NetApp Interview Question for System Administrators

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The terminologies over the time has been used interchangably that the difference between them is blurred. Ideally, device drivers could be termed as the software entity which manages the device and resides in RAM; It makes sure that, the device is able to interact with the applications and OS. Firmware is the entity which resides in the device ROM and it will be responsible for the device initialisation and setup of registers, etc. That way, we can say device drivers provide an upper layer interface for the firmware below to interact with devices.

For ex, SCSI disks will have the firmware embedded in their controllers which are part of the SCSI disk itself. Any read/write will be managed by the DD which is part of OS and is written to a DMA area and writes a COMMAND to the control/status registers of controller. Now, controller firmware picks up the data and writes it to disk. Normal convention is, device drivers are written in C, and fimrware iin Assembly.

- danny March 12, 2010 | Flag Reply

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