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DataCare LLC Dubai, UAE Spills the beans for you on the DDS Format tapes

Digital Data Storage (DDS) is a format for storing and backing up computer data on tape that evolved from the Digital Audio Tape (DAT) technology. In 1989, Sony and Hewlett Packard defined the DDS format for data storage using DAT tape cartridges.

 DDS DAT Tapes have been immensely popular because of their cost effectiveness.

DDS uses a 4-mm tape on which data is written using Helical Scan.

DDS cannot update a backed-up file in the same place it was originally recorded. In general, DDS requires special software for managing the storage and retrieval of data from DDS tape drives.

There are seven types of DDS drives:

  • 4mm Tape DDS1 (DDS-1): Stores 2gb native (4gb compressed) of data on a 90m cartridge. Another Varient of DDS-1 is the 60M tape. Example : HP C5705A/ C5706A
  • 4mm Tape DDS2 (DDS-2): Stores 4gb native (8gb compressed) of data on a 120m cartridge. Example : HP C5707A
  • 4mm Tape DDS3 (DDS-3): Stores 12gb native (24gb compressed) of data on a 125m cartridge. Uses PRML (Partial Response Maximum Likelihood). which eliminates electronic noise for a cleaner data recording. Native transfer speed: 1-1.2mb/sec; 2mb cache : Example : HP C5708A
  • 4mm Tape DDS4 (DDS-4): Stores 20gb native (40gb compressed) of data on a 150m cartridge. 4mm Tape DDS4 native transfer speed: 2.4-3mb/sec; 8-10mb cache. Example : HP C5718A
  • 4mm Tape DAT 72 : Stores 36 Gb native and 72 GB compressed data on a 170 M cartridge. The DAT 72 standard was developed by HP and Certance. It has the same form-factor and is backwards compatible with DDS-3 and -4.
  • 8mm Tape DAT 160 : HP Released DAT 160 in June 2007 . Itstores up to 80 GB uncompressed (160 GB compressed). DAT 160 uses 8 mm wide tape while all prior versions use 3.81 mm wide tape. Despite the difference in tape widths, DAT 160 drives are backwards compatible with DAT 72 and DAT 40 (DDS-4).
  • 8mm Tape DAT 320 : In November 2009, HP Launched DAT 320 with Native capacity of 160GB and Compressed capacity of 320 GB

A 4mm Tape DDS cartridge needs to be retired after 2,000 passes or 100 full backups. You should clean your 4mm Tape DDS tape drive every 24 hours with a cleaning cartridge and discard the cleaning cartridge after 30 cleanings. 4mm Tape DDS tapes have an expected life of at least 10 years.

Cleaning of DDS-1 to DDS-4 can be done using Standard DDS Cleaning Tape. DAT 160 and DAT 320 drives use different cleaning respectively.

Part of the information was taken from www.wikipedia.com

DataCare LLC Dubai, stocks DDS and DAT Tapes from various brands like HP , Imation, Sony and IBM.


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