SDLT vs LTO tape library

SDLT vs LTO tape library

Post by tr do » Fri, 06 Jun 2003 05:58:34



We've purchased two SDLT tape drives(Hp part no CQP 1-2 DRV DLT TAPE
LIBRARY or MSL 5026 S2) in Nov 2002 and have had problems with
frimware and sharing between VMS and NT. Because of tape
initialization and sharing, we run firmware version v35. The most
recent firmware just release today is v52. We'ev had to replace the
tape drives at least three(3)times as well.
Because of the issues with SDLT, it's been suggested to switch to LTO.
I know nothing about LTO and want some honest (non-sales) feedback on
LTO and how it works with VMS. Also, the tape library will be shared
with NT and I would like to know how LTO works in a VMS/NT shared
environment.
Thanks,
Tom
 
 
 

SDLT vs LTO tape library

Post by David J. Dachter » Fri, 06 Jun 2003 10:50:20



> We've purchased two SDLT tape drives(Hp part no CQP 1-2 DRV DLT TAPE
> LIBRARY or MSL 5026 S2) in Nov 2002 and have had problems with
> frimware and sharing between VMS and NT. Because of tape
> initialization and sharing, we run firmware version v35. The most
> recent firmware just release today is v52. We'ev had to replace the
> tape drives at least three(3)times as well.
> Because of the issues with SDLT, it's been suggested to switch to LTO.
> I know nothing about LTO and want some honest (non-sales) feedback on
> LTO and how it works with VMS. Also, the tape library will be shared
> with NT and I would like to know how LTO works in a VMS/NT shared
> environment.

As we - and StorageTek - recently learned, VMS will not provide support
for Generation-1 LTO due to blocksize limitation issues and others.
Gen-2 LTO is not here yet, neither is VMS support for it. So, SDLT is it
for now.

That said, we are likewise having SDLT issues. The drives are Quantum,
not HP-badged. Also, they under contract with StorageTek thru the VAR
and not with HP. So, essentially, we have no support for our SDLT drives
on VMS since neither StorageTek nor the VAR has OpenVMS support
resources. Messages like "Extended Sense Data received" mean nothing to
non-VMS folks, apparently.

--
David J. Dachtera
dba DJE Systems
http://www.djesys.com/

Unofficial Affordable OpenVMS Home Page:
http://www.djesys.com/vms/soho/

 
 
 

SDLT vs LTO tape library

Post by Ed Wensell II » Fri, 06 Jun 2003 11:12:45



> Because of the issues with SDLT, it's been suggested to switch to LTO.
> I know nothing about LTO and want some honest (non-sales) feedback on
> LTO and how it works with VMS. Also, the tape library will be shared
> with NT and I would like to know how LTO works in a VMS/NT shared
> environment.
> Thanks,
> Tom

I've been using LTO1 since October 2002 in a mixed non-VMS environment
(sorry, and I dare not speak the name here). I have two units, both
rebadged HP SureStore jukeboxes. One is a 2-drive/20-tape and the other
is a 4-drive/40-tape unit. We are getting ready to install a 4-drive
(capable of 6) 100to80-tape unit at another site.

So far I have had two drive failures, both out of the 4-drive jukebox.
Out of a batch of 80 tapes I only have one bad. This seems to be on par
with the failure rates I used to see with DLTs (TZ87/TZ89) at a former
employer (VMS environment, hence why I still linger here).

AFAICT, the only thing LTO lacks is the nice removeable label cards like
DLTs. Since I've switched to barcodes only, this is not an issue.

This may all be moot... Assuming David's post is correct and LTO1 on VMS
is simply not there.

--
Ed Wensell III - E-mail address is valid if you know the right bits to
drop.

There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.
- Ken Olsen, President & founder of Digital Equipment Corp, 1977

 
 
 

SDLT vs LTO tape library

Post by Richard Brodi » Fri, 06 Jun 2003 18:45:00



Quote:> Messages like "Extended Sense Data received" mean nothing to non-VMS folks,
> apparently.

Sounds like hogwash to me: it's no more difficult to interpret the sense data than it
is to hand decode an IP packet. It might not do any good if what you need is a
driver mod., of course.
 
 
 

SDLT vs LTO tape library

Post by Dan Alle » Sat, 07 Jun 2003 00:45:14


Quote:> As we - and StorageTek - recently learned, VMS will not provide support
> for Generation-1 LTO due to blocksize limitation issues and others.
> Gen-2 LTO is not here yet, neither is VMS support for it. So, SDLT is it
> for now.

Hmmm - got an ADIC LTO2 library in my server lab down the hall that so far works like a charm with W2K Advanced Server and Veritas's
BackupExec. Or were you impugning it's performance/reliability? Only been in use for about 2 weeks but so far I REALLY LIKE IT.

Dan

Quote:

> That said, we are likewise having SDLT issues. The drives are Quantum,
> not HP-badged. Also, they under contract with StorageTek thru the VAR
> and not with HP. So, essentially, we have no support for our SDLT drives
> on VMS since neither StorageTek nor the VAR has OpenVMS support
> resources. Messages like "Extended Sense Data received" mean nothing to
> non-VMS folks, apparently.

> --
> David J. Dachtera
> dba DJE Systems
> http://www.djesys.com/

> Unofficial Affordable OpenVMS Home Page:
> http://www.djesys.com/vms/soho/

 
 
 

SDLT vs LTO tape library

Post by David J. Dachter » Sat, 07 Jun 2003 11:56:09




> > Messages like "Extended Sense Data received" mean nothing to non-VMS folks,
> > apparently.

> Sounds like hogwash to me: it's no more difficult to interpret the sense data than it
> is to hand decode an IP packet. It might not do any good if what you need is a
> driver mod., of course.

I think the issue is that the driver is receiving something it didn't
expect.

Likewise, the vendor is being faced with an issue it didn't expect and
is ill-prepared to handle.

--
David J. Dachtera
dba DJE Systems
http://www.djesys.com/

Unofficial Affordable OpenVMS Home Page:
http://www.djesys.com/vms/soho/

 
 
 

SDLT vs LTO tape library

Post by David J. Dachter » Sat, 07 Jun 2003 11:59:26




> > Because of the issues with SDLT, it's been suggested to switch to LTO.
> > I know nothing about LTO and want some honest (non-sales) feedback on
> > LTO and how it works with VMS. Also, the tape library will be shared
> > with NT and I would like to know how LTO works in a VMS/NT shared
> > environment.
> > Thanks,
> > Tom

> I've been using LTO1 since October 2002 in a mixed non-VMS environment
> (sorry, and I dare not speak the name here). I have two units, both
> rebadged HP SureStore jukeboxes. One is a 2-drive/20-tape and the other
> is a 4-drive/40-tape unit. We are getting ready to install a 4-drive
> (capable of 6) 100to80-tape unit at another site.

> So far I have had two drive failures, both out of the 4-drive jukebox.
> Out of a batch of 80 tapes I only have one bad. This seems to be on par
> with the failure rates I used to see with DLTs (TZ87/TZ89) at a former
> employer (VMS environment, hence why I still linger here).

> AFAICT, the only thing LTO lacks is the nice removeable label cards like
> DLTs. Since I've switched to barcodes only, this is not an issue.

> This may all be moot... Assuming David's post is correct and LTO1 on VMS
> is simply not there.

No "assuming" necessary. STK (who told my VAR who told me) was told by
OVMS Engr directly that LTO-Gen1 is a no-go. I have this from both ends:
STK and my HP Silver Support TAM. Hence the 11th hour scramble for SDLT.

--
David J. Dachtera
dba DJE Systems
http://www.djesys.com/

Unofficial Affordable OpenVMS Home Page:
http://www.djesys.com/vms/soho/

 
 
 

SDLT vs LTO tape library

Post by David J. Dachter » Sat, 07 Jun 2003 12:02:15



> > As we - and StorageTek - recently learned, VMS will not provide support
> > for Generation-1 LTO due to blocksize limitation issues and others.
> > Gen-2 LTO is not here yet, neither is VMS support for it. So, SDLT is it
> > for now.

> Hmmm - got an ADIC LTO2 library in my server lab down the hall that so far works like a charm with W2K Advanced Server and Veritas's
> BackupExec. Or were you impugning it's performance/reliability? Only been in use for about 2 weeks but so far I REALLY LIKE IT.

I was told that key issues - like odd-size blocks - were not supported
by LTO-Gen1; hendce, no ANSI capability, hence no OVMS support.

So far, the issues seem to focus on the SAN elements and the fact that
OVMS Engr did not qualify the Quantum SDLT-320 drives.

--
David J. Dachtera
dba DJE Systems
http://www.djesys.com/

Unofficial Affordable OpenVMS Home Page:
http://www.djesys.com/vms/soho/

 
 
 

SDLT vs LTO tape library

Post by Dan Foste » Mon, 09 Jun 2003 18:18:24



Quote:

> As we - and StorageTek - recently learned, VMS will not provide support
> for Generation-1 LTO due to blocksize limitation issues and others.

That's * (but understandable given the cited reasons). Too bad, because
LTO-1 is great stuff -- we run it here, although not on an OpenVMS
platform.

Quote:> Gen-2 LTO is not here yet, neither is VMS support for it. So, SDLT is it
> for now.

That may be true with respect to VMS support for LTO-2 but I wanted to
point out that LTO-2 libraries and drives has been available for a few
months now. (Minor nit.)

And to throw in my two cents on SDLT vs LTO... SDLT looks like technology
that's more attractive if there were customers with a very large existing
installed base of DLT tapes and tools.

Since we'd previously come from using Magstar MP tapes, and had no existing
DLT investment to protect... we just basically dumped the Magstar MP
platform and went with LTO.

Otherwise, the road-map for LTO looks more attractive over the longer term.
At least four generations of LTO sketched out, each with
capacity/capabilities doubling (or better) between each generation.

For future purchases, we'd probably be looking at AIT or LTO.

-Dan

 
 
 

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