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Clearance of Building 186 - Tape Archive

  Alan E. Ball, Rüdiger Voss EP

The Tape Archive area in Building 186 has to be cleared to prepare for the establishment of the LHC experiments Silicon Facility.

EP-SMI would like to complete this clearance by the end of April 1999, in order to carry out preparatory work, so that the installation of the Silicon Facility can start as planned in July.

The Tape Archive in Building 186 presently contains ~ 500 k volumes (principally 3480 cartridges and some 3420 round tapes), stored in cardboard boxes on palettes.

Volumes have been archived at the request of the experiments' tape administrator or when the volume has not been accessed for more than two years. Recently archived tapes (1997-98) have been stored in the basement of the Computer Centre 513.

3420 round tape volumes can no longer be recovered at CERN. 3480 cartridge volumes that are more than 5 years old often cause problems: only correctly labelled groups of identical block-size can be handled.

Requests for recovery of archived tapes normally occur within 4-6 weeks of archiving, usually because the owner has discovered a mistake in copying the data: other than this, only one request for de-archiving a 3480 volume was made last year.

Details of archived tapes can be found via the following URLs:

- the latter shows the ownership and contents of each box.

CERN currently has an offer from Emtec Magnetics-BASF to destroy ecologically or recycle tapes or cartridges free of charge if a significant quantity can be delivered to their site: it should be remembered that the normal cost is ~1 CHF per tape so the potential saving could be considerable.

Warnings of the clearance of the 186 archive area were given by K. Peach in 1997/8 and these have been repeated several times at "Tape Users" meetings: a number of collaborations have already reacted by copying wanted data and indicating which volumes can be deleted.

We now therefore ask you formally, with the support of the Directors and of COCOTIME, to examine carefully the lists of tape volumes that your collaboration presently stores in the Archive and react as follows:

Tapes which can be destroyed: R. Minchin/IT should be informed of volumes that can be removed from the archive: he will also arrange for deletion of the TMS database entry.

Tapes which should be retained: A convincing justification for retention should be sent to R. Voss/EP-DI with copy to R. Minchin/IT: this should clearly indicate the volumes concerned.

If no reaction is received by 19 April 1999, it will be assumed that there is no further interest in retaining the volumes and they will be scheduled for removal.

Every effort is being made to contact the current or the last known Spokes-person and Tape Manager of each collaboration directly.

EP-SMI group will also collect unwanted tapes from other locations on the site: please e-mail the with details.

We count on your collaboration in this onerous task and thank you for your comprehension.

For matters related to this article please contact the author.

Last Updated on March 18th, 1999 at 16:22:42
Copyright © CERN 1999 -- European Laboratory for Particle Physics