Tape aliasing overview


Aliasing simplifies the process of device identification. Aliasing binds a physical path name (PPN) or a serial number (SN) of a tape or a medium changer to a persistent, but modifiable alias name.

The following table describes how tape aliasing enables you to ensure that a tape drive (or tape library or medium changer) is always associated with a single alias name:

Scenario Reassigning of the alias

When the system reboots

The tape drive is automatically reassigned its previous alias.

When a tape device moves to another port

The alias can be adjusted to point to the new address.

When more than one system uses a particular tape device

The user can set the alias to be the same for all the systems.


When you upgrade from Data ONTAP 8.1.x to Data ONTAP 8.2.x, the tape alias feature of Data ONTAP 8.2.x modifies the existing tape alias names. In such a case you might have to update the tape alias names in the backup application.

Assigning tape aliases provides a correspondence between the logical names of backup devices (for example, st0 or mc1) and a name permanently assigned to a port, a tape drive, or a medium changer.


st0 and st00 are different logical names.


Logical names and serial numbers are used only to access a device. After the device is accessed, it returns all error messages by using the physical path name.

There are two types of names available for aliasing: physical path name and serial number.