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Tape Drive Service-Method Using a Hand-Held Service-Device to Comply with FIPS Requirements.

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000167424D
Original Publication Date: 2008-Feb-13
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2008-Feb-13
Document File: 8 page(s) / 90K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

A tape-drive service-method is described, one using a hand-held service-device, and complying with Federal Information Protection System Requirements.

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Tape Drive Service-Method Using a Hand-Held Service-Device to Comply with FIPS Requirements.

LTO (Linear Tape Open, or Ultrium) tape drives currently use a single character display (SCD) or multicolored flashing LEDs. The service person has to read a manual to determine the information communicated by the SCD or LEDs. A cross reference table with the SCD output and/or flashing frequency is needed to determine the status of the drive. Often a service person enters a customer site that has many different drives from different suppliers, each having a cross reference table to explain the SCD or flashing LEDs, this leads to difficulty for the service person. In addition a service person has to enter a customer's facility to service the tape drives. To access drive diagnostic information it is often necessary to use the customer's data processing system to access the tape drive. This may create confidentiality and liability problems for the service person and may negate FIPS (Federal Information Protection System) requirements.

A method using an easy to use device that communicates directly with the tape drive without the necessity of connection to the customer's data processing system is needed to improve the service person's ability to service a tape drives and comply with FIPS requirements. The invention is a method to service data storage tape drives using a hand held service device to comply with FIPS (Federal Information protection System) requirements. The hand held service device is connected using at least one communication channel to at least one data storage tape drive without using the customers IT infrastructure. The service device is used to identify at least one of the data storage tape drives and display tape drive information for the data storage tape drive on a service device display. The service person interprets the tape drive information to determine the status of the data storage tape drive. The service person performs tests, determines and applies corrective action to the tape drives. The tape drive information comprises diagnostic information from the data storage tape drive. The service person bills the customer for the service performed. Because the device only connects through drive interfaces and does not use the customer's IT infrastructure, FIPS requirements are maintained. The data storage drive must have FIPS firmware to meet this requirement.

Flowchart 400 for a method to service a data storage tape drives using a hand held service device is shown in FIG. 4. Please see details on the hand held service device 120 operation following this description of FIG. 4. A service person enters a customer site where data processing equipment is operating. At step 404, service person 140 couples hand held service device 120 using at least one communication channel 110 to at least one of data stora...