A “tape alert” message is a critical, warning, or informational alert that occurs due to a tape drive or robotic library hardware event. These “tape alert” messages are stored on the tape drive or robotic library. Applications like Backup Exec™ or SANtools® SMARTMon-UX query the tape device or robotic library for these “tape alert” messages and display the “tape alerts” to the user. These alerts notify the user that preventitive maintenance (e.g. cleaning or changing tapes) or error recovery actions are required.

The tape alert technology detects and logs hardware and media errors on autochangers, tapes, and libraries. This ANSI-defined specification allows for a standardized programming interface and hardware spec to:

* Perform constant self-diagnostics
* Provide detailed diagnostic information (faults, error logs, warnings)
* Provide predictive failure
* Defines use of SCSI log & mode pages for providing error logs and configurable parameters
* Monitor/query condition of tape heads, media, power, temperature, humidity, etc …

The benefits of TapeAlert to the end user range from improved data reliability to clear recommended strategies for error recovery. Hardware suppliers and support organizations benefit from less support calls, fewer devices returned with no-problem-found, and ability to have one software product monitor all tape devices.