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Patent Application Titled "Reconstructive Error Recovery Procedure (Erp) for Multiple Data Sets Using Reserved Buffer" Published Online

July 22, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventors Katagiri, Takashi (Yokohama-shi, JP); Nylander-Hill, Pamela R. (Tucson, AZ), filed on March 6, 2014, was made available online on July 10, 2014.

The assignee for this patent application is International Business Machines Corporation.

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to data storage, and more particularly, to reading data from tape using a reconstructive error recovery procedure (ERP) to reduce backhitches while reading data.

"Tape and optical storage devices use very powerful error correction codes, such as product codes or concatenated codes, in conjunction with interleaving to provide a very high degree of data integrity. These error correction schemes typically use two error correction codes (ECCs) as component codes. Two important burst-error performance measures for tape storage systems protected by these schemes are: 1) lateral width of an erroneous stripe which is still capable of being corrected (this is also known as 'broken track correction' capability), and 2) longitudinal width of an erroneous stripe that is still capable of being corrected. A 'broken' track generally refers to a track that cannot be read correctly due to a problem on the media itself and/or a problem with the readback channel, e.g., as a channel that does not detect data correctly because of alignment or some systematic problem with the head.

"When a tape drive reads data from a tape, or when a tape drive writes data to a tape, a unit of data that is read or written is referred to as a 'data set.' The data set is encoded using interleaved sets of codewords that are organized into an ECC-encoded matrix of size M bytes.times.N bytes (M.times.N) and then written to tape as shown in FIG. 1, according to the prior art. There are two levels of encoding within this matrix 150. The first level of encoding utilizes the matrix rows 102. Each row 102 of the matrix contains C1-ECC row parity 106, which adds p-bytes of C1-ECC to the n-bytes of user data (e.g., N=n+p bytes). The second level of encoding, C2-ECC column parity 108, adds q-bytes of C2-ECC to each matrix column 104. For example, if q=12, then adding 12 bytes of C2-ECC would add 12 rows to the matrix 150 (e.g., M=m+q bytes).

"When the data set is read from the tape in a high error rate condition, C1/C2 ECC is not capable of correcting the read data. For example, in some approaches, C1-encoding is capable of correcting 10 bytes of error, and C2-encoding is capable of correcting 20 bytes of error. If the error bytes exceed this correction power, then data cannot be read from the tape. In this scenario, the tape drive will then attempt ERP to read the data set from the tape again with a different hardware setting (e.g., changing the tape speed). ERP repeats until C1/C2-encoding is able to correct the data or until the ERP retry count exceeds a threshold. If the retry count exceeds the threshold, then the tape drive will report a permanent error for the read operation.

"There are several problems with this conventional approach. First, if the error rate is consistently high, C1 and C2 cannot correct the data and the tape drive fails to read the data set, which is extremely undesirable. Second, in areas of tape where the error rate is high due to media damage, marginal writing, data written in older formats, etc., the drive may fail to read. Third, in these cases, often many data sets in proximity may require ERP. If a dataset error is recoverable with many retries (many iterations of ERP), the next data set may presumably require similar retries to successfully read the data. All this recovery causes the tape drive to take a long time to read data due to the multiple backhitches necessary to reread the data from the tape, which degrades host performance and can also further damage media.

"Accordingly, it would be beneficial to have a data recovery procedure that increases the efficiency of reading stored data from the tape."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "In one embodiment, a system includes a processor configured to execute logic, the logic being configured to read a plurality of data sets, each data set including a plurality of portions which combine together to wholly form the data set, and reread at least a first uncorrected data set using a different setting in an error recovery procedure (ERP) when an error in the first uncorrected data set is not correctable using C2-error correction code (ECC) or an error in any portion of the first uncorrected data set is not correctable using C1-ECC.

"In another embodiment, a tape drive includes a data buffer having a reserved data buffer, a processor configured to execute logic, the logic being configured to read an initial error data set followed by a plurality of data sets subsequent to the initial error data set once or more using different settings until: all rows of the initial error data set are assembled in a reserved data buffer and no uncorrectable errors remain, or at least one uncorrectable data set remains in a plurality of assembled data sets, or a maximum number of rereads has been reached, and after each rereading of the initial error data set and one or more of the plurality of data sets subsequent to the initial error data set in the same forward motion, store rows of each data set which either have no errors or are correctable using C1-ECC to their respective reserved data buffer areas, unless a matching row already exists in the reserved data buffer that has fewer corrected errors therein.

"According to another embodiment, a method for reading data includes reading a plurality of data sets, each data set including a plurality of portions which combine together to wholly form the data set, and rereading at least a first uncorrected data set using a different setting in an ERP when an error in the first uncorrected data set is not correctable using C2-ECC or an error in any portion of the first uncorrected data set is not correctable using C1-ECC, wherein the first uncorrected data set is positioned prior to any other uncorrected data set in a read direction.

"Other aspects and embodiments of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, which, when taken in conjunction with the drawings, illustrates by way of example the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 shows a data set matrix or array, according to the prior art.

"FIG. 2A illustrates a network storage system, according to one embodiment.

"FIG. 2B illustrates a simplified tape drive of a tape-based data storage system, according to one embodiment.

"FIGS. 3A-3B show a method for reading data from a medium using a reconstructive error recovery procedure (ERP) for multiple data sets, according to one embodiment.

"FIG. 4 shows a method for reading data from a medium using a reconstructive ERP for multiple data sets, according to one embodiment.

"FIG. 5 shows a method for reading data from a medium using a reconstructive ERP for multiple data sets, according to one embodiment.

"FIG. 6 shows a method, according to one embodiment."

For more information, see this patent application: Katagiri, Takashi; Nylander-Hill, Pamela R. Reconstructive Error Recovery Procedure (Erp) for Multiple Data Sets Using Reserved Buffer. Filed March 6, 2014 and posted July 10, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=462&p=10&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140703.PD.&OS=PD/20140703&RS=PD/20140703

Keywords for this news article include: Information Technology, Information and Data Storage, International Business Machines Corporation.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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