Recertified or New Tape Media
Magnetic tape has been used for backup, archive and transactional processing for over forty years. Much has changed in that time with changes in aerial densities, the robustness of tape, longevity of magnetic particles used and error correction capabilities of tape drives. Tape is used in a wide variety of situations today, from one time use to potentially thousand times used, and from storing data for only hours, to storing for as much as ten years.
Most magnetic tapes today are manufactured with metal particle as opposed to earlier materials like Chrome DiOxide or Iron Oxide, this means that the tape will hold its magnetic charge for a long time. Also, where in years past the actual tape was often the part of the media that caused the tape cartridge to not function correctly, now it is just as likely that the cartridge housing or mechanics will be the cause of failure.
Recertified media should not be feared, and great savings can be made by purchasing recertified media over new. Knowledge, common sense and the application used are factors that can affect whether it makes sense to purchase recertified media over new tape. The following are a list of questions that can be asked:
- How many times will the tape you need be used? Modern day tape cartridges like LTO are certified to be used thousands of times with no failure. If you only need to write and read a small number of times, maybe recertified tapes are perfectly acceptable. If tapes are being used to make duplicates that will not be returned to the scratch pool then this would be a good example of a situation that may only need recertified media.
- Do you know where the recertified tapes are coming from? Do you know how old they are? Do you know how much use they have had?
- Have the recertified tapes been fully tested? Or are they just reinitialized? Some level of actual tape testing is advised, and ideally a test that runs the full length of the tape.
- What is the price saving over new tape media?
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