Tale of the Tape: Beware of Wind Quality

Enterprise Storage 101: Henry Newman uncovers a little-known problem that could pose a big threat to your stored data.
Posted January 10, 2005

Henry Newman

Originally appeared on Enterprise Storage Forum. Click here for the full article.

A little more than a year ago, a customer told me his company was going to write tapes remotely over an OC-3 connection. The tape drive being used was the StorageTek T9940B, which has a native transfer rate of 30 MB/sec and can support up to about a 68 MB/sec transfer rate with compression. The average compression this customer was seeing was about 1.5 to 1, so he was running the local tape drives at about 45 MB/sec.

After factoring in packetization and contention, we figured that we would be very lucky to see 15 MB/sec on this OC-3 line, and would likely see about 6 MB/sec. I cautioned them that this was a bad idea.

Tape wind quality can be a problem on local Fibre Channel networks, but the problem is exacerbated when replicating directly to tape remotely...

Take a look at these three photos. Can you spot the differences?

Enterprise Storage: Tape Wind Quality

Learn how to spot potential problems early on, and how to ensure good wind quality. Click here for the rest of Henry Newman's guide to wind quality and how it factors into the longevity of your data.

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