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Logical Grouping of Data Storage Media in a Library System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000109963D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-25
Document File: 4 page(s) / 173K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Goncharsky, RS: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

This article describes the concept of grouping together Data Storage media that have common characteristics in a library system. The concept is called "Categories" and it allows a library system to deal with these common characteristics to simplify the control and usage of media in the library system. This article describes the concept of Categories and provides examples of its use in a library system.

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Logical Grouping of Data Storage Media in a Library System

       This article describes the concept of grouping together
Data Storage media that have common characteristics in a library
system.  The concept is called "Categories" and it allows a library
system to deal with these common characteristics to simplify the
control and usage of media in the library system.  This article
describes the concept of Categories and provides examples of its use
in a library system.

      Tape, and more recently, optical media, has been a key element
of data storage because of its nature as a removable media.
Removable media enables great quantities of data to be stored without
the high cost of online disk storage.  A large number of tapes and a
relatively small number of tape devices can provide highly
cost-effective storage for data that does not require the fast access
capabilities of non-removable disk storage.

      Historically, human operators have been involved in all aspects
of handling the storage media, including mounting and dismounting the
media on read/write devices, as well as adding or removing media to
or from a library.  In some customer establishments, there is also a
notion of a pool of media that is available for new data to be stored
on.  Any piece of media in the pool can be used to satisfy a mount
request for new write data.  A piece of media is added to a pool when
it contains no previously stored data, or the data on it is no longer
needed.  This concept of a "SCRATCH" pool is currently managed
through operational procedures, programming applications or a
combination of both.

      Recently, automated libraries systems are replacing human
operators.  In doing so, they are attempting to replace the need for
all operator actions, allowing for unattended operations.  This
requires all current operator actions involved in mounting,
dismounting, selecting "SCRATCH" media, and adding or removing media
from the library to be automated.  The current implementations rely
on system software to provide most of the automation of operator
actions.

      The Category concept provides a method for simplifying the
automation of these operator actions, outboard in the automated
library hardware, by grouping media in the library by a specific
attribute and then taking actions for the media in the group.

      Cartridge volumes in a library (whether automated or human
attended) can have common attributes among those volumes that allow
them to be grouped together by those common attributes.  Examples of
such attributes that can be used to group volumes are:
*    Volumes available to write new data upon (commonly referred to
as 'SCRATCH' volumes).
*    Volumes that have been newly entered into a library.
*    Volumes that are to be removed from a library.
*    Multiple volumes associated with a single large dataset or data
aggregate.
*    Volumes to be used only by a specific application, group,...