Access "Less tape talk, more tape testing"
This article is part of the Vol. 3 No. 1 March 2004 issue of Hot tips for buying storage technology
A storage manager was showing me the latest and greatest in his data center a few months ago, and we got to his tape library. Scorn and frustration crept into his voice as he described his recurring problems with drives in the library. Periodically, tapes would jam during backups. Calls to the library vendor resulted in a service tech coming in, yanking out the offending drive--tape still stuck in it--and replacing it with a new drive and cartridge. After several episodes of this, the storage manager was older and no wiser as to the cause of his problems. Were the drives used by the library manufacturer a bad batch? A defective design? Poorly manufactured? Were the tapes bad? There was no way to know. We hear a lot of folklore about tapes and drives from storage managers. Certain makes are rumored to be better than others. Some tapes are sold with longer guarantees, yet it's not very clear how different they are from the tapes sold with shorter guarantees. Back in the day, guys in high school used to sit around arguing whether Ford stood for "Figure On ... Access >>>
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