It's the tape archive nightmare - racks and racks of carefully stored tape cartridges and you don't know if they can be read. Welcome to the tape restoration lottery.
Crossroads Europe thinks it can help you out here. ArchiveVerify is a tape validity monitoring tool that's an option for the existing RVA (ReadVerify Appliance) product. RVA monitors tape backup operations and reports cartridge and drive stats collected during backup operations.
ArchiveVerify uses it as its verification tool. A tape administrator defines a set of tapes in a library to be verified, the storage pool. The selection criteria for verifying the cartridges are defined and one or more tape drives allocated to the verification jobs. Lastly, a tape analysis schedule is set up, and then the job just runs.
The operation takes place at the drive level, and there is no dependency on the software app used to write the tapes in the first place.
Cartridges are loaded onto the allocated drives and their readability verified with daily reports emailed to the tape administrator. This is good news for tape administrators concerned to trust their archived tapes' readability, and also with meeting tape storage requirements they might have to be compliant with.
The Reg understands that CERN uses TapeWise from DPS to check its massive store of tapes. A comparison with ArchiveVerify might be a good thing to do.