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Tape Drive VPD Management

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000175790D
Original Publication Date: 2008-Oct-25
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2008-Oct-25
Document File: 2 page(s) / 22K

Publishing Venue



A method of ensuring that a tape drive that gets replaced in the field has the same level of firmware and the same VPD settings as the original tape drive.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

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Tape Drive VPD Management

IBM tape drives such as LTO and 3592 are installed in 3rd party libraries. IBM Service or IBM Service Partners are interested to service those drives and libraries. A common problem is that the service person may not know specifics (drive firmware level, nonvolatile settings, etc.) about a drive that needs to be replaced. In addition, its not uncommon for service personnel to have limited or no access to the tools requiring internet. The drive firmware version is important because most customers certify their data processing equipment with certain levels of firmware and it is unacceptable for the firmware to change as a result of a component replacement procedure. Another problem is that one drive may have certain unique nonvolatile drive settings (also called Vital Product Data or VPD) and the replacement drive may have different settings. For example, it may be desired to preserve the drive Serial Number or World Wide Node Name as part of a replacement procedure.

What is needed is a method of ensuring that a replacement drive has the same level of firmware and the same VPD settings as the drive that is being replaced.

Most defective drives still have an ability to communicate over external interfaces. Common problems are usually with reading/writing data, loading cartridges, diagnostic errors, etc. This invention takes advantage of this fact (using external interfaces) by providing a seamless and error free method of ensuring that a replacement drive will have the correct firmware level and VPD as compared to the original drive.