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There is an exciting new breakthrough in tape technology, called VXA. VXA technology is set to revolutionise the tape storage industry by delivering an unsurpassed restore capability and data storage value. Because of this unprecedented reliability and value, VXA is destined to become the product of choice for the people who care not only about backup, but more importantly about RESTORE.
Designed to offer a cost effective data restore alternative to conventional tape technologies, VXA accomplishes this through three separate but complimentary technological innovations.
|Discrete Packet Format (DPF).
|Variable Speed Operation (VSO).
|OverScan Operation (OSO).
These three technological innovations enable VXA to optimise backup and restore job times, deliver 100% data restore, deliver 100% data interchange and deliver the most reliable resource capability at any price.
The VXA drive writes data to the tape in a helical fashion. Discreet Packet Format breaks these long strings of data into small data packets, each packet is given a unique address. When reading the data during a restore, the VXA drive scans the individual packets into a buffer. Then using each unique address, the buffer re-assembles the packets in the correct order, regardless of the sequence in which they were received and forwards the complete data string whole and entire to the host computer.
This is the most efficient and reliable way to read and write data, and it is important to note that VXA is the first tape technology to do this.
2) Variable Speed Operation
The variable speed technology optimises backup and restore job times, whilst enhancing media and drive reliability by eliminating back-hitching.
To explain back-hitching and to explain the differences between VXA's (VSO) technology and normal tape drives, let's compare a VXA drive with a DLT4000 streaming tape drive.
PC and hosts often transfer data to tape drives in a
burst fashion, meaning that data is transferred in a start-stop motion. So the tape
drive has to constantly perform a back-hitching operation. Conventional tape drives
have to back-hitch because they must operate at a constant tape speed, which can be
anything up to 160 inches per second. When the flow of data is interrupted, these
drives stop, reverse, and re-position the tape to the end of data, and each of these
'violent' tape direction operations is occurring at up to 160 inches per second.
This back-hitching, especially at these high speeds, consumes valuable job time, accelerates media wear and shortens the life of the mechanism. In other words it seriously compromises the safety of the data and can lead to a data restore failure.
In a VXA-1 drive, the tape moves very slowly, in fact it moves slower than 1 inch per second. When the data transfer is halted or changed, the VXA drive enters Ready Mode (which means it pauses) adjusting the tape speed to the host, instead of performing a violent back-hitch. By eliminating the back and forth motions, VXA technology significantly optimises record and backup job times, reduces wear and tear on the tape drive mechanism, thus enhancing media and drive reliability and virtually guarantees a successful data restore.
3) OverScan Operation
VXA's OverScan Operation is a technique for reading data packets, independent of track shape or geometry, by reading packets with multiple scans. OverScan Operation ensures that each packet is read at least one time (the area scanned is greater than the recorded area). The overscan ratio increases at slower speeds.
OverScan Operation makes VXA technology immune to the sensitivities of head to track alignment or data track geometry. It completely enables the drive to read all of the data packets on the track despite their irregular geometry. In other words, if there is data written on a VXA tape, any VXA drive will be able to read it - a guarantee that no conventional tape drive can make. VXA can restore data that could never be restored by a conventional tape drive.
VXA put it's technology to some extreme testing. They took 3 VXA tapes, dunked one into boiling water, froze one in a block of solid ice, and drowned another in hot coffee. In each of the three cases, when the tape was scanned by the VXA drive - 100% restore of the data was achieved. Now, these situations wouldn't occur in the ordinary business environment, but the results clearly demonstrate VXA's unbeatable reliability and resource capability.
VXA tape being boiled.
VXA tape having coffee.
VXA tape frozen in a block of ice.
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