Great Article on Managing Your Tape
Just finished reading Managing Your Tape Is No Longer an Oxymoron by David Hill in InfoStor magazine’s August 2009 online issue. (And in the spirit of full disclosure, Dave Simpson does mention B&L’s Vertices and VaultLedger Tape Management Systems in the Keeping Track of Tapes sidebar.)
I think he hits upon a crucial concept for managing tapes: taking a proactive as opposed to a reactive approach. He accurately points out that many data centers only concern themselves with tape management when something goes wrong with a drive or cartridge. Of course at those points, it can be too late to do anything. Especially if these discrepancies are discovered during a recovery process.
As David points out, tape management is not the most glamorous part of a data center (as opposed to all those other glamorous duties 🙂 However, it is a crucial task and one that requires diligence. Luckily, as the article points out, there are many products on the market to help you with tape management.