Comprehensive "Drive" Diagnostics In Automation Environments.
Original Publication Date: 2005-Apr-29
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-29
Disclosed is a comprehensive method which can be applied in data storage automation environments to help isolate faulty data storage devices through the use of a common data storage medium which is propagated through a population of data storage devices collecting a baseline of information and identifying the data storage devices which do not conform to the normal behavior.
Comprehensive "Drive" Diagnostics In Automation Environments .
In automation environments (such as the IBM LTO Tape Library - 3584), a significant cost problem in the field is the result of many data storage devices being replaced unnecessarily and later found to be without problem ( these devices are referred to as No Defect Found (NDF) devices ). To limit the time required to service a problem, some Customer ( Service ) Engineers take a shot gun approach to failure analysis without the appropriate tools available to them and replace data storage devices which may be good data storage devices. A system level diagnostic is needed to help isolate true defective data storage devices from the overall data storage device population. This invention will provide a method which can clearly address this problem.
Note: The intent of this diagnostic is to identify defect data storage devices. The intent is not to identify defect data storage mediums (however, if all data storage device logs indicate failures at the same position on the medium then it would possible to conclude the diagnostic medium is suspect).
Current solutions are based on diagnostics performed by the data storage devices independent of the automation device. It is up to the data storage device to notify the automation device or host based application that a diagnostic has been executed and that pertinent data is available. Subsequently, the automation device requires the intelligence to do something with the information. The diagnostic data may be available for some but not all data storage devices. Further, a failure on a data storage medium may be result of actions performed by another data storage device. This invention attempts to gather the data comprehensively to help isolated defective data storage devices.
The method disclosed provides a comprehensive diagnostic which is data storage device-automation device integrated to provide function to gather data across all data storage devices in the automation device and to reliably be able to identify defective or problem data storage devices in the automation environment. This will save money in warranty expense and raise the profit margin by helping the field isolate problems quicker and reduce the number of NDF data storage devices.
The core idea is to use a scratch data storage medium for temporary use as a diagnostic data storage medium cartridge. This data storage medium will be cycled through all data storage devices in the automation device. Each data storage device performs a set of diagnostics and leaves the results of its diagnostic aggregated with the results from all previous data storage devices. Upon completion of the cycle, the aggregated data can be collected once by the automation device, presented to the customer either by a host attached application, or an attached web interface, or via a call home function. The data storage medium used for the diagnostic can, if necessary, be sent to development for...