Virtual optical library and transition from 3995, 3996, and 399F

  • Click to show description Image Catalog optical media library for archive

    New capabilities are available to provide virtual optical library support with the IBM i 7.1 image catalog, easing transitions from IBM 3995, IBM 3996 and Plasmon optical libraries. These capabilities are available through an IBM Lab Services Offering and PTFs beginning in i 7.1.

    The image catalog optical media library (virtual optical library) is an alternative to physical optical libraries that attach to the IBM i for use as an archive storage repository with existing applications. Because this offering is based on virtual optical media stored in IFS directories, it has no dependencies on optical library hardware or host system adapters that can no longer be purchased. It is compatible with the latest POWER systems hardware and IBM i operating system versions. It maintains current application interfaces, so it offers a migration path from existing optical library media and preserves optical library enabled application investments.

    Image Catalog support is extended in i 7.1 to support loading a catalog to a 632B-001 virtual optical device in library mode. This enhancement of Image Catalog function enables the virtual optical device to function as a virtual optical library, and all volumes in the library-mode catalog are visible and accessible through the /QOPT file-system with no application changes. New virtual optical media types WORM and ERASE are also supported to emulate the characteristics of corresponding physical optical library media and facilitate compliance with data retention requirements.

    High speed migration of existing optical library media to the virtual device is supported with Image Catalog functions. New media images can also be created for ongoing archive production usage. Image Catalogs can be moved off-line or saved using backup/recovery strategies or individual volume images can be duplicated to recordable DVD media.

  • Click to show description Using image catalog for enhanced optical library data migration

    New capabilities are available that enhance the process and speed of data migration from optical library devices on the IBM i. These capabilities are available through a Lab Services Offering and PTFs beginning in V5R4M5.

  • Click to show description IBM 3995 migration to POWER7

Virtual optical devices and device virtualization

  • Click to show description632B – Virtual optical devices

    Virtual optical using image catalog
    Device type 632B model 001 is a virtual optical device that uses image catalog images.

    Virtual optical using the Network File System
    Device type 632B model 003 is a virtual optical device that uses images shared with the Network File System.

  • Click to show description632C – Client virtual optical devices

    Client virtual optical devices are optical devices that are hosted or served by another system partition. The devices on the serving system partition may be physical optical devices or may be virtual optical devices.

    Supported serving/hosting Operating Systems

  • Click to show descriptionEmbedded media changer

    Embedded media changer emulation, now available for IBM i 7.1, extends the automatic media switching capability of virtual optical device type 632B on IBM i virtual I/O serving partitions to the associated virtual optical device type 632C on IBM i client partitions.

3996 Optical Library with 30 GB and 60GB UDO™

399F Optical Library (Plasmon G-Series)

DVD Device and Media support

  • Click to show descriptionDVD Notes

    We currently support 3 DVD-RAM and 2 DVD-ROM internal drive types. All of these drives support reading CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-ROM (DVD5, DVD9, DVD10, and DVD18), 2.6GB/5.2GB, and 4.7GB/9.4GB DVD-RAM media. Double sided media require the media to be flipped in the drive to access the second side.

    All DVD-RAM drives support writing 4.7GB/9.4GB DVD-RAM media. Only 1 drive supports writing to the 2.6GB/5.2GB DVD-RAM media (must be in a cartridge). These drives are also available as external units (Bridge box or Multi-bay storage device enclosure).

    Bridge Boxes: IBM 7210 Model 025 DVD-RAM drive IBM 7210 Model 030 DVD-RAM drive Multi-bay storage device enclosure: IBM 7212 Model 102 IBM 7212 Model 103 House up to two drives and can be any combination of the feature codes below.


    When writing DVD-RAM media, i5 OS has ranked data integrity as the highest priority. To ensure this, we disable the drive's "Write Cache" function and write with a verify pass. This implementation results in a fairly large performance cost. When evaluating drive write speeds such as 2X, 3X, 5X(future), or 8X(future), you will see incremental improvement but will not attain these rated performance numbers.

    System Saves

    Most systems have a small window of time for their system back-ups. In most instances, tape is a preferred solution over DVD-RAM due to the slower write performance discussed above. When writing to DVD-RAM and using system compression, you will average a 3:1 compression ratio. With this, a single 4.7GB DVD-RAM media can save about 13GB of data in an unattended save mode. This may be suitable for backing up smaller iSeries models.

  • Click to show descriptionDVD IBM i internal devices
    CCIN Drive Type Feature Code's Hardware Configuration Function Cleaning Kit
    6330 DVD-RAM 4430, 4530, 4630 HH 1 Read and Write Yes 19P0498
    6331 DVD-RAM 5751, 5757 Slimline 2 Read and Write No 3
    6333 DVD-RAM 4533, 4633 HH Read and Write No 3
    6336 DVD-ROM 4531, 4631 HH 1 Read No 3
    6337 DVD-ROM 2640, 5756 Slimline Read No 3
  • Click to show descriptionDVD IBM i external devices
    CCIN Drive Type MT-Model Hardware Configuration Function Cleaning Kit
    6330 DVD-RAM 7210-025 Bridge Box 1 Read and Write Yes
    6333 DVD-RAM 7210-030 Bridge Box 1 Read and Write No 3
    6333 DVD-RAM 7212-102
    FC 1103
    Multi-bay Storage Enclosure 2 Read and Write No 3
    6336 DVD-ROM 7212-102
    FC 1106
    Multi-bay Storage Enclosure 2 Read and Write No 3

    1 Bridege Box - stand alone enclosure that contains one device. Desk top or rack mount. (rack shelf kit, FC 8723).
    2 Multi-bay Storage Enclosure - 1U enclosure that holds up to two devices. Desk top or rack mount.
    3 Use of a cleaning kit could damage the drive.

  • Click to show descriptionDVD IBM i device system support
    CCIN Internal 9406 system models Internal tower support External support External support adapter
    6330 270, 800, 810, 820, 825, 830, 840, 870, 890 Yes Yes 2768, 5702
    6331 515, 520, 525, 550, 570, MMA NA NA NA
    6333 270, 800, 810, 820, 825, 830, 840, 870, 890 Yes Yes 2768, 5702
    6336 270, 800, 810, 820, 825, 830, 840, 870, 890 Yes Yes 2768, 5702
    6337 515, 520, 512, 550, 570, MMA NA NA NA
  • Click to show descriptionDVD-RAM media

    DVD-RAM Media


  • Click to show descriptionApplications

    The System i is the leading IBM Server in the utilization of 3995 optical storage for data archive. Following are links to IBM software that use archive storage to enable very large amounts of data to be economically online.

  • Click to show descriptionBackup

    Online archive storage, like all DASD, should be regularly backed up to maintain complete data security and integrity. Five options are available to support backing up your optical data. For complete details, please refer to Optical Volume Backup in the Storage Solutions (Optical) (PDF, 1.8MB) topic of Information Center.

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