Choose a vendor whose product offers a choice
for formatting optical media. Using the vendors'
proprietary format may provide better performance
but you may be locked into that vendor for life.
Options such as NTFS and UDF will allow the media
to be read by other software in the future.
Operating System Support
Choose a vendor who has developed jukebox management
software for several platforms such as Windows,
UNIX, and Linux. This proves they have expanded
product and operating system knowledge over a
single-platform vendor. Additionally, you may
want to move your jukebox to another operating
system in the future and this will minimize the
migration to a different O/S.
Select a jukebox manager that offers directory
tree caching in addition to file caching. Both
are essential to maximize the performance of your
jukebox storage system. Directory tree cache will
keep all file names and related file information
cached on HDD so the jukebox does not need to
mount a disk to perform file and directory search
functions. File caching stores a copy of the most
recently accessed files on HDD so that the jukebox
doesn't repeatedly mount the same disk to read
frequently accessed files. Properly configured
cache will reduce wait time for requests and eliminate
unnecessary wear on jukebox robotics.
If your environment requires a mixture of WORM
and erasable media, make sure the jukebox manager
you select allows support for different media
types within the same jukebox. Some do and some
A good jukebox manager will offer the ability
to make a backup copy of optical disks. Although
optical media is the most reliable and stable
media available for archiving data, there is always
a chance of media and data corruption. Always
make at least one backup copy of your media. Since
copying media requires exclusive use of 2 optical
drives, this function should be scheduled for
non-production hours. Look for software that offers
media copying as a scheduled task.
Off-line Media Storage
Choose a jukebox manager that has the ability
to remove optical disks from the jukebox to store
on a shelf. When requests are made for off-line
media, the software should prompt the administrator
to mount an off-line disk to fulfill a request
for a file.
Make sure your jukebox management software offers
the ability to support multiple jukeboxes on the
same server. If your storage needs grow beyond
a single jukebox, adding a second jukebox should
be as simple as connecting it to an available
SCSI port on the server and upgrading the license
Always establish a testing period and a target
date for implementation of a jukebox storage system.
It is NOT recommended to immediately put a jukebox
storage system into production without first performing
rigorous tests including writing large amounts
of data, reading back the data, copying optical
disks, and fully exercising the robotics.
Always buy a software maintenance plan. Maintenance
plans offer software updates as they are released
in addition to unlimited technical support, and
will typically cost 18-20% of the original software.
Software updates include bug fixes and new features
that may greatly benefit your storage system.
Not purchasing a maintenance plan may leave your
storage system exposed to problems with untimely
and costly resolution.
The most important part of your jukebox storage
system is the ability to get quality technical
support in a timely manner. Prior to buying your
jukebox, place several calls to technical support.
See if you get immediate support. If you have
to leave a voice mail, see what the response time
is for a return call. Ask the same questions to
at least two representatives to make sure you
are given the same answers.
Always use a qualified integrator to install a
jukebox storage system. You may have a staff of
highly skilled IT professionals that know servers
and networks, but integrating automated storage
requires a different skill set. Improperly configured
jukebox storage systems can take weeks or months
to troubleshoot. The fee for 2 days of professional
services is insignificant compared to the whole
solution cost. Take advantage of the expertise
offered by the vendor and make the most of the
Beware of who you find on the Internet. It doesn't
take much for someone to set up a beautiful web
site and offer enormous discounts on hardware
and software. That person most likely has no experience
with automated storage systems and is only looking
to make a quick sale. You may pay up to 10% more
from a qualified integrator but ask yourself 'How
much is our data worth and how much time and money
will we lose with downtime?"
Do not buy an automated storage system from a
vendor who cannot provide references. Check at
least 1 or 2 references of the vendor you have
selected. Request references from large, well-known
companies using jukeboxes in high-production environments.