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Vol. 3 No. 1 March 2004

Less tape talk, more tape testing

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 ...

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Features in this issue

  • Storage Pros of the World Unite!

    Commune with fellow storage folk

  • Consolidating NAS pays off

    by  Alan Radding

    The role of network-attached storage may be changing as more and more storage managers discover the the benefits of using NAS to consolidate file servers.

  • Tape type matters

    High-performance tape formats may all seem similar in capacity and throughput, but most formats lend themselves better to some applications then others. Find out how to decide which one is best for you.

  • Slash SAN costs

    by  Marc Farley

    SANs are expensive if you operate them according to conventional wisdom. Find out how to break the vicious circle of high costs that limit the places you can use SANs.

  • How to get the best deal

    Take this crash course in bargaining for storage. Get the lowdown on effective tactics such as resisting vendor lock-in, working with multiple vendors and leveraging the second tier.

  • No SAS for Networked Storage

Columns in this issue