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Snapshot: Reusing tape cartridges

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How Many Times Do You Reuse a Tape Cartridge?



What kind of tape do you use?
How many times do you reuse a tape cartridge?
Percent that reuse tape until malfunctions, by tape type:

To our surprise, the majority of Storage readers don't seem to institute set policies about how many times to use a tape (59.1% across all tape types). Instead, they take their cues from the tape itself, and discontinue its use when it starts exhibiting too many errors. That may not be as worrisome as it sounds. Tape media has come a long way,

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says Hossein ZiaShakeri, vice president of advanced engineering at tape library manufacturer Spectra Logic. In the lab, his team regularly brings tapes to 10,000 passes. Furthermore, the higher quality the tape, the higher the likelihood storage managers do not have set policies about tape reuse--75% of IBM 3490/3590 users reuse tapes until errors set in, but only 44% of DAT users do.

This was first published in August 2004

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