Tape Storage

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  • 1.  LTO9 media initialization

    IBM Champion
    Posted Mon October 17, 2022 12:17 PM
    We never saw this before. New LTO9 cartridges requires initialization and looks like it takes pretty amount of time if you have dense library.

    "Media initialization has been implemented in LTO-9 technology to optimize data placement to each LTO-9 cartridge characteristics. Like other common storage devices, each new LTO-9 cartridge requires a one-time initialization prior to commencing read/write operations.
    LTO-9 media initialization enhances LTO tape long-term media durability.Media optimization averages 20 minutes per first load of a cartridge to a tape drive. Although most optimizations will complete within 30 minutes, some optimization may take up to 2 hours. "


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    Nezih Boyacioglu
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  • 2.  RE: LTO9 media initialization

    Posted Tue October 18, 2022 01:27 PM
    Edited by Kevin Butt Tue October 18, 2022 01:31 PM
    There is a more complete write-up about Media Optimization in the LTO9 SCSI Reference (https://www.ibm.com/support/pages/node/6490249). See clause 4.1 Media Optimization (LTO9+), and Annex E.3. LTO-9 Cartridge Initialization. These sections discuss the time required, which is updated from the information above, as well as some application behavior changes that may be helpful. Media Optimization continues to be looked at with hopes of reducing the processing time.

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    Kevin Butt
    IBM Tape Development Ecosystem, Tape SCSI Architect, T10 Standards 
    [IBM Tape Storage] https://www.ibm.com/it-infrastructure/storage/tape
    [SSIC - Infrastructure Interoperability] https://www-304.ibm.com/systems/support/storage/ssic/interoperability.wss
    [LTO & 3592 ISV Support Matrix] https://www.ibm.com/downloads/cas/ORLZ7EMG
    [LTO SCSI Reference] https://www.ibm.com/support/pages/node/6490249
    [3592 SCSI Reference] http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=ssg1S7003248
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Kevin Butt
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  • 3.  RE: LTO9 media initialization

    IBM Champion
    Posted Tue October 18, 2022 01:59 PM
    Nice information Kevin. I saw this one on IBM System Storage Ideas Portal and voted for TS4500 mass media optimization. 



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    Nezih Boyacioglu
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  • 4.  RE: LTO9 media initialization

    IBM Champion
    Posted Wed October 19, 2022 02:27 AM
    Hi Kevin,

    may I use different library instead the prod env wastes time with optimization? like I have ts4500 on prod, ts4300 on test and I will use ts4300 for all my lto9 cartridges to optimize. And move cartridges to ts4500? is it work like that way?

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    Nezih Boyacioglu
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  • 5.  RE: LTO9 media initialization

    Posted Wed October 19, 2022 11:29 AM
    Edited by Kevin Butt Wed October 19, 2022 11:30 AM
    @Nezih Boyacioglu If I understand your question correctly, you are asking if the cartridges can be mounted and optimized in a different library than the production library. Yes. The intent of "production environment" is to indicate the same location such that the humidity, temperature, elevation, etc. are the same as that in production. Therefore, the "Recommendation is to perform first load in the location of deployment, which should be in a stable environment that meets the recommended environmental specification (https://www.ibm.com/docs/en/ts4500-tape-library/1.8.0.3?topic=planning-environmental-specifications)." Also of note, "Media optimization creates a referenced calibration for each cartridge that enables the tape drive's intelligent alignment to optimize data placement."

    This calibration relates to the state of the tape in the current environment. If the pre-initialization occurs in high humidity, for example, and the client location is in low humidity, then the calibration is sub-optimal. For optimal calibration the environmental conditions should be the same as in the operating environment.​

    This is all about operational margins and optimizing the media calibration to be in the center of those margins. Tape media is affected over time by the environmental conditions and the stresses incurred during storage in the tape pack. When a tape is optimized tape media changes due to pack stresses and environmental conditions begin, and the more time since optimization, the less ideal the margins become. While the drive and media are designed to meet the specifications, the more margins there are, the better the system as a whole.

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    Kevin Butt
    Tape SCSI Architect
    IBM
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  • 6.  RE: LTO9 media initialization

    IBM Champion
    Posted Thu October 20, 2022 12:25 PM
    Thank you Kevin

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    Nezih Boyacioglu
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  • 7.  RE: LTO9 media initialization

    Posted Tue October 18, 2022 02:02 PM
    Hi Nezih, that is correct, this is new on LTO-9 technology to improve data durability in the long term, and we have not heard of any impacts on the field by adding this step since filling up a tape cartridge with data takes much more time, therefore just by dedicating a tape drive for initialization temporarily can get users ready to start as the only waiting time is getting the first tape ready.

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    CARLOS SANDOVAL CASTRO
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