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Choosing a Vendor for Computer Tape

You’re doing the analysis to see if certified computer tape can save your data center money and increase the reliability of your tape library. Your next task is to select a vendor that can answer your questions and provide high-quality tape. You will find that there are many tape suppliers but only some provide Certified tape. How do you determine which backup tape vendor has the quality of tapes that your department requires?

photo of HP C7974A LTO 4 data tape HP LTO4 Tape C7974A - is it certified?

When choosing a tape vendor, consider the following questions:

  1. How much time is spent on data eradication and certifying the quality of each tape? For instance, it can take up to two hours to eradicate data from a used LTO4 tape.
  2. Is the tape guaranteed? If a company won’t guarantee its products, it’s time to find another vendor.
  3. How many errors are allowed? The answer to this question should be “zero permanent and gross errors”. However, not all vendors adhere to the same certification standards. Knowing how many errors a company allows gives an indication of the level of quality.
  4. What is the data eradication process? While there are variations in the eradication process within the industry, vendors should include the following steps to ensure the quality of a certified tape:
  • End-to-end tape rewrite and read/write testing on all data tracks. Companies that don’t specify an end-to-end rewrite or that provide vague answers to this question should be avoided as it is likely that sensitive data will remain on the tapes. Beware of any company that won’t guarantee a complete end-to-end tape rewrite and read/write testing.
  • Data eradication by Volser. Computer tape that is scheduled to be eradicated should be tracked and audited at the Volser level. This ensures that the company that processes tape, and the seller of the tapes knew exactly which tapes were erased.
  • A letter certifying total data eradication. This is a written guarantee that listing the tapes that were erased including the date, technician, and method. Keeping this letter on file for future reference is a best practice so you can prove exactly which tapes were erased and what the process was.

How is certified better than new?

How can a certified tape from World Data Products be more reliable than a new tape? Because every one of our tapes is tested 100% end to end.  New tapes are sampled for quality as a batch is manufactured. As such, not every tape is tested. With a low number of tapes  being tested, products with errors can get through the process to the end user.

Conclusion

Using certified tape from World Data Products enables significant cost savings while keeping the performance and quality control at new or better standards. See our Certified Tape Guarantee here.

To learn more about how certified computer tape can benefit your business, request a complimentary consultation with a Certified Computer Tape Specialist.