Storage Company Profile: Spectra Logic

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Today’s storage and backup solutions are becoming increasingly complex and expensive. With spending on primary storage expected to surpass that of servers, companies are looking for ways to cut Information Technology (IT) resources associated with setting up and supporting these solutions. Storage companies are attempting to alleviate these problems by making storage more readily available over existing IP networks. As a result, multiple standards-based efforts are emerging.

Spectra Logic, a Boulder, CO-based company that designs and manufacturers automated tape libraries and other products that protect an organization’s data, has created tape libraries that are compatible with all industry-leading archive software packages enabling companies to help eliminate the loss of data in the event of computer malfunction, human error, or even a natural disaster. Spectra Logic’s products target heterogeneous data centers that operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The company’s robotic tape libraries are actually ‘tape handling systems’ with robotic arms designed to grab a tape and place it in the mouth of the drive. According to Lou Cicio, Spectra Logic’s director of product management, the company’s Spectra 12000 tape library has a very high storage density with a very small footprint. In other words, companies are able to manage massive amounts of data without taking up a lot of valuable data center space. “Our AIT libraries are equipped with Sony Intelligent Tape (AIT) which gives users an upgradeable path to new drive technologies as they become available,” says Cicio. “AIT technology has changed the back-up landscape and is setting new standards for performance, capacity, and reliability,” continued Cicio.

According to Cicio, the Spectra 12000 can store up to 18 terabytes (TB) of compressed data. That’s a lot of data. And just in case you’re wondering, a terabyte is 1,009,511,627,776 bytes or one thousand gigabytes, one million megabytes, one billion kilobytes, or one trillion bytes. Of course if that isn’t enough data storage space, Spectra Logic also manufacturers the Spectra 64000 which is capable of storing up to 96 TB of compressed data.

The architecture behind the Spectra 12000 is Spectra Logic’s patented Gator architecture that was designed to combine all types of storage into a single library. For example: IT departments can use this architecture to accommodate the needs of Direct Attach Storage (AS), Network Attach Storage (NAS), and Storage Area Networks (SAN), all at the same time within a single library. Cicio says that this technology allows companies to spread the costs of a single backup device across multiple servers. “Many of our customers utilize a centralized place for their data and require very flexible systems to store that data,” says Cicio. One of their customers, iNNERHOST, a Miami, FL-based Web hosting company uses the Spectra 64000 tape library. According to Cicio iNNERHOST has a center that consists of over 1,000 servers. “We can fully back up 560 servers in five hours,” says Steve Collins, vice president of data center operations at iNNERHOST.

Spectra Logic was founded in 1979 and is a privately held company that employs 220 people. Some of its clients include iNNERHOST, Tyco Electronics, PC World, Web Zone, Inc., and the Standard Insurance Company. In 1998, the company’s revenues exceeded $21-million. In 1999, the company sold its storage management software, Alexandria, to Sterling Software so it could concentrate on Storage Area network (SAN) solutions. For more information about Spectra Logic and its products, visit the company’s Web site at or call toll free at 1-800-833-1132.


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Leslie Wood

Leslie Wood
Leslie Wood
Leslie. Wood is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor.

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