As many of our big clients are, this particular company was split between a US presence and its large German counterpart. They needed to share their tape library, so what was their IT solution? Split it up, too! Give some to Xinet and the rest to their IT folks in Europe.
Though we argued that a tape library divided could only work against itself, they chose not to heed our warning. (Mistake!)
A few months later….some Archive tapes were suddenly unusable! On first glance, it looked to us as though the tapes in question had been relabeled. “No one would have done such a thing,” their IT defended. We met on site. We discussed the possibilities. Everyone denied knowing how in the world this could have happened.
Talk was clearly going nowhere. So Rob Pelmas used his X-ray vision (and some serious Unix magic) to read the raw data from several of the tapes. He sorted through the broken ones, the still working FlashNet ones, and ones that were used by IT for various needs of their own.
The dumps revealed that the lost Archives had the same header info and format as the…wait for it…IT tapes!
Without pointing out the obvious to our client, Rob got busy reconfiguring tapes to their original state, and bringing the two libraries together under local control. No more data loss. One big happy client!