My company operates on an LPAR on an iSeries. Connected to the iSeries is a tape silo which we utilize as part of our backup strategy. Our backup strategy involves taking a full system save each Saturday night, and then Mon-Fri nights, we take incremental backups of our critical libraries. During the week, we take a set of backups before and after our batch processing. Our prebatch backups won't fit onto a single tape, so there is some carryover onto a second tape. It should be noted that we are using IBM's BRMS functionality to do our backups.
Over the recent months (6 months or so), we have been experiencing an increase in media errors with our backups. When this occurs, the bad tape is replaced, and we restart the backups. This results in a 90 minute delay in our batch processing, and also triggers calls to our oncall staff. The iSeries batch is delayed 90 minutes, and processes on other systems fail, as they are waiting for triggers/feeds from the iSeries. This occurs once ever week (approximately).
I am aware of 3rd party products that are available (ie Robot/Save) that have options which would allow us to skip a bad tape, without sending a job into MSGW status, however, at this time, we are unable to utilize such software, due to the setup at our data center (basically, we're stuck with what the Data Center is using, and at this time, they are using BRMS).
What we would like to do, is test the tapes, prior to putting them in the tape silo, to ensure that they are usable. Is there a way that this could be done?