	FlashPoint Host Adapters
34	The FlashPoint family of Ultra SCSI host adapters, designed for workstation
35	and file server environments, are available in narrow, wide, dual channel,
36	and dual channel wide versions.  These adapters feature SeqEngine
37	automation technology, which minimizes SCSI command overhead and reduces
38	the number of interrupts generated to the CPU.
40	About Mylex
42	Mylex Corporation (NASDAQ/NM SYMBOL: MYLX), founded in 1983, is a leading
43	producer of RAID technology and network management products.  The company
44	produces high performance disk array (RAID) controllers, and complementary
45	computer products for network servers, mass storage systems, workstations
46	and system boards.  Through its wide range of RAID controllers and its
47	BusLogic line of Ultra SCSI host adapter products, Mylex provides enabling
48	intelligent I/O technologies that increase network management control,
49	enhance CPU utilization, optimize I/O performance, and ensure data security
50	and availability.  Products are sold globally through a network of OEMs,
51	major distributors, VARs, and system integrators.  Mylex Corporation is
52	headquartered at 34551 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont, CA.
54					   ####
56	Contact:
58	Peter Shambora
59	Vice President of Marketing
60	Mylex Corp.
61	510/796-6100
62	peters@mylex.com
64				       ANNOUNCEMENT
65		       BusLogic FlashPoint LT/BT-948 Upgrade Program
66				      1 February 1996
69		       BusLogic FlashPoint LW/BT-958 Upgrade Program
70				       14 June 1996
72	Ever since its introduction last October, the BusLogic FlashPoint LT has
73	been problematic for members of the Linux community, in that no Linux
74	drivers have been available for this new Ultra SCSI product.  Despite its
75	officially being positioned as a desktop workstation product, and not being
76	particularly well suited for a high performance multitasking operating
77	system like Linux, the FlashPoint LT has been touted by computer system
78	vendors as the latest thing, and has been sold even on many of their high
79	end systems, to the exclusion of the older MultiMaster products.  This has
80	caused grief for many people who inadvertently purchased a system expecting
81	that all BusLogic SCSI Host Adapters were supported by Linux, only to
82	discover that the FlashPoint was not supported and would not be for quite
83	some time, if ever.
85	After this problem was identified, BusLogic contacted its major OEM
86	customers to make sure the BT-946C/956C MultiMaster cards would still be
87	made available, and that Linux users who mistakenly ordered systems with
88	the FlashPoint would be able to upgrade to the BT-946C.  While this helped
89	many purchasers of new systems, it was only a partial solution to the
90	overall problem of FlashPoint support for Linux users.  It did nothing to
91	assist the people who initially purchased a FlashPoint for a supported
92	operating system and then later decided to run Linux, or those who had
93	ended up with a FlashPoint LT, believing it was supported, and were unable
94	to return it.
96	In the middle of December, I asked to meet with BusLogic's senior
97	management to discuss the issues related to Linux and free software support
98	for the FlashPoint.  Rumors of varying accuracy had been circulating
99	publicly about BusLogic's attitude toward the Linux community, and I felt
100	it was best that these issues be addressed directly.  I sent an email
101	message after 11pm one evening, and the meeting took place the next
102	afternoon.  Unfortunately, corporate wheels sometimes grind slowly,
103	especially when a company is being acquired, and so it's taken until now
104	before the details were completely determined and a public statement could
105	be made.
107	BusLogic is not prepared at this time to release the information necessary
108	for third parties to write drivers for the FlashPoint.  The only existing
109	FlashPoint drivers have been written directly by BusLogic Engineering, and
110	there is no FlashPoint documentation sufficiently detailed to allow outside
111	developers to write a driver without substantial assistance.  While there
112	are people at BusLogic who would rather not release the details of the
113	FlashPoint architecture at all, that debate has not yet been settled either
114	way.  In any event, even if documentation were available today it would
115	take quite a while for a usable driver to be written, especially since I'm
116	not convinced that the effort required would be worthwhile.
118	However, BusLogic does remain committed to providing a high performance
119	SCSI solution for the Linux community, and does not want to see anyone left
120	unable to run Linux because they have a Flashpoint LT.  Therefore, BusLogic
121	has put in place a direct upgrade program to allow any Linux user worldwide
122	to trade in their FlashPoint LT for the new BT-948 MultiMaster PCI Ultra
123	SCSI Host Adapter.  The BT-948 is the Ultra SCSI successor to the BT-946C
124	and has all the best features of both the BT-946C and FlashPoint LT,
125	including smart termination and a flash PROM for easy firmware updates, and
126	is of course compatible with the present Linux driver.  The price for this
127	upgrade has been set at US $45 plus shipping and handling, and the upgrade
128	program will be administered through BusLogic Technical Support, which can
129	be reached by electronic mail at techsup@buslogic.com, by Voice at +1 408
130	654-0760, or by FAX at +1 408 492-1542.
132	As of 14 June 1996, the original BusLogic FlashPoint LT to BT-948 upgrade
133	program has now been extended to encompass the FlashPoint LW Wide Ultra
134	SCSI Host Adapter.  Any Linux user worldwide may trade in their FlashPoint
135	LW (BT-950) for a BT-958 MultiMaster PCI Ultra SCSI Host Adapter.  The
136	price for this upgrade has been set at US $65 plus shipping and handling.
138	I was a beta test site for the BT-948/958, and versions 1.2.1 and 1.3.1 of
139	my BusLogic driver already included latent support for the BT-948/958.
140	Additional cosmetic support for the Ultra SCSI MultiMaster cards was added
141	subsequent releases.  As a result of this cooperative testing process,
142	several firmware bugs were found and corrected.  My heavily loaded Linux
143	test system provided an ideal environment for testing error recovery
144	processes that are much more rarely exercised in production systems, but
145	are crucial to overall system stability.  It was especially convenient
146	being able to work directly with their firmware engineer in demonstrating
147	the problems under control of the firmware debugging environment; things
148	sure have come a long way since the last time I worked on firmware for an
149	embedded system.  I am presently working on some performance testing and
150	expect to have some data to report in the not too distant future.
152	BusLogic asked me to send this announcement since a large percentage of the
153	questions regarding support for the FlashPoint have either been sent to me
154	directly via email, or have appeared in the Linux newsgroups in which I
155	participate.  To summarize, BusLogic is offering Linux users an upgrade
156	from the unsupported FlashPoint LT (BT-930) to the supported BT-948 for US
157	$45 plus shipping and handling, or from the unsupported FlashPoint LW
158	(BT-950) to the supported BT-958 for $65 plus shipping and handling.
159	Contact BusLogic Technical Support at techsup@buslogic.com or +1 408
160	654-0760 to take advantage of their offer.
162			Leonard N. Zubkoff
163			lnz@dandelion.com
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