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Notes:
Welcome to the “Ethernet Fundamentals for T-series Tape Drives” course.

Notes:
This course introduces you to the components of the Ethernet interface used in the T-series tape
drives, and describes the function and purpose of the Ethernet communication.
StorageTek™ T-Series tape drives’ Ethernet interface provides access to the drive through a
computer connected to an Ethernet network.
Service personnel need to know how to access the drive using the Ethernet interface to accomplish
the following tasks:
- Configure the drive during a drive installation
- Access drive information to evaluate drive function during troubleshooting and
- Perform service actions on the drive.
The parts of an Ethernet frame are explained, and the data and information communicated between

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a tape drive and computer across the Ethernet network is discussed.
The function of the Ethernet interface in a disk-to-disk-to-tape environment is also described.
This course provides an overview of these topics from a drive perspective - you are encouraged to
take additional networking and tape drive maintenance courses to expand your knowledge.
Once you have completed this course, you need to complete the associated assessment.

Notes:
The basics of a computer network can be described as consisting of the model to which the network
is constructed, and the protocol that is used to transport information over that network.
• Networking models consist of layers. You can think of layers as a series of steps or functions that
must be sequentially completed for communication to occur between two systems.
• Protocols define the procedures to be followed by the systems involved in the communication
process. A data communication protocol is a set of rules that must be followed for two electronic
devices to communicate with each other. These rules describe:
• The syntax, which is the data format and coding
• The semantics, or, the control information and error handling and
• The timing, which ensures speed matching and sequencing
The next slide illustrates the layers in a typical TCP/IP network model.

Notes:
This slide is an illustration of how layers in the Ethernet (TCP/IP) model encapsulate data with
control information specific to that layer.
Encapsulation is the inclusion of one data structure within another data structure so that the first data
structure is temporarily transparent. Data is passed from the Application layer down to the Hardware
layer when moving to other nodes on the network. Each layer attaches control tags, called headers,
to the data. The header information aids in proper delivery at the Network Interface, Internet, and
Transport layers. Encapsulation maintains the structure of each layer in the model.
• The top layer of the model is the Application Layer and it consists of user-accessed application
programs and network services. This layer also defines how cooperating networks represent data.
• The second layer is the Transport Layer. This layer manages the transfer of data by using
acknowledged and unacknowledged transport protocols. It also manages the connections between
cooperating applications.

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• The third layer is the Internet Layer. This layer manages data addressing and delivery between
networks, and fragments data for the Network Interface Layer.
• The fourth layer is described as the Interface Layer. This layer manages the delivery of data across
the physical network and provides error detection and packet framing
• The fifth layer is the Hardware or Physical Layer. This layer is not always included as a layer in this
model, but because this course deals for the most part with items related directly to the physical
layer, it is shown here.
The Ethernet Header in the Interface Layer contains address information that identifies the source
and destination, and identifies the class of network the information is being transmitted over.

Notes:
The IP Address Class is determined by the first octet in the IP address. Most companies will use
class B service.
An easy way to determine the IP class is to take the first octet and convert it to hex.
For example IP address 128.0.0.0
The first octet is 128 = hex 80
Now use this chart and look at the first 4 bits of this hex number.
Hex 80 – 1000 0000 the first 4 bits are 1000
Use this chart to determine the class
A 0
B 10
C 110
D 1110
E 1111
Since the hex number starts with 10 it is in class B

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Notes:
Ethernet follows a simple set of rules that govern its basic operation. To better understand these
rules, it is important to understand the basics of Ethernet terminology.
Nodes - Devices that attach to a segment are nodes or stations.
Medium - Ethernet devices attach to a common medium that provides a path along which the
electronic signals will travel. Historically, this medium has been coaxial copper cable, but today it is
more commonly a twisted pair or fiber-optic cabling.
Segment - We refer to a single shared medium as an Ethernet segment.
Frame - The nodes communicate in short messages called frames, which are variably-sized chunks
of information.

Notes:
StorageTek T-Series Tape Drives have an Ethernet Port.
The drive’s Ethernet Port provides a means for a host computer to run application programs like
Virtual Operator Panel (VOP) or StorageTek Diagnostic System (or STDS). The slide illustrates
connecting a laptop (computer) directly to a T-series tape drive with a crossover cable being the
appropriate medium.
The computer and the tape drive must be correctly configured to participate on the network. For a
direct connection as shown, it would be simple to use the default drive IP address of 10.0.0.1, and
configure a static IP address of 10.0.0.2 on the laptop computer.
Once both devices are participating on the network, information such as fault symptom codes
(known as FSCs), logs, commands, and status, can be transferred between the drive and the
computer.
The applications communicate with the drive to assess drive health and assist with fixing error
conditions in the drive.
An Ethernet network can be built with a point-to-point connection between the drive and a host
computer as shown on the slide, using a crossover cable, or a switched connection using a Cat-5
cable and an Ethernet switch. This will be illustrated in a later slide.

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Notes:
The slide illustrates the two different ways in which an Ethernet link can be established to
communicate with the drive.
Links or segments can be constructed using a crossover cable (crossover cables are not required
when using GIG-E network adapters) in a point-to-point connection by plugging one cable connector
end into the computer and the other into the Ethernet port on the tape drive. This method is most
commonly used by service personnel when diagnosing a particular drive.
The laptop and the drive IP addresses, subnet mask, and gateway need to be configured so the
drive and laptop can communicate using the Ethernet network. Configure the laptop and the drive
separately so that each uses a static, known but different, IP address.
The drive has a default IP address of 10.0.0.1, subnet mask setting of 255.255.255.0, and gateway
is left undefined. The customer might have changed the drive’s IP address, subnet mask, or gateway
to some other value. If the drive’s IP address, subnet mask, and gateway values are not known,
press and release the reset switch on the back of the drive to return it to the default network settings.
The laptop might need to be reconfigured to use a static IP address. For example, it could be
reconfigured to use a static IP address of 10.0.0.2. The drive has a default subnet mask of
255.255.255.0, so the laptop should be configured to the same subnet mask to indicate that both
devices are on the same network. The gateway should be set to match that of the drive model, or as
in T10000 Fibre Channel drives, it can be ignored.
At this point, it should be possible to use the service version of VOP or STDS to do fault
determination or code upgrades.
The alternate way to create a link is to use a standard Cat-5 cable and switch, in a switched
connection between the computer and the drives in a star topology.
Connecting the laptop to a port in the switch would be advantageous if you need access to multiple
drives, because the cable would not need to be moved to each individual drive. All encrypting drives
must have a static IP address that matches the KMA configuration. (Not sure why this last sentence
is here it’s kind of out of place…)

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Notes:
Both the drive and the computer must be configured to participate on the network by setting the
gateway, subnet mask, and IP Address. By using gateways and subnet masks, it is possible to
divide a network into different isolated parts.
A gateway is used to link two different networks or subnet types together to pass information from
one network to another.
In an Ethernet network, devices are identified using IP address and MAC addresses. An IP address
is a unique number that devices use to communicate with each other on a subnet or computer
network. Any device participating on the network must have a unique address.
An IP address can also be thought of as the equivalent of a street address or a phone number for a
computer or other network device on the internet. Just as each street address or phone number
uniquely identifies a building or telephone, an IP address can uniquely identify a specific computer or
other network device on a network.
MAC addresses are unique identifiers assigned to most network-capable equipment. Tape drive
manufacturing assigns a MAC address to each drive.

Notes:
As we saw earlier, the nodes connected to an Ethernet network communicate in short messages
called frames, which are variably sized chunks of information.
Ethernet frames could be compared to email used by humans. Email has rules for constructing and
delivering the message.
We know that each email must contain a sender address and an addressee or destination address.
The body of the email is equivalent to the data in an Ethernet frame. Once the email is written, it is
sent over the internet, the medium, and the designated addressee receives it.
In a similar way, the Ethernet protocol specifies a set of rules for constructing frames. There are
explicit minimum and maximum lengths for frames, and a set of required pieces of information that
must appear in the frame.
Each frame must include, for example, both a destination address and a source address, which
identify the recipient and the sender of the message. The address uniquely identifies the node, just
as an email address identifies a particular person. No two Ethernet devices should ever have the
same address.

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Notes:
The bytes making up an Ethernet frame can be split into the following fields:
• The first 8 bytes (or 64 bits) are a Preamble field used for synchronization.
The Media Access Controller (or MAC) is the hardware that provides Ethernet link connectivity for
Ethernet network protocols. The MAC hardware creates Ethernet frames from higher level network
protocol packets.
• The hardware adds a header containing the 6-byte destination MAC address, the 6-byte local host
source MAC address, and a 2-byte packet type that indicates which protocol is being transported in
the Ethernet frame.
• The data portion of the frame carries up to 1500 bytes of data.
• The MAC also adds a trailing 4-byte (32-bit) cyclic redundancy check (or CRC), more commonly
known as the CRC checksum, to the packet to guard against errors in the network. If the checksum
contains errors, the receiving interface may discard the data and request retransmission.
• Frames must be at least 64 bytes long, excluding the preamble; so, if the data field is shorter than
46 bytes, the pad field is used to compensate for the shortage. This minimum is set to enable the
collision detect mechanism to function correctly.
In the next few slides we will look at some examples of typical information that is transmitted over the
Ethernet network...

Notes:
While it is possible for customers to allow StorageTek Tape drives to communicate with other
software such as the Oracle Key Manager (OKM), or ACSLS across their regular corporate network,
it is not advised, especially in large, very busy networks.
The network packets coming from these software packages, especially OKM, is essential to the
functionality of the tape drives, and if packets are dropped, or do not arrive in a specific timeframe,
the jobs running on the tape drives can fail. If a tape drive is waiting for an encryption key from the
OKM software, it cannot proceed without it. If that encryption key must come across a busy
corporate network, across many switches and routers, it is possible for the key to not arrive, or arrive
late.
However, if the tape drives and devices which communicate with them are configured to be on a
dedicated service network without other contentious traffic, the efficiency and reliability of the
network traffic is enhanced.

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Notes:
The standard Ethernet cable is a 10BaseT cable and uses an RJ-45 type connector.
Service personnel use the standard cable when building a switched Ethernet network. The standard
cable has the send and receive wires going straight through.
Because the cable is used in a switched network, the switch provides the crossover function.

Notes:
Crossover cables are used when connecting two Ethernet devices in a point-to-point connection, for
example, connecting a laptop for diagnostic purposes to a tape drive. (Again, crossover cables are
not required when using GIG-E network adapters.)
The crossover cable switches the send and receive pins inside the cable when connecting two
Ethernet devices together.
The crossover cable used by service personnel is a 10BaseT cable. The 10 indicates the
transmission speed of the cable is up to 10 Megabits per second, Base means that only one signal is
present on the send or receive pair at one time, and the T stands for twisted pair.
The cables should use a RJ-45 type connector.

Notes:
It is necessary in some instances for service engineers to connect a laptop directly to a tape drive.
This is done by disconnecting any Ethernet cable coming from the switch to the drive maintenance
port, and connecting a crossover cable from the laptop to the tape drive and setting static IP
addresses. (Again, a cross-over cable is not needed if the laptop being used has a Gig-E auto-
sensing network port.)

Both the VOP and STDS applications use TCP/IP protocols such as FTP and Telnet to exchange
data with the drive over the Ethernet network.
Most VOP menu commands and operations are sent to the drive using Telnet - the exception being
the VOP diagnostics menu items which use the FTP protocol and require an FTP server to be
installed on the laptop to run the diagnostic tests.

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STDS uses FTP commands such as Get ID, Get Log, and so forth, for data exchanges. The data
exchanges between STDS or VOP and the drive are encapsulated into frames with header
information to route the data to the correct network device destination address.
Refer to the T10000 Tape Drive Service Manual part number 96175, for details on these procedures.

Notes:
The Virtual Op Panel (VOP) is the administrative application for the T9840D, and T10000 series tape
drives. There are multiple versions with different levels of access.
The service version of the Virtual Operator Panel has the most features and can be run from a laptop
connected to the tape drive directly, or to the customer’s service network.
• When the VOP application starts, the connection dialog box automatically starts as shown. The IP
address of the tape drive is entered here.
• Once VOP is connected to the drive, the drive returns its status – that could be loaded, online,
offline, needs cleaning, dump present, and so on. The status message is displayed in the white pane
as shown in the next slide.

Notes:
The Virtual Operator Panel application shown in this slide is connected to a T10000B tape drive,
which has the default IP address of 10.0.0.1 set.
• The status received from the drive is displayed in the white pane and shows the drive to be online,
with no cartridge inserted.
• Once connected to a tape drive It is possible to retrieve and configure tape drive settings, download
logs and dumps, and upgrade the drive’s firmware.
• VOP can also be used to perform tape drive diagnostics as long as there is an FTP server running
on the laptop as well.
The next slide illustrates the network configuration information found in the Configure menu.

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Notes:
The drive configuration should be set to those parameters required by the customer, using the
Configure menu, and the Drive Data subtask. This example shows the Network options, where the
drive has the default IP address of 10.0.0.1, and is not using DHCP or SNMP.
Other drive parameters can be set by selecting the appropriate tabs. For example, if the drive is to
be monitored by the SDP, the options in the Idsnmp and the Logging tabs also need to be
configured.
Other options in the Configure Menu subtasks allow you to save a particular configuration, set the
clock, or load new microcode.

Notes:
A fault symptom code, or FSC, is an example of information retrieved from the drive using the
Ethernet port. When the drive encounters problems, the drive microcode creates a Fault Symptom
Code written in hexadecimal. The example in this slide shows a tape drive encountering an error
denoted by the 4909 FSC.

When decoded, the FSC indicates the most probable root cause of a problem and appropriate
corrective actions.
The FSC dictionary can be accessed in VOP by selecting the Help menu.

Notes:
To decode the FSC, it is entered in the box labeled FSC number, and the appropriate FSC dictionary
(based upon the drive type) selected.
Clicking on the Lookup button displays the details of that FSC, which can be seen in the slide.
The probable root cause is expressed as a confidence percentage, such as Media 90% as shown in
the example.
This information is very useful when troubleshooting drive and media problems. However it is very
important to choose the right FSC dictionary as some FSC definitions change between drive types.

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Notes:
STDS provides a means of diagnosing errors or changing firmware for the StorageTek tape drives,
including the legacy drives which are not easily supported by VOP such as T9840A/B/C, and
T9940A/B, etc.
The Get ID command establishes a connection with the drive and retrieves drive identification
information. In response to this command, the drive returns information such as type of drive and
firmware level, MAC address, time of day, tape alert flags, host manager IP addresses, initiating
events, device location, network IP Addresses, host interface type etc.
In the example the tape drive is set to the default IP address of 10.0.0.1, seen in the top left corner.

Notes:
The STDS functions shown highlight some common service actions that involve the STDS
application and a T-Series drive, using the Ethernet interface.
• STDS can load a code file into the drive using the Download Firmware menu to bring the drive
code level to the most current revision.
• Use the Start Op Panel menu to start the remote operator panel to change the drive configuration
settings from the manufacturing defaults to the settings requested by the customer. The remote
operator panel contains buttons, indicators, and a ten-character display.
• Use the Get Log menu item to retrieve drive event logs, dump logs, and permanent logs and
download them to a computer.
The next slide shows an example of the Ethernet communication after executing the Get Event Log
subtask of the Get Log menu.
When using STDS to load code it is necessary to use a file name that ends in .rel.

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Notes:
In the sample shown we can see the traffic passed on the Ethernet interface when the command Get
Event Log is selected from the laptop running STDS. The output shown in the slide is not displayed;
it is only an example of the activity on the Ethernet link while the Get Event Log command is
executing.
The tape drive responds by sending back the log file to the host, where it is saved.

Notes:
T-series tape drives can be configured to notify SNMP monitoring / Case generation tools of initiating
events. The default setting for all initiating events is “disabled”. If needed, these can be enabled
during installation.
Once enabled, initiating events are transmitted over the Ethernet interface of the tape drive when
they occur.
This slide shows some examples that can be enabled during drive configuration.
These are used to report alerts or other asynchronous events about the tape drive. When an event
occurs, for example, if the event log is full, a notification is sent to the monitoring software.
We will look specifically at the Tape Alert Flag in the following slide.

Notes:
A few tape alert flag examples are shown on the slide. The tape alerts are held in drive memory.
The tape alert flags are reported over the Ethernet network when the Get ID command is issued by
STDS, and the drive responds with its status and identification information.
Note that the VOP cannot access the drive memory area that holds the tape alert flags.
Next, we will look at some troubleshooting tips in the event that the Ethernet network is not
functioning as expected.

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Notes:
There are a number of components or areas in which the Ethernet network could fail. A good starting
point is to have a diagram showing all the connections and configuration.
The slide shows an example of a switch that might be used to build the private network. A first
indicator of the link functioning properly would be the port activity LED, which should be lit green if
everything is functional.
If a link fails, the destination port, as well as the switch port, needs to be checked. Inspect the ports
for physical damage, and also check that the drive IP address has been configured correctly. This
might need to be done by directly connecting with a crossover cable.
Check for loose connections. Sometimes a cable appears to be seated in the jack, but it actually is
not; unplug the cable and re-insert it. You should also look for dirt or broken or missing pins. Do this
for both ports involved in the connection.
To determine if the cable is the problem, swap it with a known good cable. Be sure to swap it with a
cable that you know is good and is of the correct type. Between the switch and the tape drives, all
the connections should be made with straight-through CAT5 cables.
If a good cable is connected between two functional, correctly configured ports, the green light on
the port should start flashing after a few seconds.
Lastly, we will look at a simple Disk-to-Disk-to-Tape configuration to see the role of the private
Ethernet network.

Notes:
In this scenario, the T10000 tape drives have been configured to send tape alert flags to the
appropriate SNMP monitoring / Case generation solution. As data is transferred onto tape from disk
during tape backup operations, drive information is sent to drive memory. If the drive malfunctions
with a write error during the backup, the error is posted in an event log stored in drive memory, a
Fault Symptom Code is posted to a location in drive memory, and a tape alert flag of 0006H is set.
If the failure occurs again or becomes permanent, service personnel can use the Ethernet Port to
obtain additional information concerning the error.
These fault alerts and resulting diagnostic processes use the service Ethernet network as described
in earlier slides.
There is a second Ethernet network shown on the slide, which is used by clients to transfer data to
servers, and which is totally separated from the private Ethernet network to which the tape drives are
connected.
During a backup process, data is transferred across this Ethernet network (preferably Gigabit or
better) to one of the servers attached to disk, and then from disk to tape.
This concludes the Ethernet Fundamentals for T-series tape drives presentation.

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Notes:
Now that you have completed this course it is time to check your knowledge.

Notes:
You can access the resource page for this accreditation via the Tape Drive Advocate Accreditation
Development plan.

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Notes:

Notes:

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