Browse Prior Art Database

Method to automatically retrieve and install tape drive software updates using a service console

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000124466D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Apr-21
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-21
Document File: 2 page(s) / 26K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

A method is disclosed to automatically perform tape drive software updates using a service console, tape controller, and a central software repository.

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Method to automatically retrieve and install tape drive software updates using a service console

Tape Drives frequently require software updates as new features are added and performance improvements are created. The application of software updates can be very time consuming in an enterprise data center where dozens of drives will typically require the update. There is additionally a resulting loss in productivity since a tape drive must generally be off-line to receive and update its software. Current methods to update tape drive code images include:

Placing the code image on a special tape cartridge and causing the tape drive

to read and activate the image, and

Direct transmission of the code image via an input path (Serial connection,

SCSI [Small Computer System Interface] connection, Fiber channel) from a host or a controller. Both of these methods may involve service personnel to be physically present near the tape drives to be updated to facilitate loading the code image from media.

The disclosed method utilizes a service console, its connection to a central software repository, its connection to one or more tape controllers, and subsequent connections between the tape controllers and tape drives to automate the software update task for tape drives.

The service console uses a specialized communication protocol which provides peer-to-peer remote command invocation and file transfer capabilities between the console and the tape controller. The control program on the service console uses the communication protocol to:

Request tape drive device product information from the tape controller using

remote command invocation.

Send tape drive software code images to the tape controller using file transfer.

Request the tape controller to perform tape drive code activation using remote

command invocation.

Retrieve tape drive code activation status using remote command invocation.

Communicate with the user interface via program environmental variables.


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