Friday, November 23, 2007

Reconditioned or Recycled Computer Tape Media

Recent studies have indicated that many businesses face the risk of bankruptcy in case of data loss stemming from inadequate protection. Therefore, data storage and preservation is not just a wasteful practice adopted by businesses today. It is an important means to an end.
Effective data storage practices can insure your business against data loss incidents in the best possible manner so that your business can recover from the data loss incident with minimal or no damage. Not having adequate data protection policies and procedures can result in huge economic losses as well as loss of business reputation. Therefore, data storage is all about assuring that the data is safe and can be recovered at any point in time.
The costs associated with data storage are positively correlated with the demand for data storage. Therefore, as the demand for data storage increases, so does the cost of these data storage devices. However, can you afford to adopt a cost-cutting option at the cost of losing or damaging your data? This is exactly what you should be analysing when you think about using recycled tape media.
Recycled tape media is a cheap data storage option because these tapes are not new. The recycled tapes have a significant amount of risk associated with them. In addition, the lifespan of the recycled tapes is far less than the new tapes. While the new tapes can last as long as twenty years when stored appropriately, the recycled tapes will last no longer than five to ten years. Therefore, these tapes are priced far cheaper than the new tapes.
The recycling may use a process called degaussing. The process of degaussing erases the data from the tapes. Alternatively, manufacturers of these recycled tapes tend to rewrite over the existing data to erase the previous data. There are times when manufacturers tend to use a tape scraper blade and vacuum system within a tape drive for cleaning the tape surface to remove any dust or debris. However, this process can ruin the tape further.
Tape media is very fragile and should be handled with extreme caution. The rough scraping process can cause severe damage to the surface of the tape. The proposition of buying a cheaper recycled tape media may seem attractive but this involves substantial risks. Recycled tapes are used tapes that have been bought as scrap and recycled to look as if they are as good as new.
The most important problem with the recycled tapes is that you will have no idea about how these tapes were used or misused prior be being disposed. In addition, you will never get to know how these tapes were stored or the quality and cleanliness of the drives these tapes have been used in.
There have been instances when tapes have been used on ill-maintained drives that had accumulated dirt from dirty heads. This dirt and debris can be easily transferred to the tape media. Consequently, when these recycled tapes are used on an error-free drive, they transfer this dirt and corrupt a perfectly good drive. This corrupt drive can ruin even the new tapes that are used on this drive. Therefore, your short-term saving goal can become a long-term nightmare. Sadly, the recycling process does not repair the initial damage done to the tape media.
Sellers of these recycled tapes often claim that they use state-of-the-art data centres to manage the recycling process of the tape media. However, consumers should be cautious of such claims.
Typically, these data centres are stressful environments for the technicians working in them. Since the workload of these technicians is so high, it would be unrealistic to think that they would handle each and every tape as fragile objects. In addition, tape media in data centres get loaded and unloaded by automated systems several hundred times in a week. Then these tapes are loaded and unloaded from the data centre to the storage site in all types of weather.
The new tapes usually come with a lifelong warranty whereas the warranty period of the recycled tapes ranges between five to ten years only. If your IT budget is restricted and you must buy recycled tapes, always make sure that you choose a company that certifies and guarantees the quality of these tapes. However, the recycled tape media industry has not specified any standard definition for the term “certified” with respect to recycled tape storage. Therefore, your best bet would be to rely on the company’s reputation. In addition, choose a company that offers the maximum guarantee period.
Source: Free Articles

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