A SCSI drive requires an intelligent controller, and uses a "dumb" disk. An IDE disk (integrated drive electronics) has most of the intelligence incorporated on the drive itself. SCSI disks have less CPU overhead, since the controller offloads most of the work from the CPU.
SCSI is normally used in servers, and IDE is normally seen in PC's. SCSI controllers can do RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks), which provides for parity re-generation using surviving disks during a drive failure, to let you keep working even though a disk is broken.
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This was first published in November 2001