Converting a 3494 Library Housing 3590 Tape Cartridges into a 3494 Library Housing Both 3590 and LTO Tape Cartridges
Original Publication Date: 2000-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19
Disclosed is an automated method of converting an existing IBM Magstar 3494 Tape Library* housing IBM Magstar IBM Magstar 3590* cartridge tapes into a 3494 library capable of housing both 3590 tape cartridges and Linear Tape Open (LTO) tape cartridges. This is done by providing a cartridge bin sleeve capable of being handled by the library picker mechanism. The bin sleeve can be fetched from the entry station and inserted into the existing 3590 cartridge bin cell thereby converting the bin into to a LTO cartridge bin. A second sleeve is also defined to convert an entry station slot from a 3590 cartridge entry slot to an LTO cartridge entry slot. The conversion process is accomplished under the control to the 3494 Library Manager (LM) and is initiated by command of the operator and performed by the library accessor and picker mechanism. The objective is preserve the customer's investment in an existing tape cartridge library and to allow the customer to migrate the contents of the library from residing on 3590 Tape Cartridges to LTO Tape Cartridges at a pace consistent with the establishment's storage and business needs and not depend on the presence of field service personnel to perform the conversion. This reduces cost and increases conversion flexibility, A cartridge bin sleeve is provided to convert a 3590 cartridge bin into an LTO cartridge bin. The bin sleeve has a bar code label capable of being read by the bar code reader on the picker and is used to identify the type of storage bin once inserted into the storage location. Since the outside dimensions of the sleeve are very similar to the outside dimensions of the 3590 cartridge, the bin sleeve can be inserted into the library entry station. The accessor picker mechanism can be used to retrieve the bin sleeve and transport the bin sleeve to the target bin to be converted and insert the bind sleeve into the target bin. The bin sleeve is designed to take advantage of the 3590 cartridge bin detents to retain the newly inserted LTO bin sleeve in the target bin. The conversion process begins with the operator, using the entry station bin sleeve, converting one or more of the entry station slots to accept the LTO cartridge. The bin sleeve is also provided with a bar code label identifying it as a LTO tape cartridge entry slot. The operator then places a supply of cartridge bin sleeves in the 3590 entry station slots along with a supply of LTO cartridge tapes in the converted entry station slots. Prior to this time, the Field Service personnel have replaced one or more of the 3590 tape drives in the library with LTO tape drives and made any modifications to the picker mechanism to allow picking of the bin sleeves and the LTO tape cartridge. The conversion is performed by the library accessor and picker under the control of the LM after receiving instructions from the operator as to which bin or bins are to be converted. The operator can alternatively allow the LM to choose the bins to be converted.