Intelligent network storage interface device
The co-inventors are Daryl D. Starr, Milpitas, CA, Clive M. Philbrick, San Jose, CA, and Laurence B. Boucher, Saratoga, CA.
The abstract of the patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office states: “An interface device is connected to a host by an I/O bus and provides hardware and processing mechanisms for accelerating data transfers between a network and a storage unit, while controlling the data transfers by the host. The interface device includes hardware circuitry for processing network packet headers, and can use a dedicated fast-path for data transfer between the network and the storage unit, the fast-path set up by the host. The host CPU and protocol stack avoids protocol processing for data transfer over the fast-path, freeing host bus bandwidth, and the data need not cross the I/O bus, freeing I/O bus bandwidth. The storage unit may include RAID or other multiple drive configurations and may be connected to the INIC by a parallel channel such as SCSI or by a serial channel such as Ethernet or Fiber Channel. The interface device contains a file cache that stores data transferred between the network and storage unit, with organization of data in the interface device file cache controlled by a file system on the host. Additional interface devices may be connected to the host via the I/O bus, with each additional interface device having a file cache controlled by the host file system, and providing additional network connections and/or being connected to additional storage units.”
The patent application was filed on Sept. 29, 2000 (09/675,700).