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Ease migration, consolidation
Software to copy one tape to another can make it easier to manage backups as well as moving from one tape format to another. Available tape copy software ranges from products designed for mainframes, such as OpenTech Systems' (www.opentechsystems.com) Tape/Copy to products for the workgroup and server markets, such as NovaStor's (www.novastor.com) TapeCopy.
Tape copy software can be used to consolidate data sets on a single cartridge or in a single library by copying specific files between tapes. It is also used in backup schemes where multiple copies of the same backup tape are maintained, for example when one copy is kept on-side for immediate use and another copy goes to secure storage.
Backups aside, tape copy software has several other uses, notably to help move from one tape format to another. Products such as TapeCopy can read and write tapes in most of the popular formats, which makes it easier to migrate tape libraries. It can also be used to prepare multiple distributions of software or data sets for other systems.
Rick Cook has been writing about mass storage since the days when the term meant an 80K floppy disk. The computers he learned on used ferrite cores and magnetic drums. For the last twenty years he has been a freelance writer specializing in storage and other computer issues.
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