No support for LTO6 tape drives yet – HP revises firmware for tape libraries and autoloaders

Posted by on Jan 24, 2013 in Data Protection Manager, Hardware, Storages | 0 comments

In December HP released firmware upgrades to all its major tape libraries and autoloaders to support the new LTO 6 generation drives. Today I received a brand new HP StoreEver MSL LTO-6 Ultrium 6250 SAS-Drive and before upgrading the library I wanted to install the latest firmware that supports this drive. All I could find was version 5.70 for MSL 2024 which obviously is the latest version available. But this one does not support LTO 6 drives.
I then found an article about version 5.80 being revised and therefore not available for download:

CUSTOMER NOTICE: (Revised) HP MSL Tape Libraries and HP Tape Autoloaders – Upgrade firmware is temporarily withdrawn due to incompatibility with HP Ultrium LTO-5 tape drives and certain backup configurations

Upgrade firmware, which has new features and also supports the addition of HP Ultrium LTO-6 tape drives in installed HP MSL Tape Libraries and HP 1/8 G2 Tape Autoloaders, is temporarily withdrawn due to an incompatibility issue with systems using HP Ultrium LTO-5 and certain backup configurations. New HP MSL Tape Libraries and HP 1/8 G2 Tape Autoloaders with only HP Ultrium LTO-6 drives are not affected.

Although LTO 6 drive configurations seem to be not affected HP does not offer this firmware version for download anymore. I justed contacted HP support to get the firmware… hopefully I’ll get an answer soon.

Update 1

Today I received the pre-released firmware version 5.90. With that revision the tape drive works really good, but after booting the library I could not enter the pin for the security token used to encrypt the tapes in the drive.

The entered PIN is too long. A maximum of 15 characters are allowed for PIN!

After downgrading to 5.70 I changed the pin to 15 characters. Then I installed 5.90 again and the pin worked – but now Data Protection Manager did not recognize the new drive. I ran Proliant Support Pack, used the latest available drivers from ftp.hp.com and now everything works as expected. Good support HP!

Update 2

HP released firmware version 5.90 for MSL2024 libraries supporting LTO 6 tape drives. You can download the package at http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareDescription.jsp?lang=de&cc=de&prodTypeId=12169&prodSeriesId=3936307&swItem=co-115010-1&prodNameId=5336420&swEnvOID=4064&swLang=8&taskId=135&mode=4&idx=0. It also contains latest firmware for MSL 4048 (version 8.30), MSL 8048 and 8096 (version 1090) and updates for these drives:

  • Ultrium 232 SCSI – P63W (in HP 1/8 Ultrium G2 Tape Autoloader only)
  • Ultrium 448 SCSI – S63W
  • Ultrium 920 SAS – C25W & Q51W
  • Ultrium 920 SCSI – D24W
  • Ultrium 960 SCSI – G63W
  • Ultrium 960 2Gb FC – L63W
  • Ultrium 960 4Gb FC – M63W
  • Ultrium 1760 SAS – U61W
  • Ultrium 1760 SCSI – W61W
  • Ultrium 1840 SCSI – B63W
  • Ultrium 1840 4Gb FC – H68W
  • Ultrium 3000 8Gb FC – Y5BW
  • Ultrium 3000 SAS – Z58W
  • Ultrium 3280 8Gb FC – I5EW
  • Ultrium 6250 8Gb FC – 22CW
  • Ultrium 6250 SAS – 32AW

After a short test of this firmware I can confirm that the problem with PINs exceeding 15 characters still exists – the changelog says nothing about this issue but that it existed in 5.00.

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