SUMMARY: Info on IPI (ISP-80) compatibility

From: Rob Scott (zeke@mpl.UCSD.EDU)
Date: Fri Nov 15 1991 - 22:20:55 CST

Summary: using Sabre-VII IPI disks with Sun ISP-80 controller.

On Tuesday, November 12, I wrote:
>We are considering adding several IPI Seagate Sabre-VII (ST83220K, 3 gigabytes,
>4.5 Mbytes/second transfer rate) to our 4/490. We currently are using 2 of
>Sun's 9722 disks (890 megabytes, 6 Mbyte/second transfer rate, made by Seagate)
>on their ISP-80 (Panther) controller.
>My disk salesperson thinks that there might be a firmware upgrade needed for
>the ISP-80 controller to handle the larger drives. We are already at
>firmware level 5, which is what our local Sun service techs say is the latest
>"field" release.
>Does anyone in netland have experience with large (2+ gig) IPI drives on
>the ISP-80 controller? Particularly large Seagate drives? Is anybody aware
>of any difficulties using very large IPI drives on the ISP-80?

The responses reduced down to the following:

        a) There are 2 different ISP-80 controllers in service (info from Sun)
                Part number 5011539 is currently at Revision 9
                Part number 5011855 is currently at Revision 3
                Current revisions of firmware chips inside the ISP-80
                  part #5011539:
                        chip 1023 rev 05
                        chip 1024 rev 09
                        chip 1025 rev 09

           I'm afraid that I didn't find out which Sun machines are likely
           to have which part # as their ISP-80 controller. Our 4/490's
           have 5011539.

        b) The ST93220K (Sabre-VII IPI) should work with if you have at
                least revision 5 of part 5011539.

        c) Seagate Elite IPI drives are not a good idea yet for Sun ISP-80,
                but most Sabre IPI drives should work fine. The 9 Mbyte/sec
                Sabre drives will probably not work.

Thanks to the following for their input:
        Tom Cox, San Diego local Sun service manager (Jeff Bacon) (Dan Lorenzini) (Frank Bull) (David Mostardi) (Heino Peters) (Morry Katz)

-=-=-=-=-=-=- RESPONSES FOLLOW (edited for brevity) -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
From: (Jeff Bacon)
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 91 13:35:21 EST

no one has come right out and said that a saber-VII will work.
one guy is running a Saber-VI, however, probably on latest firmware.

if you paw thru the sun price book, you'll note under the external
expansions subsection of the listing for the 490 that sun offers the
firmware upgrade for the ISP-80 as a line item, and that it's needed
to run the new 1.3GB drives sun is selling. (page 76, part # X2080A)

everything I can see points to the idea that the new 1.3GB's are actually
the new Seagate ZBR-encoded Elite-1's. These really should be screaming
drives. (The IPI Elite-1's seagate is selling out the front door are still
RLL, and according to one source, kinda slow on data thruput.) or so
one would hope. but then again, so are the Saber-VII's...

I'm working on a really tight budget so I'm not sure how much I really
can afford to spend on this. I wanted two Saber-VI's, but I ended up
ordering a model (ST82030K) that turned out to be Seagate vaporware...
took two months for seagate to admit it, and that's AFTER they sent out
a weigh bill stating they shipped! *grrr*

don't forget, fujitsu also sells a 2.6GB IPI drive that don't look
too bad either. a little more expensive perhaps...

From: (Dan Lorenzini)
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 91 08:21:52 -0500

We have several ST83220Ks on 4/490s with ISP-80 controllers and they
work without any problems. One of them is connected to an ISP-80 rev 05
so you shouldn't have trouble there. Our other ISP-80s are at rev 08
and I believe the latest rev is 09. These are hardware revs. The
firmware level is 254.

We also have ST82500Ks (2.5 GB) that work fine with the ISP-80. The
only drives I know of that don't work with the ISP-80 are the ones with
9 MB transfer rate (sorry, I don't know the model number).

From: (Frank Bull CCS)
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 91 08:38:01 MST

On our 4/470, we have 2 IPI controllers, PN 501-1539, REV 08. In addition
to the Sun supplied 1+Gb drives, we added 3 of the CDC/Seagate 2.5Gb drives.
We did have to upgrade the power supply in the disk pedistal. Here is what
one of the disks looks like.
It seems to me when we first got the machine a little over a year ago, we
had some problems with the controllers. Sun replaced them with up-rev
controllers and we haven't had a bit of trouble since.

vmunix: id013: <Seagate ST82500K cyl 2606 alt 2 hd 19 sec 82>

ursa# dkinfo id013
id013: IPI Panther controller at addr 1ff, unit # 1
2606 cylinders 19 heads 82 sectors/track

ursa# df /scr8
Filesystem kbytes used avail capacity Mounted on
/dev/id013e 1990878 922747 968587 49% /scr8

From: (David Mostardi)
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 91 09:02:19 PST

Are these the new 5" IPI drives? They're *substantially*
cheaper than the old 8" ones (about the same price/Mbyte as SCSI).
I wanted to get some, but it turns out that our 4/470 can't
handle 5" IPI drives -- only the 4/490 can.

From: Heino Peters <>
Date: 13 Nov 91 18:27:23+0100

I'm using a ST82500K as well as a ST83220K on a 4/490 and i've ordered
another 10 ST83220K for our servers. These drives work very well on
a controller with FW revision date 8/28/90 , level = 254.
Don't ask me how this level relates to your firmware level.

However you should be aware that the ST83220K is only 2.5 GB formatted.

From: (Morry Katz)
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 91 13:16:24 PST

The firmware change that allows the larger Seagate drives is on the
same chip that allows one to use the faster 6M/sec drives that you
state you have. Therfore, you should have no problems. If you had an
old IPI controller you would need to get the firware upgrade from Sun
that they sell to allow one to use the new 6M/sec drves they currently

     Rob Scott, System Administrator for the Marine Physical Laboratory
            Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
        Internet:   Telephonenet: (619) 534-8588
"We're Safe?  What do you mean safe?  This must be some new definition of the 
	word that I've previously never heard of."	Arthur Dent

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