Potential for Defeating 3584 I/O Station Lock Mechanism Exposing User to Class II Laser

Just spotted this alert and thought it very much worth sharing.   There are huge numbers of 3584 (TS3500) Tape Libraries out there in the world and in my experience they are a truly reliable and stable platform for automated tape operations.  In many ways the product is an industry legend, because despite all of StorageTeks advantages and leadership position in Tape technology, they could not stop the march of this product.   When I was an IBM Account Engineer we would routinely swap out ten to twenty STK silos with two 3584s.    In the course of 4 or 5 years we removed nearly the entire STK population of Melbourne with this product.   It certainly taught me that being first to market or the market leader is no guarantee of long-term success.

Reading the alert, clearly someone somewhere in the world somehow managed to get the thing to run with the doors open.   I am unsure how this happened but it is obviously not a good idea!   I have reproduced the details below.

Abstract

MachineType/Model affected: TS3500 (All 3584-Lxx Frames and 3584 Dxx with 4 I/O Door feature) – locking mechanism for the I/O station doors on the TS3500 library.

Content

There exists a possibility that a user may defeat the locking mechanism for the I/O station doors on the TS3500 library, subsequently allowing the door to be opened fully while the library accessor scans the I/O station slots for cartridges, potentially exposing users looking through these slots to the Class II laser in operation.

During normal operation, the door should always be closed by gently sliding it from left to right and holding it closed until the user hears the mechanical sound of the solenoid switch deploying and securing the door shut and seeing the indicator light on the operator panel indicating that the door is closed. If at any time a user observes that the door is open, even slightly, when the operator panel indicator light indicates the door is closed, the user should take the following steps:

1. Close the door as far as the solenoid switch will allow it to close (this may leave an opening of approximately 0.5 inches);
2. Wait until the sound of the solenoid retracting is heard; and
3. Completely close the door as it is normally done.

Under no circumstances should an individual look directly at the beam of a library’s internal scanner’s laser while it is operating and emitting light. If the door is locked, do not attempt to force it open.

 

 

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About Anthony Vandewerdt

I am an IT Professional who lives and works in Melbourne Australia. This blog is totally my own work. It does not represent the views of any corporation. Constructive and useful comments are very very welcome.
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