Why does Symply preformat and barcode LTO-9 media?

New to LTO-9 is a process called Optimization (sometimes referred to as Characterisation), it is a feature of using LTO-9 data cartridges in an LTO-9 drive mechanism.  Media optimization creates a referenced calibration for each cartridge that enables the tape drive’s intelligent alignment to optimize data placement. LTO-9 media optimization enhances LTO tape long-term media durability.  Optimization can take between 20 minutes and 2 hours with the average being around 40 minutes. For more information on optimization click [here]

 In order for our customers to get up and running with tape operations, Symply have chosen to preformat the LTO-9 data cartridge supplied with an LTFS volume with a name SYxxxx.  This volume name will also matches the barcode on the data cartridge making identification easier.  By creating an LTFS volume on the tape before shipping Symply are causing Optimization to occur, hence allowing our customers to use the LTO-9 data tape immediately in and LTFS workflow with out having to wait.

If you wish to reformat the LTFS volume name, to give it a different volume name then this can be done via standard LTFS tools or one of the many LTFS applications on the market.   Note if you are using IBM LTFS version 2.4.4 the mkltfs command will trigger an LTO-9 data cartridge to undergo the process of optimization.  We would recommend updating to the latest IBM LTFS version 2.4.5 in which the mkltfs command does not trigger optimization of a data cartridge.

Symply are happy to pre-barcode and format LTFS volume names on LTO-9 tapes to your own specifications, based on ordering LTO-9 media in packs of five.