VTAPE (Virtual Tape)
VTAPE is an implementation of a virtual tape device in z/VM software. All defined virtual tape drives are seen as real attached tape devices to guest machines. VTAPE implements a database technology that intercepts tape block reads and writes, and performs the corresponding operations against the database in a manner which is transparent to the guest, and which is seen as normal tape I/O activity by that guest. This approach offers the following benefits to the installation:
- Users can define and the use many more virtual tape devices than the number of real tape devices available in the shop, thus eliminating the need to buy more real devices.
- Tape mounts are satisfied without operator intervention – no operator bottlenecks.
- Developers can test tape-based applications without tying up real devices. Guest machines, such as z/OS and z/VSE, can backup data to tape faster and more efficiently than with real devices.
- The use of virtual tape eliminates the need for JCL tape-to-disk conversions in z/OS and z/VSE shops.
- Since all virtual tapes actually reside in a disk VTAPE library, the library can be backed up and restored via VSSI utilities, allowing for more efficient restoration during Disaster Recovery testing and use.
Virtual Tape is not a tape management system, but a complete implementation of tape drives and tapes in software.