Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms

Append: In its most basic form, tape technology is linear in fashion. Later technologies employ serpentine recording where the tape is written/read in multiple passes moving forward and in reverse. There are also helical scan formats, such as DDS, 8mm and AIT, which are written diagonally across the tape.

Archive: Long term on-site or off-site storage.

ASCII: American Standard Code Information Interchange. An ANSI (American National Standards Institute) code for transferring information from one computer language to another.

Backup: To copy information from one type of data storage medium onto another data storage medium. Backup of data ensures information is preserved in case one medium is lost

Bit: Smallest amount of data that can be processed by a computer; represents the binary value of either one or zero.

Block: Consists of a specific, pre-determined number of bytes. Block sizes vary, but a block size of either 512 or 1024 user data bytes is commonly used.

BOT: “Beginning of Tape”. Usually designated by a specific mark, hole, or other logical means.

BPI: “Bits per Inch”. The number of data bits recorded per inch of tape.

Byte: Consists of eight bits and represents one character of information.

Content-addressed storage (CAS): Is technology that continues to be particularly useful in addressing two problems: the long-term retention of content for compliance and/or regulatory purposes, and the archiving of massive amounts of records, images or other information that rarely (if ever) change. One reason CAS is so effective is its use of a hashing algorithm to assign a unique identifier, or digital fingerprint, to each stored object. That process, coupled with storage best practices, ensures that whatever goes into the system is exactly what comes out. If a data element changes, it receives a new unique identifier, aka content address. The stored object’s physical location doesn’t matter.

Cloud Storage: Is a model of networked online storage where data is stored on multiple virtual servers, generally hosted by third parties, rather than being hosted on dedicated servers. Hosting companies operate large data centers; and people who require their data to be hosted buy or lease storage capacity from them and use it for their storage needs. The data center operators, in the background, virtualize the resources according to the requirements of the customer and expose them as storage pools, which the customers can themselves use to store files or data objects. Physically, the resource may span across multiple servers.

CompacTape: A tape format developed by DEC. It is also commonly referred to as TK50 or TK52.

Convert: To change media or recording type from one format to another. Converting typically includes copying the data on one type of media to a different type of media. Please refer to “Data Conversion” and “Data Migration”.

CRC: Cyclic Redundancy Check. A complex mathematical method used to check that the data written to tape is error-free.

Data archiving: the process of storing information over the long term in a way that allows for access when needed for reference or auditing

Data Block Marker: Identifies the start of user data in a block.

Data Center: a facility used to house computer, telecommunications and storage equipment systems, usually in the form of racked servers

Data Center Relocation: the daunting process of moving a data center from one building to another, made easier through proper site surveys, audits, scanning, track and coordination

Data Checks: The process for checking the quality of data saved on storage media.

Data Compression: Permits increased storage capacities using a mathematical algorithm that reduces redundant strings of data; can be performed by software or hardware.

Data Consolidation: Whether preparing for relocation or just trying to save space, this process consists of merging multiple data sources together onto single sources

Data Conversion: Converting data from one format to another, for example, to a new form of data tape technology. Please refer to “Convert”, “Data Migration”, “Format-to-Format Copying”, and “Format Conversion”.

Data Integrity: Validity of recorded information.

Data Lifecycle Management: an approach to managing the flow of your information system’s data from creation and initial storage to becoming obsolete and eradicated

Data Migration: Moving data from one format or storage tool to another. Please refer to “Convert”, “Data Conversion”, “Format Conversion”, and “Format-to-Format Copying”.

Data Tape Duplication
: The process of making backup copies of individual data tapes or an entire tape library. Please refer to “backup”.

De-duplication: when multiple copies of the same file are saved on individual desktops, after sending a file internally through e-mail for instance, this file would merely be a reference link to the original, rather than a space-consuming copy

Degauss: To use a machine (degausser) with a magnetic field to remove previously-written data on tape. Degaussing randomizes the magnetic orientation of the media. Please refer to “100% Certified Tape” and “Erase”.

Density: The amount of data stored in a given length of tape; usually expressed in bits per inch (BPI).

Disaster Recovery: a rapid response that includes damage assessment, recovery strategy options, and the cleaning, restoration and recovery of as much Datacenter equipment and media as possible

Disk 2 Disk (D2D): Storage method where a computer hard disk is backed up to another hard disk rather than to a tape or floppy.

Disk array
: A disk storage system that contains multiple disk drives

Disk to Disk to Tape (D2D2T): Also known as disk staging, this process uses disks as an additional, temporary backup before final storage onto tape.

DLT: Digital Linear Tape. A “popular” tape cartridge format developed by DEC originally as CompacTape. It is currently manufactured under license by Quantum.

: Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code. A common machine language that represents alphanumeric data.

ECC: Error Correction Code. Mathematical algorithm used to correct errors.

Edge Seek: Method of using the recording head to detect the edge of tape and then to reference the tracks from the edge of tape, thus assuring the tracks are positioned accurately.

Edge Damage: Damage that sometimes occurs to the edges of data storage tape.

Enterprise Flash Drives (EFDs): Enterprise flash drives are designed for applications requiring high Input/Output (I/O) performance Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS), reliability, and energy efficiency. In most cases an EFD is an SSD with a higher set of specifications compared to SSDs which would typically be used in notebook computers.

Enterprise Storage Media: Used by Enterprise Datacenters, these types of storage media include: 3480, 3490E, 3590, 3590K, 3570, and 3592; 9840, 9940, and T10000; as well as, LTO 1, LTO 2, LTO 3, LTO 4, and LTO 5 Ultrium Cartridges.

EOT: End of Tape

EPCglobal standards: They are specifically designed for supply chain applications. There are a number of other RFID protocols applicable to UHF operation, as well as numerous standards for LF and HF tags and readers.

EqualLogic: Built on a virtualized peer storage architecture, the enterprise-class EqualLogic PS Series simplifies the deployment and administration of consolidated  storage environments. Its all-inclusive, intelligent feature set streamlines purchasing, delivers rapid SAN deployment, easy storage management, comprehensive data protection, enterprise-class performance and reliability, and seamless pay-as-you grow expansion.

Erase: To remove previously written data by randomizing the magnetic orientation of the media. Please refer to “100% Certified Tape” and “Degauss”.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP): Integrates internal and external management information across an entire organization, embracing finance/accounting, manufacturing, sales and service, human resources, customer relationship management and centralizes the data into one location or system.

Error: Loss of magnetic signal strength to a degree that data cannot be read.

Error Correction Codes (ECC): Onboard system codes that correct errors, in real time, without the drive having to perform retries, thus not affecting processing time.

Error Recovery Procedure (ERP)
: In the event of a potential defective area of tape, the drive will stop processing data and effectively process errors by performing mechanical drive retries. This does impact processing time and may lead to a block of data being written elsewhere on the tape.

Files: One or more recorded blocks of data.

File Mark: Marker used to indicate the end of a file.

File-by-File Backup: Method of backup in which each file is stored separately and sequentially. Extremely useful if you need to restore or interchange a single file.

Flux Transition: Change in the magnetic state, which can be interpreted to represent a data bit on tape

Format: Defines how data is written to the tape; it defines things such as the number and position of tracks, number of bits per inch and the recording code to be used.

Format-to-Format Copying: The process of making backup, duplicate copies of sensitive data from one form of storage media to the same form of storage media. Please refer to “Data Migration”, “Data Conversion”, “Convert”, and “Format Converstion”.

Format Conversion: Also known as the process of converting or translating data from one format to another. It is necessary for organizations to do this when systems are upgraded and the new system data format is incompatible with the previous system’s format. Please refer to “Data Migration”, “Data Conversion”, “Convert”, and “Format-to-Format Copying”.

Form Factor: Physical size of a device; for example, the width of a data cartridge drive. If the drive is a 5-1/4″ form factor this means that the drive is the same size as a 5-1/4″ diskette drive and uses the same fixing points. The same principle applies with the 3.5″ format, where a 3.5″ diskette drive may be exchanged for a 3.5″ data cartridge drive in your computer.

FRPI: Flux Reversals Per Inch. The number of flux changes per inch of tape. This may or may not be equal to the number of bits per inch stored, depending on the recording code in use.

FTPI: Flux Transitions Per Inch that may not necessarily be a flux reversal.

GB: Gigabyte = 1,000 megabytes = 1 billion bytes.

GCR: Group Code Recording. A data encoding method often used on data cartridge drives. GCR combines high data density with relative ease of decoding.

Gen 2 (ISO 18000-6C): It is meant to enable supply-chain trading partners to encode data to and interrogate EPCs from passive UHF tags in a similar manner, so that they might share an interoperable interrogation and software infrastructure.

HDD’s (HDD): A hard disk drive also called (hard drive). One or more these digital magnetic data storage devices (HHD’s) are in every desktop computer and server. Their role consists of reading and writing large amounts of data and providing storage for the PC.

Headers: Blocks of data written at the beginning of tapes or files that contain specific identification information.

High-Density Tape: A newer form of tape technology that requires code on the tape to be written over to guarantee that it is rendered unreadable

HIPAA: the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is federal legislation that requires that businesses and organizations ensure the security and privacy of individual medical histories and health information.

HSM: Hierarchical Storage Management. A system of ranking and storing information across a variety of device types. HSM maintains its own catalog information outside of the normal TMC or TMS system.

Hypervisor: The software layer that decouples the Operating System and the applications from their physical resources. This is a low-level software layer that is functionally resident between the hardware and the Operating System. The Hypervisor allocates the host machine’s processor, available memory, and other resources.

Initialization: To write the Volume ID in the header before a tape is used.

Interchange: To remove a tape from one drive and read the data on another tape drive.

Interface: Hardware and software used to establish communication between a host and device.

iSCSI (Internet Small Computer System Interface): Is an Internet Protocol (IP)-based storage networking standard for linking data storage facilities. The protocol allows clients (called initiators) to send SCSI commands (CDBs) to SCSI storage devices (targets) on remote servers. iSCSI is a (SAN) protocol, allowing organizations to consolidate storage into data center storage arrays while providing hosts (such as database and web servers) with the illusion of locally-attached disks. Other uses for iSCSI include transmitting data over local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), or the Internet and enabling location-independent data storage and retrieval.

ITIL: Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). The ITIL is the most widely accepted approach to IT service management in the world. ITIL provides a cohesive set of best practices, drawn from the public and private sectors internationally.

KB: Kilobyte = 1,024 bytes

Labeling: Methods for organizing individual storage tapes in a tape library often involve sequential or non-sequential labeling

LP: Load Point. The physical location on the tape where data recording begins.

MB: 1 megabyte = 1,024 kilobytes = 1,048,576 bytes

Media Cleaning: The physical cleaning of both sides of a tapes surface. Usually conducted with a “Tape Cleaner” specifically designed for that particular media type.

Media Recycle: A DataSpan service that buys back used storage media and recycles it by 100% drive-testing every tape end-to-end to guarantee complete data eradication for safe redeployment. See “Tape Buyback Program”.

MFM: Modified Frequency Modulation. Recording code used on floppy-interface QIC drives. It is the most efficient self-clocking code, but requires “good” electronics to decode.

MTBF: Mean Time Before Failure. This is the expected time before first failure.

MTTR: Mean Time To Repair. This is the estimated time to repair a drive.

Multimedia Files: Computer files containing audio, video, or graphics files as opposed to text or numerical files.

NetApp F720: Is a NAS storage type of backup hardware. It’s the economical workgroup file server. With enterprise-class availability and multiplatform capability at an economical price, the NetApp F720 is ideal for workgroups and ISPs.

Network-Attached Storage: Network-attached storage (NAS) is file-level computer data storage connected to a computer network providing data access to heterogeneous clients. NAS devices are a convenient method of sharing files among multiple computers. Potential benefits of network-attached storage, compared to file servers, include faster data access, easier administration, and simple configuration.

Network File System (NFS): Is a protocol that allows a user on a client computer to access files over a network in a manner similar to how they would access local storage. Benefits include cutting the need for users to have separate home directories on every network machine and lowering disk space on local workstations. NFS, like many other protocols, builds on the Open Network Computing Remote Procedure Call (ONC RPC) system.

Network Storage Media
: Used for hardware on company networks, these storage media types include: 4mm, 8mm, AIT, and Mammoth Cartridges; QIC, Travan, and SLR Data Cartridges; CD, DVD Optical Media—All formats and speeds; 5.25″ Rewritable and WORM Optical Disks; 3.5″ Diskettes and Zip Disks; VHS, Camcorder, and Audio Tapes; and Cleaning Cartridges—All Formats.

Network Virtualization: Allocates the combined computing resources available in a defined network by dividing the available bandwidth from that network into channels, which can then be assigned to a particular server or device in a real-time manner as required.

Off Track Retry: Method of improving data recovery under error conditions. It is often possible to recover a data error by moving the head slightly off the track center and re-reading the block.

Open Reel Tape (ORT): A term used synonymously with 9-track tape.

Overwrite: Method of overwriting data on a tape without first erasing it.

PE: Phase Encoding. A method of coding data that has the advantage of being very reliable and easy to decode, but it is not particularly efficient in data density.

Permanent Errors: A serious error on a tape that can cause data to be lost or corrupted.

RAID: An acronym for Redundant Array of Independent Disks (formerly Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks), is a technology that provides increased storage functions and reliability through redundancy of physical disk drives. This is achieved by combining multiple disk drive components into a logical unit, where data is distributed across the drives in one of several ways called “RAID levels”.

Random Access: Ability to access any particular block by going directly to it. Disk devices are random access devices.

Read After Write: Method of ensuring that data written to tape is correct by immediately reading the tape on a read head placed just after the writing head.

Recovery Point Objective (RPO): The recovery point objective is the point in time to which you must recover data as defined by your organization. RPO allows an organization to define a window of time before a disaster during which data may be at an acceptable loss.

Reference Burst
: Number of flux transitions written at the beginning of the tape to indicate the center line of the tape. This allows the read head of the drive to align itself correctly and improves the data integrity of the drive.

Redeployed Tape: Sometimes referred to as “scratch media,” data storage tape that has been used previously, but that has gone through a cleaning and testing process, so that it can be re-used. See “Scratch Pools”.

Restore: Retrieving information from a tape drive in order to replace data that was lost from a hard disk.

Retension: Winding the tape from the beginning of tape (BOT) to the end of tape (EOT), or EOT to BOT to ensure proper tape tension and operation

RFID Tracking: Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Tracking allows Datacenters to closely monitor individual tapes as they travel into and out of a facility to ensure the highest levels of security at every stage of a tapes life.

RLL: Run Length Limited. A family of codes used to encode data. The number of zero or one bits is limited to a certain value. GCR is an RLL code.

SAN: Storage Area Network. A dedicated storage network which provides access to consolidated, block level storage.

Sarbanes Oxley: Federal legislation passed in 2002 that requires companies registered with the SEC to publicly disclose and document their financial and IT controls as well as to regularly evaluate those processes. Often referred to as “Sarb-Ox and SOX”

SATA: Serial Advanced Technology Attachment. An I/O bus interface for connecting bus adapters to mass storage devices, including hard disk drives, optical drives, and newer solid state drives.

Scratch Pools: Collections of used data sources stored sequentially that are ready for eradication and/or recertification / redeployment. Please refer to “100% Certified Tape” and “Used Tape”.

SCSI: Small Computer Systems Interface. A bus interface that enables many different kinds of devices, such as disk drives, CD-ROM drives and tape drives, to interface with the host PC type computer.

Search: Method of finding a particular data file without having to read all the preceding data. Often done at a different speed than reading and writing. Usually applies to start/stop drives.

Sequential Device: Device that reads each data block sequentially as opposed to a random access device.

Server Virtualization: Conceals the physical components of server resources, including the number and name of network servers, processors and operating systems, from the software currently assigned to run on them.

Servo Track Data Tape: A method of data destruction or data eradication for new, high-density tapes where code on a tape is written over with code so as to render it unreadable.

Single Track Error (STE): A loss of a recorded “bit” due to anything that causes loss of signal. Single track error performance is a direct indicator of the magnetic quality of the tape.

: A solid-state drive is a data storage device that uses solid-state memory to store persistent data with the intention of providing access in the same manner of a traditional block I/O hard disk drive.

Start/Stop: Tape drives that are capable of stopping and starting before and after each data block written or read from tape.

Storage media: a broad term consisting of anything that can store business data, including: tape, disks, cartridges, media and more

Storage media buyback: you can make money by selling data tapes you want to be eradicated; the tapes will be cleaned, eradicated and 100% Certified for future use

Storage Virtualization: Provides a logical view of available network storage residing on multiple storage devices as if it were located on a single network storage device.

Storage tapes: a popular and relatively inexpensive use for storage for over 70 years, magnetic storage tape is most commonly packed in cartridges and cassettes

Streamer: Tape drives that write or read blocks without stopping between blocks.

Tape Buyback Program: A DataSpan service that buys back used storage media and recycles it by 100% drive-testing every tape end-to-end to guarantee complete data eradication for safe redeployment. See “Media Recycle”.

Tape Count: The total number of unique Volser Numbers in a database.

Tape Disposal: The process of safely disposing of storage media to comply with third-party requirements and to ensure previously written data is no longer accessible. Please refer to “Data Destruction” and “Data Eradication”.

Tape Mark: Unique data block used to separate data files or volumes of data.

Thin Provisioning: in an environment where many applications share access to the same storage, administrators can maintain a free space buffer to service the data growth of all applications

Tiered Storage: a lifecycle solution where your most critical and often-used data is kept most easily accessible, your aged and less critical information gets moved to secondary storage systems, and eventually ends up in longer-term archive systems – all to achieve a balance of protection, performance and cost

TMS/TMC: Tape Management System/Tape Management Center. The method used to organize a data tape library that usually involves sequential ordering and labeling.

: Linear area of media on which data is written.

Underrun: Action that occurs when a streaming drive runs out of data to be written to tape; it stops and repositions the tape. This occurs when your processor is too slow to keep up with the streamer.

Used Tape: Sometimes referred to as “scratch media,” data storage tape that has been used previously. Please refer to “100% Certified Tape”, “Tape Buyback Program”, and “Scratch Pools”.

User Data: Data recorded by the user. User data is differentiated from other information recorded by either the drive or formatter.

Value-Added Reseller (VAR): Is a company that adds features or services to an existing product, then resells it (usually to end-users) as an integrated product or complete “turn-key” solution.

Verify: Action of comparing the data read to data written. Verification provides an additional confidence check for data integrity.

Virtual Machine (VM): A self-contained, isolated, logical operating environment. It is a platform-independent software implementation of a computer environment that executes machine-level instructions for any installed program. Programs must be written to function with the installed operating system.

Virtualization: presenting a logical space to the user for data storage, while handling the process of mapping it to the actual physical location – rather than utilizing separate servers for separate uses, the separation is virtualized while maximizing space utilization
Host-Based: the virtualization takes place on the host machine itself through device drivers supplemented with additional software
Storage Device-Based: a primary storage controller provides the meta-data management
Network-Based: most common form of virtualization using fibre channel networks connected as a SAN

Volser Numbers: Volume Serial Numbers used to organize tape libraries.

Volume: A logical division of data that usually consists of a number of files.

Volume Label
: The data block written at the front of a volume to identify it.

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *