Virtual Tape Systems for IBM Mainframes: A Comparative Analysis

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Executive Summary

Mainframe Virtual Tape is typically defined as magnetic tape file images stored on disk. In reality it is a little more subtle than that. Most discussions of Virtual Tape focus on the advantages of Virtual Tape versus Real Tape. That begs the question, if it is better to store files on disk, why store them on tape in the first place? Since the earliest versions of OS/360 and DOS/360, programs could easily choose between disk or tape devices for data file storage. If a program was written to use tape, it is generally a trivial matter to change the program to use disk instead.

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