11

Removable Media Management

Removable storage media, particularly magnetic tapes, are a central component of the storage architecture of large datacentres. Storage networks enable servers, and consequently, many different applications, to share media and libraries. Due to the growing use of these networks the management of removable media is becoming very important. In this chapter we will be looking at the characteristics of removable media management.

In the following section we first of all explain why, in spite of the ever-increasing capacity of hard disks and intelligent disk subsystems, removable media is indispensable (Section 11.1). Then we consider various types of removable media (Section 11.2) and libraries (Section 11.3), giving special consideration to media management. We then discuss the problems and requirements related to the management of removable media (Section 11.4). Finally, we introduce the IEEE 1244 Standard for Removable Media Management – an approach that describes both the architecture of a system for the management of removable media and also its communication with applications (Section 11.5).

11.1 THE SIGNIFICANCE OF REMOVABLE MEDIA

Articles with such titles as ‘Tapes Have No Future’ or ‘Is Tape Dead?’ keep appearing in the press. Some storage manufacturers proclaimed the end of tapes already years ago.

The swan song about the end of tape is repeated in regular intervals, especially from the vendors of disk subsystems. After all, they said, hard ...

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