Did you know that there are ways you can improve your sluggish tape's performance through simple maintenance strategies? Here are tips that will help you get the most out of your tape cartridge:
1. Pay Special Attention To Media Storage Conditions
The plastic cover found on most tape drives is enough to protect the drive from casual handling. However, severe impacts like a fall, exposure to humidity and high temperatures and exposure to dust all lead to loss of data as a result of damage to the tape. If your data is stored at offsite locations, then it would be best if you visited those sites on occasion to verify that your data is being stored properly and in the right conditions.
2. Replace And Rotate Tape Media On A Regular Basis
Tape contains read/write heads which means that the media's working life is limited to a particular number of hours in the drive. You can spread this kind of daily wear by rotating tapes in your media set. It is important that you keep track of all tapes that are showing signs of wear and replace any tape that has reached the end of its working life. If you have tapes that fail regular verification testing then you may want to replace those too or else you face having trouble during future restorations.
3. The Tape Drive Should Be Maintained Properly
Movement of tape media in a drive will deposit media onto that particular drive's read/write heads. This usually results in media errors which are as a result of premature damage of the media. HP LTO 6 usually comes with manufacturer recommendations for head cleaning. Be sure to follow them as stated.
4. Convert To Another Media Type Or Refresh Old Tape Media
Data stored on any kind of magnetic media tends to decay over time, even when it is doing something an inane as sitting on a shelf. The media will succumb to data errors which will make restoring it hard. For this reason, form a habit of refreshing tape data regularly. This is not a problem that is experienced when tapes are in normal rotation. It is a problem that applies mostly to tapes that are in deep storage. If a tape approaches around 50% of its shelf life, then you may need to rewrite it.
5. Upgrade Your Old Drives To Enhance Capacity And Speed
Some companies have realized that they can improve the speed and capacity of their old tape drives by simply upgrading them to the newest available standards. Fewer medium will be used during data backup. When you want to make an upgrade, it is important for you to determine whether your systems will be compatible after the upgrade. Some tapes may be rendered unreadable on certain tape drives.
You would be surprised by how far you could increase your tape drive's life by simply practicing a few of the tips mentioned above.
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