LTO 4 tape media

Posted on 2010-09-17
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-01
Hi all.
I'm considering a switch from Dell and Maxell LTO 4 tapes for TDK. Does anybody have an opinion and/or experience with TDK ? I've found the price to be better than Dell and Maxell but first need to consider the quality and reliability. Any insight would be apprecaited. Thanks.

Question by:enorman1
  • 2
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Accepted Solution

TapeDude earned 100 total points
ID: 33705409
I've heard people say that HP drives are 'optimised' for HP tapes, Quantum drives for Quantum tapes, etc, but in fact LTO/Ultrium is a tightly specified format, so in theory there shouldn't be any difference.

There are six manufacturers: EMTEC, Imation, Fujifilm, Maxell, TDK, and Sony. So the Dell tapes you're using are rebranded... and thus you may actually be using TDK manufactured tapes already :-)

I'd go with whatever is cheapest. Keep your drive heads clean, verify your backups, and keep to the tape storage guidelines, and you should be fine.

LVL 22

Assisted Solution

dovidmichel earned 100 total points
ID: 33718535
Not to be contrary, but I have seen that HP LTO drives work best with HP media, and IBM LTO drives work best with IBM media. On the other hand I've seen no difference with Quantum LTO drives. From what I've seen the difference is in random Read errors on Read and Space commands, but retry and it usually works. However most users I have worked with used other brands with no problems.

I have no experience with TDK media. Dell LTO drives are OEM IBM LTO. You are fine with any of the LTO media brands that Dell recommends.  
LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 33718666
Just an additional note about OEM tapes. It really does not make much difference who makes the tapes, what matters is the specifications that tape meets. When IBM has some other company make media for them, IBM sets the specifications that media must meet. If the media does not make it then it is just sold under a different brand name. So for example the same company could make tapes sold under several different brand names, but that in no way means that each brand media has the same quality.

As for keeping the head clean Quantum, HP, & IBM recommend cleaning their LTO drives only when the drive indicates it needs to be cleaned.

Author Comment

ID: 33718667
Thanks folks for your response. I am using a Dell ML6000 and am confident it has IBM drives. Over the years, I've consistently used Dell branded media and Maxell. My question was initiated by finding TDK media for $26.35 each as oppsoed to $28 for Maxell. I found only 1 or 2 reviews about the TDK media and those were less than favorable.

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