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About Tapewise PDF Print

What does it do?

TapewiseTapewise has been designed from the start to form part of your tape media maintenance programme. It helps to identify and eliminate under performing media, by enabling the administrator or operator to incorporate pre-media qualification (on new media) and post-media qualification (media within the current media pool). This allows you to identify media that exceeds the data centres pre-defined error threshold levels, and remove it before it causes a catastrophic error at a later date. After identification of the failed media Tapewise offers you the ability to make an identical copy for replacement. Tapewise also offers a full spectrum of tape utilities such as Copying, Initialisation/Labelling, Erasing, Duplication, Validation, Retention...these are all accompanied by full media logs so that the operator knows the quality and status of the tape used.

Why do you need it?

Are you having problems with tape backup and restoration? Tape quality is paramount to the performance and security of your data. With tapes underperforming you will have problems writing, and more importantly reading your data. Would you knowingly put poor quality fuel in your car? Then why would you put poor quality tapes in your tape drives.

Do you know the quality and efficiency of the tape media you use? This question applies to ALL types of tape media such as:- 3480, 3490, DLT, AIT, 3570, 3590, 9840,9940, T10K, SDLT, LTO 1, 2 & 3, 3592, etc.

LTO mediaLTO mediaWhich of these two cartridges was dropped? If a high density half-inch tape cartridge is dropped, there is a strong possibility that the media inside the cartridge has been damaged, even if there is no visible evidence of damage on the outside of the cartridge. Tape edge damage or misalignment of internal components, such as the hub or tape pack may occur. This damage may not present itself initially, but may develop over time. For this reason, it is recommended that for any dropped cartridge, the data on that cartridge should be copied to another cartridge, and the dropped cartridge be retired. With large amounts of compressed data per cartridge, the importance of proper handling of cartridges cannot be overstated.

Ignorance is bliss! With tape reliability increasing fourfold over the last 20 years you might think that it's not a problem. Well I hope you have a good resume, because you'll need it when disaster strikes! There are some tools on the market that gather stats and guess the quality of your media. But lets face it unless you physically test a tape, your never going to know it's condition. Even if a tape reports a few errors in total, how do you know if they are spread over the tape or in the same place?

How does it do it?

One of our most innovative developments is our TEM© technology, which stands for "Tape Error Mapping”, an example of which can be seen below.

TEM graphs : A picture paints a thousand words!

Good tem
Low errors

Tem bad
High errors

On every Write/Read task that Tapewise performs, it monitors the errors produced at preset intervals (different for each type of media). This information is mapped in real-time and can be examined in more detail in graphical format. At the end of each task this information is stored in the Tapewise database so that it can be reproduced in the future. The maps produced by Tapewise give a clear and concise analysis of the tape, allowing you to immediately identify media problems. For more details on TEM please click HERE

Who is it aimed at?

Tapewise is a unique product in the tape media Backup industry. It isn't a backup product, it's a Quality assurance and High performance tape tool, used to qualify and check your media along side other useful tool.

Medium/Large tape users

Tape drive engineers

Tape service VARS

Sun/STK SL8500

FACT: Most companies value 100 megabytes of data at more than $1 million… 43% of lost or stolen data is valued at $5 million. (McGladrey & Pullen, LLP)

So you’ve backed up your data BUT can you read it back? With tape media storing 250MB to 600GB (uncompressed) on a single cartridge at present, and over 1.5TB (compressed) in the future, data centre managers and backup administrators are rightly concerned about the restoration of their data. Tape media quality and efficiency have become an important factor in data management. Do you know the quality and efficiency of the tape media you use?

With libraries containing vasts quantity of data, it is imperative that the media is in peak physical condition. Tapewise can be used to verify your media is working at it's optimum by checking your media on a regular basis. The new Enterprise version also include automatic pro-active testing, allowing Tapewise to check your media and send you reports on it's activities. When you know your media is good, you know your data is safe!

Tapewise provides a Duty of Care
To ensure compliance with regulations such as Sarbenes-Oxley , all data needs to be secured against accidental or unintentional compromise at storage and recovery.IT directors and DP managers have a "duty of care" to ensure that backed up and archived tapes are written to media fit for purpose. Tapewise is able to evaluate and monitor the media that is used in the data centre and provide quality checks which show if it is acceptable. (Although tape media quality is getting better there are instances of brand new media failing) CERN, one of the largest users of tape worldwide will use Tapewise to discern their media is kept at peak performance. (see case study)

Sun/Stk 9840When a customer has called in an engineer because of a suspected drive related problem, it is not always the drive at fault. How many times have engineers simply replaced a tape drive because the customer reported a problem? Then on top of that, you have the cost of sending the drive to the repair centre to be tested, only to find there is no issue with the drive!

With Tapewise you have an excellent tool that you can use onsite to check the drive before it is removed! This can be done simply by using a Gold tape in the drive, and checking the TEM errors and speed throughput charts to verify if the drive is operating correctly. So what is a Gold tape? A Gold tape is simply a piece of media for the selected drive that operates well within the drives specification. As this tape is a known to be good then the results from the tests should also be good!

Of course you can also use this the other way around! With a Gold drive (A tape drive that streams tapes with little or no errors) can be used to test media! With good media the drive will perform as expected but of course any bad media will under-perform and also show errors.

Tapewise should be a part of any respectable tape drive repair company's tool kit. Only Tapewise will really check the drive is working at it's optimum performance and save you time and money by stopping the same drives being returned, and ensuring your work is to the highest standards.

LabellingTapewise include a whole set of functions, including, for example, Initialisation and Erase.

We have worked with many companies, supplying them with customised versions of Tapewise for there own particular needs and quirks. In fact we enjoy the challenge of creating solutions and improving their productivity.

Tapewise can also be used to certify media to high standards. A simple full write test can identify any bad media (TEM charts) and ensure that any previous client data is overwritten, killing two birds with one stone. You can resell media knowing that it is of high quality, and with databased records to verify this information.

 

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