Talk:HSC50 Hierarchical Storage Controller

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HSC50 Naming

DEC usually called all its HSCs "Hierarchical Storage Controller"; the term "Mass-Storage Controller" was only used to describe what HSCs do. DEC wanted to distinguish clearly between "ordinary" Mass-Storage Controllers (UDA50, KDA50, ...) and CI-based HSC controllers or other Cluster storage controllers (like HSDxx, HSGxx, HSJxx, ...) .

I would propose renaming the HSC50 page to "HSC50 Hierarchical Storage Controller". Vaxorcist (talk) 11:29, 23 August 2022 (CEST)

I got the "HSC50 Mass-Storage Controller' from the HSC50 Maintenance Guide (pg. 1). However, I see that the HSC50 User Guide calls it the "HSC50 Mass Storage Server" (Preface, pg. v). So, several DEC documents about the HSC50 disagree about the 'Controller'/'Server', but do agree on the 'Mass Storage'!
To add to the confusion, 'Controller' would seem to be preferred from the name, "HSC" - but if we are to rely on that as a guide, then we should go with 'Hierarchical'!!
Do you know of any DEC documents that give the formal name of the HSC50 to be 'HSC50 Hierarchical Storage Controller'?
I personally do not care at all whether the page is named 'HSC50 Mass-Storage Controller' or 'HSC50 Hierarchical Storage Controller'; either would be fine with me. As usual, I care less what is logical, than what is historically accurate - what DEC itself actually called the thing at the time.
And, as usual, contradictory evidence of what that was leaves us in the dark! Jnc (talk) 13:22, 23 August 2022 (CEST)
I found seven occurrances of "Hierarchical Storage Controller", and for the sake of the Acronym "HSC", I would like that.
  • EK-HSCMA-SV-001 HSC Service Manual, page 21 (2*)
  • EK-HSCMA-SV-002 HSC Service Manual, page 21
  • EK-HSCMN-IN-001 HSC Installation Manual, page 9
  • EK-HSCMN-IN-002 HSC Installation Manual, pages 13, 17, 18
  • R. Lary and R. Bean, "The Hierarchical Storage Controller, A Tightly Coupled Multiprocessor as Storage Server," Digital Technical Journal, vol. 1, no. 8 (February 1989): 8-24.
  • AA-GMEAA-TK HSC User Guide HSC50 V2.50 HSC70 V1.00-O, page 341:
HSC - Hierarchical Storage Controller
An intelligent mass storage server used on the Computer Interconnect (CI) bus.
capable of supporting a total of eight and/or tape data channels, the HSC is part of the System Interconnect Architecture and DIGITAL Storage Architecture
By performing as an I/O manager, the HSC can be classified as an I/O server, removing the burden of I/O management from the CPU.
  • Software Product Description Compaq OpenVMS Operating7.2-1H1, and 7.2-2. System for Alpha and VAX, Versions 7.2, 7.2-1, SPD 41.87.08, pages 43, 44 Vaxorcist (talk) 16:10, 23 August 2022 (CEST)
Oh, I don't doubt that 'HSC' (on its own) was normally expanded to 'Hierarchical Storage Controller' by DEC - but that is a subtly different question from 'what was DEC's formal name for the HSC50'. It is certainly illogical that they called the HSC50 anything other than 'Hierarchical Storage Controller' - but there are two HSC50 documents that do just that! (And the fact that those names are capitalized there argues that they are - or are intended to be - formal names, and not just descriptive phrases which are appended to "HSC50" to indicate what an HSC50 was.)
Of course, one could well conclude from that variability that DEC did not have a formal name for the HSC50 - other than "HSC50". Anyway, let me go look at those manuals you found. Jnc (talk) 16:34, 23 August 2022 (CEST)
I couldn't find EK-HSCMN-IN-001 or AA-GMEAA-TK online. If you have a paper copy of either one, you should scan it, and make it available.
None of the others provided any insight into what DEC's formal name for the HSC50 was.
So, taking into account the confusion inside the DEC manuals that do give a formal name for it (above), it might just as well be at HSC50 Hierarchical Storage Controller. Jnc (talk) 17:01, 24 August 2022 (CEST)
I would judge that the article in the Digital Technical Journal is of special importance. Furthermore I would like to draw the attention to the difference between what "something is" and what "something is named".
By the way - I like the way we're debating such things as if they were really important! Vaxorcist (talk) 16:42, 23 August 2022 (CEST)
Another thought: What does the "DEC Acronyms Book" say in this matter? Vaxorcist (talk) 16:55, 23 August 2022 (CEST)
You must have a strange definition of "important"! :-) I think I would rather, as the expression in English goes, 'drill a hole in my skull - with a dull drill'!
I'm on travel this week, and do not have access to my copy of the DEC Acronyms Book. Not that it really matters, I think; I am sure that i) it won't give the formal name of the HSC50, or ii) the usual expansion of 'HSC' was 'Hierarchical Storage Controller'. Jnc (talk) 17:01, 24 August 2022 (CEST)
Fourth name of HSC models is "Intelligent I/O Server" (according to "Systems and Options Catalog 1991 July-September").
I doubt the controller itself is really "intelligent", but its creators.
More than ten years of success (HSC50:1983 - HSC65/HSC95:1993) are a good proof of an intelligent concept and realization for me.
Maybe DEC's formal name for the HSC models was just "HSC", and all other names marketing strategy decisions? Vaxorcist (talk) 11:29, 25 August 2022 (CEST)
"Intelligent" is DEC's own descriptive term for HSC units, e.g. "defined as an intelligent mass storage subsystem server" (from the HSC50 User Guide, pg. 1-1).
I know you are a big fan of the VAX line, but I would describe them as merely 'competent'; they had nothing like the lasting impact of contemporaries like the IBM 801. Jnc (talk) 07:13, 26 August 2022 (CEST)