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MSL5026SL BRC

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Vincent Farrugia
Honored Contributor

MSL5026SL BRC

Hello,

Sorry for bothering you again with this question... but I need confirmation about this. Are the SDLT drives in the MSL5926SL BRC (backward-read compatible)? This issue is raised in MSL5052SL questions and answers:

http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/storageworks/msl5052sl/qa.html

in which it says that "Compaq offers the Backward Read Compatible (BRC) SDLT drive which can read DLT type IV media written on 40/80 GB and 35/70 GB DLT drives".

No mention of this for the MSL5026SL though!!!

http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/storageworks/msl5026/qa.html

Why?

I need an official answer pretty urgently please.

Thanks very much in advance,
Vince
Tape Drives RULE!!!
17 REPLIES
Vincent Fleming
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: MSL5026SL BRC

Vince,

The MSL5052SL and MSL5026 use the same tape drive - SDLT220. They have the same specifications, and can both read DLT IV tapes, as per Quantum's specs.

According to Quantum, even the SDLT320 can read DLT IV media.

See http://www.quantum.com/AM/products/dlt/sdlt320/default.htm and http://www.quantum.com/AM/products/dlt/sdlt220/default.htm for details.

The ability to be backward compatible is a function of the drives, not the library.

I don't know why this is not pointed out in the docs.

Vince
No matter where you go, there you are.
Vincent Farrugia
Honored Contributor

Re: MSL5026SL BRC

Thank you for your clarification Vince.

We have a customer who cannot read DLTIV media through his MSL5026SL SDLT drive. What could be the problem?
Tape Drives RULE!!!
Vincent Fleming
Honored Contributor

Re: MSL5026SL BRC

Vince,

According to the Quantum manuals (http://www.quantum.com/pdfs/sdlt220_sdlt320_product_manual.pdf), it can read DLT IV tapes from DLT 8000, 7000, and 4000 drives. (See appendix b).

For any problems, they suggest inspection and cleaning of the cartridge. See the manual for details.

In the old days, we used to see the drives ocasionally that had problems because the read heads were positioned slightly off tolerance - either on the writing device or reading device (or both) that caused them not to be able to exchange media. This occured in both tape drives and floppy drives.

But I haven't seen an instance of that in years.

Are the tapes readable in the older drive? (if they still have it)

-Vince

No matter where you go, there you are.
Vincent Fleming
Honored Contributor

Re: MSL5026SL BRC

Oh - and are you getting any error codes?

No matter where you go, there you are.
Vincent Farrugia
Honored Contributor

Re: MSL5026SL BRC

Hello,

Yes, there are read successfully in the old DLT8000 drive.

For the error messages, I still have to enquire that.

Many thanks so far for your help.

Vince
Tape Drives RULE!!!
Vincent Fleming
Honored Contributor

Re: MSL5026SL BRC

Vince,

If they haven't a copy of L&TT, they can download it from http://www.hp.com/support/tapetools

-Vince
No matter where you go, there you are.
Vincent Farrugia
Honored Contributor

Re: MSL5026SL BRC

Hello,

I went on site today to check with my own eyes :-)

I entered an SDLT tape and after a few seconds, ArcServe 2000 was detecting the media sucessfully. When I entered a DLT IV tape containing a previous backup, the drive succesfully lit up the "write protected" LED, but, after 5 minutes trying to read the tape, ArcServe reported the tape as "unrecognised format".

I tried to give it a DLT IV tape from my office, containing a UNIX tar in it. It lit the "write-proctected" LED successfully, and, surprisingly, took only a few seconds to recognise it as "unrecognised format", as opposed to the 5 minutes of their backups.

They are using 64k block size.

I installed LTT and generated a support ticket, which you can find attached here.

Thanks very much for your help so far, looking forward for more help :-)

Vince
Tape Drives RULE!!!
Eugeny Brychkov
Honored Contributor

Re: MSL5026SL BRC

Vince,
looks like firmware is not the latest: should be 0408 for robot and V51 for drive. Please use LTT to update firmware
Eugeny
Curtis Ballard
Honored Contributor

Re: MSL5026SL BRC

According to the internal specs on the 5026SL, the drives are supposed to be backwards read compatible. There were a lot of early SDLT drives that were not so there is a possibility that early 5026 libraries might have those drives but I can't find any mention of an early version with non-BRC drives.
Vincent Farrugia
Honored Contributor

Re: MSL5026SL BRC

Thanks for your help.

Eugeny, I will try to update the firmware and fingers-crossed.

Curtis, what could be the problem then? I know the SDLT IS backward-compatible, cuz it IS recognising the DLT IV tapes as such, cuz the write-protect LED lights up as soon as I enter a DLT IV tape, even if the notch is not in that position. I think this is a media recognition problem rather than a compatibility issue. What do you think?

Vince
Tape Drives RULE!!!
Curtis Ballard
Honored Contributor

Re: MSL5026SL BRC

Vince,

I have confirmed that no MSL 5026SL libraries were shipped with non-BRC drives. Your drives should be able to read the DLT type IV media. I'm not an expert on the SDLT drives, but I do know of a few possibilities.

Clean the drive - the type IV read capability uses a different read channel that may need cleaned even if there are no clean requests issued when using SDLT tapes.

Check the format of the tape in a DLT8000 drive. If the tape shows up as DLT4000 format the drive won't read it. If the tape shows up as DLT7000 format the drives do not do as good of a job reading the tapes.

Other than those suggestions I can't offer much more help on the SDLT drives.
Curtis Ballard
Honored Contributor

Re: MSL5026SL BRC

One more tip. Some early DLT8000 drives have different heads and may write tapes that SDLT drive can not read. There isn't anything wrong with either drive in this case. Other DLT8000 drives should read those tapes fine but SDLT drives are a little more limited in what they can read.

If you can provide serial numbers for the drives that the tapes are written in I can probably check and see if they are the earlier drives. An LTT support ticket will show that serial number and some ISV applications will also show it.
Vincent Farrugia
Honored Contributor

Re: MSL5026SL BRC

Hello,

I've read that the SDLT drives are backward-compatible to DLT8000, DLT7000, DLT4000 and DLT1 drives... basically anything that can be written to a DLT IV tape. You said DLT4000 format cannot be read?

Vince
Tape Drives RULE!!!
Vincent Farrugia
Honored Contributor

Re: MSL5026SL BRC

Hello,

These are the serial numbers that I managed to gather. Don't know whether they are ok.

News... The drive was in a DLT 718 (so actually it is a DLT7000 drive!).

These are the numbers:

Product number: C6280J
Numbers:
462C031633
DE7AA10032

Thanks for all your help,
Vince
Tape Drives RULE!!!
Curtis Ballard
Honored Contributor

Re: MSL5026SL BRC

Since you report that the drives are DLT7000 it is very possible that the tapes are not written at a field strength that the SDLT drives can not read. All DLT7000 drives have a head very similar to the early 8000 drives and SDLT drives have difficulty reading tapes from some early 8000 drives.

I have not done a lot of testing with SDLT drives and backwards compatibility. It might be possible to read DLT4000 tapes with them but I wouldn't count on it. I've had trouble with DLT4000 tapes in DLT8000 drives. Always had a 4000 drive around though so never bothered to fight it.

It is starting to sound like this might be a question that will have to go back to Quantum.
Vincent Farrugia
Honored Contributor

Re: MSL5026SL BRC

Hello,

Thanks a lot Curtis. You really helped me out. I will try to convince the customer that the drive it was written with is not compatible with SDLT drive. He bought the MSL5026SL with the assumption that he could read his old tapes with it, so that would be difficult to swallow for him.

I will go on site today to perform a firmware upgrade of drive and library, just in case it is a firmware issue. In any case, many thanks once again!

Regards,
Vince
Tape Drives RULE!!!
Dave van Beeren
Occasional Visitor

Re: MSL5026SL BRC

Hello Vincent,

I have the same problem with the incompatibility to read SDLT 110/220 Tapes from the MSL5026SL to another simular SLDT drive. Under Arcserve 2000 it regonize the tapelabel but when i want to scan or merge the tape the drive is saying "please mount media in drive". Is there a fix for this particulary problem ?