I have a new Dell Powervault 110T DLT tape drive. Full backups once a week are about 40 GB, incremental backups daily are about 12 GB. This drive has been in service for about 1.5-2 months and the cleaning light just came on.
This lead to a discussion with a Dell technician who tried to tell me that the drive should be cleaned after every 4-8 hours use. Bear in mind that the full backup takes about 15 hours. I said that according to his logic that I needed to be cleaning the drive after every use. He said "sure plenty Dell customers clean them that often".
I must only know the lazy admins because I've never heard of anyone cleaning their drives after every use. In fact, I know people who don't clean the drive until they get read errors.
This led me to searching for recommendations. I found widely varying and sometimes conflicting recommendations. Can anyone point to authoritative sources of info for this and other drive types?