By Oracle | Apr 11, 2012
In determining which tape drives to buy, host interface speed is often a major gauge of tape drive performance. While interface speed is certainly important, it must be evaluated as part of a total system solution. Looking at host interface performance in isolation is equivalent to determining which automobile to buy based on the top speed shown on the speedometer. If the speed limit and road conditions require that a car be driven at 70 mph or less, the distinction between cars with a top speed of 160 mph versus 120 mph becomes less important.
Existing tape drives virtually all provide the 4Gb SCSI Fibre Channel Protocol (FCP) which supports a sustained throughput of between 350 and 400 Megabytes per second (MB/s). Next generation drives, like LTO-5, tout upgrading this interface to an 8Gb FCP, to support up to 800 MB/s.
While host interface speed is valid component of performance, more important factors should be considered. This paper will discuss the total performance of a tape drive, and how it should be evaluated to determine which drive provides the best performance solution.
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