Media Reliability

Media Reliability

A second factor in overall reliability is media reliability. Again, published figures tend to get confusing and are hard to compare.

The following terminology is commonly used:
information processed, and this on the entire population of tapes.
Error Rate    Average number of errors that can be expected per one unit of
Reliability    Number of units processed per one error, or the inverse of the error rate.

When looking at these figures, ask yourself the following questions before actually comparing them:

Most bit or byte level errors could go undetected, because an ECC mechanism in tapes can correct them. An error that would fail the system would probably be an error on an entire block of data.

Another published figure in media reliability is life expectancies. The problem however is that this value is highly dependent on external factors, like temperature and humidity.

As a general rule, DLT and Travan technologies have a better reliability than 4 or 8 millimeter tapes.

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