The tape self-identification feature configures the tape automatically, with the parameters provided by the tape drive. Previously, the configuration data for a tape drive was statically supplied through user-editable configuration files, built-in configuration tables, or default values. The tape-self identification feature uses a few SCSI commands to directly query the required parameters from the tape drive. When the st driver gets the parameters, the tape drive uses them on the Solaris OS.
The advantages of tape-self identification over the traditional file-based configuration are:
Simple and no user intervention is needed
Faster support for new tape drives
Easy to use, standard-based interface