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Spectra BlackPearl

Build a deep storage cloud for pennies/GB


Spectra BlackPearl
A traditional tape archive is very affordable, but it is slow. BlackPearl eliminates one of the biggest issues with tape: speed. BlackPearl comes with SSD drives to use as a write cache for data being sent to the tape archive. BlackPearl also uses a protocol called Spectra S3 – an enhanced version of Amazon S3 – to hold the data until it can be written to the tape archive in the most efficient manner.

Simple approach to interface and manage tape

BlackPearl stores its data in a format called LTFS – the Linear Tape File System.  In the past, any data that you backed up to tape left you at the mercy of the software you used to write that data.  CommVault couldn’t read Veritas volumes. ARCServe didn’t play nicely with Symantec.  With LTFS, you can not only read data from multiple different backup vendors, but you can also stop treating tape drives like Write Once, Read Never devices.  LTFS allows a cluster of tape units to look and act just like a storage array.  A slow array to be sure, but still an array.

Deep storage with organization and portability – forever

SpectraLogic takes the ideas behind LTFS and couples them with the concept of Deep storage to create an idea – “buckets”.  Buckets function just like the buckets you find in Amazon S3.  These are user-defined constructs that hold data. The BlackPearl caches these buckets and optimizes the writes to your tape array.  Where the bucket concept really excels is in its portability.  Let’s say you wanted to transfer long-term data like phone records or legal documents between law firms that are both using Deep storage.  All you need to do is identify the bucket in question, eject the tape (or tapes) needed to recreate that bucket, and then send the tapes to the destination.  Once there, the storage admin just needs to import the bucket from the tapes in question and all the data in that bucket can be read.  No software version mismatches.  No late night panicked calls because nothing will mount.  Data exchange without hassles.

Companies like NASCAR and Yahoo are are using BlackPearl and Spectra S3 as a way to store large media files virtually forever.  There’s no reason you can’t do something similar.  No more worrying about throwing things out.  No need to rent storage lockers for cardboard boxes full of files.  No need to worry about the weather or insects.  Just keeping the data center online is enough to keep your data in a readable format from now until forever.

BlackPearl Chart

Lowest cost of any data storage solution

BlackPearl takes advantage of tape’s low cost, economically scaling to Exabyte capacities. It also promotes reductions in OPEX related expenditure by leveraging Spectra tape library environmental benefits of high-density footprints and low power consumption. New cloud based deep storage architecture of BlackPearl delivers lower upfront and ongoing costs of storage. Integrating BlackPearl requires minimal software acquisition costs to attach deep storage into your environment by leveraging software clients based upon RESTful interfaces. Users can develop their own clients for the Spectra S3 interface or access a library of existing software clients available through the Spectra Software Developer program.

Reduce time spent managing long-term storage

Deep storage is the ultimate resting place for all data, and with BlackPearl there is no need to continually move data to another storage platform. BlackPearl minimizes the time spent moving data, allowing users to target objects for deep storage. With BlackPearl, users do not need any previous experience with tape library systems. BlackPearl handles how data is written to tape and also the tape library inventory, robotic commands and other aspects of how the library stores the data.

Ensures data security, reliability and integrity

Spectra tape libraries provide a powerful set of tools that allow for data integrity verification and notifications of media, drive, library status and health. BlackPearl also offers extended data security through Spectra’s AES 256-encryption offerings.

Deep Storage Interface modernizes the use of tape

The first RESTful interface to tape, Spectra S3 provides BlackPearl and client interaction via REST, allowing you to move large data sets easily to and from deep storage. The user only moves data through the client while BlackPearl handles all interaction with the tape library. There are many Spectra S3 clients that have been built by Spectra, our partners and our customers. Learn how to get started building Spectra S3 applications.

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