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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    45

    Unanswered: What is a tape dataset?

    Greetings all. Many of the old timers at my work refer to reading "the tapes", when speaking of data that has been archived. Now, I get that data used to be stored on magnetic tapes, but surely this is not still the case. Is it? We are running zOS, and I'm not sure about what kind of machines we have. My guess is that it is just a term left over from when the system was first implemented. Thank you.

    Greg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    45
    Well, a little time on google let me know just how ignorant I was of the tape. I had no idea tapes are still used, nor that they could hold multiple TB of data. I've seen, when running some reports on a web report site we have, that for older reports, it will say something like "mount required", then there will be a pause for a few seconds, then the data will return. Does this literally mean a tape is being mechanically loaded into a tape drive?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    5,737
    At one time a reel of tape had to be mounted by a computer operator when a tape mount request came up on the computer screen. These days, they use tape cartridges that look sort of like an old 8-track audio tape. The tapes are automatically loaded and unloaded by a robotic system that can handle thousands of tapes in its library (or more if multiple robotic machines are used).
    M. A. Feldman
    IBM Certified DBA on DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows
    IBM Certified DBA on DB2 for z/OS and OS/390

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    221B Baker St.
    Posts
    486
    when running some reports on a web report site we have, that for older reports, it will say something like "mount required", then there will be a pause for a few seconds, then the data will return. Does this literally mean a tape is being mechanically loaded into a tape drive?
    Yup, it most likely does. In addition to the "older" 3480/3490 devices, there are the newer "FAT" tapes which have much higher capacity. More recently is the "virtual tape" library. Logically, these "act" like a tape (the original program code and jcl is still used), but are really stored on dasd.

    You might find reading about some this entertaining/informational, but as a developer you might not need to deal with any of the details. At one recent client, i was asked to co-ordinate the conversation of their 2million+ (yup - 2,000,000+) 3490-cartridge inventory to Virtual Tape.

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