StoreEver Tape Storage
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

how long does the tape last?

SOLVED
Go to solution
Hanry Zhou
Super Advisor

how long does the tape last?

Would somebody please let me know when we should start to throw tapes away? and what is the cariteria to determine the end of the life on the tape? number of mounts? we are using NetBackup. Following is the feature of our tapes here:

C7973A
800GB
ULTRIUM 3

none
13 REPLIES
Steven E. Protter
Exalted Contributor
Solution

Re: how long does the tape last?

Shalom,

You will get various answer on this topic.

The real answer is as long as you feel safe relying on it for critical data.

Software packages such as Veritas Netbackup will keep track of how many times the tape has been read and written to and even provide advice on when its time to get new media.

I think the advice is overly conservative and designed to improve the profits of the companies that make the tapes.

SEP
Steven E Protter
Owner of ISN Corporation
http://isnamerica.com
http://hpuxconsulting.com
Sponsor: http://hpux.ws
Twitter: http://twitter.com/hpuxlinux
Founder http://newdatacloud.com
Pete Randall
Outstanding Contributor

Re: how long does the tape last?

I have to agree with Steve about the advice being overly conservative. It is also configurable, at least in some software (Data Protector, for example). All I can add is that I routinely exceed the software's limits and as long as I don't see any errors reported on the tape, I keep using it. At the first sign of an error, however, I toss it.


Pete

Pete
Michael Steele_2
Honored Contributor

Re: how long does the tape last?

Hi:

Refer to the manufacturer, i.e., Sony. The criteria use to be number of time a tape has been used, ie. 32.

A tape in many data centers expires in a year, giving the following:

* How many times has a tape been used?
* Where did it come from, and when?
* Has it experienced any errors?
* Is it nearing a time when you should retire it to protect your data?

An archive stored in a perfect environment can be kept 30 years.

A good comparison is motion pictures, they degrad in quality over time. Old movies are stored in dry, static environments in old salt mines. Film, like DAT or DDS tapes, perish or oxidize, can't handle the sun light, etc.
Support Fatherhood - Stop Family Law
Hanry Zhou
Super Advisor

Re: how long does the tape last?

How would you defined "being used"? is this the same figure as "the number of times being mounted"? We are using NetBackup, there is a column to tell you the number of mounts. Is "32" a really number used for one of criteria?

Some suggests to use "passes", how should I get this number from?

I understand what others are saying, the "standard" could be quite different, but I am looking for a certain of criteria, then we could make the decision on.

some of them being used since 2005, and mounted more than 90 times, would that be considered to be too old?
none
Michael Steele_2
Honored Contributor

Re: how long does the tape last?

Used = Any time a tape device's read/write head passes over the tape.
Support Fatherhood - Stop Family Law
Hanry Zhou
Super Advisor

Re: how long does the tape last?

Micahel thanks for replyes.

I could not find the number of read/write in NetBackup, but only mounts, is this number could represet reads/writes?

we have tapes being used since 2005, and mounted more than 90 times, are these too old?
none
Dennis Handly
Acclaimed Contributor

Re: how long does the tape last?

>but only mounts, is this number could represent reads/writes?

A mount is a good approximation. A verify pass after a write pass, would count as another read pass.
Michael Steele_2
Honored Contributor

Re: how long does the tape last?

HI

A mount is good. Think about what a mount has to do; A mount reads to the start of record block which is a read / write.

Don't get conflicted with reading the entire tape for it will never happen. The wear and tear will always be on block address zero. How many times has block address zero been read / written / mounted to, in order to find the tape start record, which is probably address zero but may not be. Netbackup puts its own header explaning record format, compression and a bunch of other things on every tape.
Support Fatherhood - Stop Family Law
TTr
Honored Contributor

Re: how long does the tape last?

http://h20195.www2.hp.com/v2/GetPDF.aspx/c00628641.pdf

The quickspecs mention a 30 year archival life and 260 full tape backups.

Look at the bottom of the URL.
Hanry Zhou
Super Advisor

Re: how long does the tape last?

Can anybody please provide me a practical number of reads/writes/mounts, then once the number has been reached, we could consider to toss it
none
TTr
Honored Contributor

Re: how long does the tape last?

200 - 300 mounts and 3 - 5 years in the library.

Check what the default is in netbackup and how or what gets measured.
Michael Steele_2
Honored Contributor

Re: how long does the tape last?

Dude, you've done this before.

If you don't understand the answers that have been provided, and it has been provided, then mayby you shouldn't be here.
Support Fatherhood - Stop Family Law
Hanry Zhou
Super Advisor

Re: how long does the tape last?

I am searching for the number from others in their daily work. what i heard so far is the number from tape specs which is provided by the vendor, as commonly considered to be not so practical.

Thanks for you patience, and all your answers.
none