Spectra Logic BlackPearl: Product Overview and Insight

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Company Description: Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, Spectra Logic is a privately held company that develops data storage solutions that solve the problem of long-term digital preservation. It manages all forms of storage—including archive, backup, cold storage, private cloud and public cloud.

Product Description: The Spectra BlackPearl Converged Storage System enables users to deploy a tiered storage strategy that is easy to manage and scalable to exabytes of data. With BlackPearl’s RESTful Spectra S3 interface, organizations can store all of their data at costs as low as pennies per gigabyte.

BlackPearl combines multiple standard interfaces and storage targets to move into disk, tape, and cloud storage.  Users can choose from different BlackPearl models:

  • BlackPearl V Series: 200—300 MB/s to tape sustained
  • BlackPearl S Series: 450—800 MB/s to tape sustained
  • BlackPearl P Series: 2000—3000 MB/s to tape sustained

Key Features:

  • Easily moves data to long-term storage – choose from multiple interfaces
  • Multiple storage targets – cloud, disk, tape, another BlackPearl (replication)
  • Broad range of software clients supported
  • Supports multiple, concurrent data movement workflows
  • Ensures data security, reliability and integrity

Insight and Analysis:  Analyst firm Horison Information Strategies said, “Spectra Logic continues to lead the industry in innovation for tape and these advancements showcase how they consistently address storage market needs. From products that address the affordability and scalability requirements of entry to midsize customers, to enhancements to their powerful enterprise tape library line that address flexibility and high capacity, Spectra demonstrates why they have been around for nearly 40 years.”

Those favoring a cloud architecture and shunning tape, however, are probably not a good fit.

Implementation: Spectra BlackPearl provides an S3-type, REST interface into long-term object storage. Data transferred to BlackPearl lands on a cache, and is streamed to the final storage targets. It can also include NAS storage on disk, which provides an NFS or SMB/CIFS interface. Data on this NAS storage can be copied or moved to the object storage. The object storage includes containers called “buckets” where data policies can be set to control the location of the data (cloud, disk, tape), the number of copies of the data to create, and the amount of time the data is to be kept on each location.

Delivery: Software and hardware operating as a single, self-managing, cloud-enabled storage appliance platform.

Markets and Use Cases: BlackPearl would not be appropriate for small home offices or SMB organizations that have less than 50 TB of data that they want to move to long-term storage. It plays well in federal, media, entertainment, high-performance computing, video surveillance, finance and energy markets.

Agents: BlackPearl acts as a “bucket” or container for data. Software clients must be used to move the data to BlackPearl.

Pricing: The company’s pricing calculator gives an example of a 4U configuration with as few as 60 drives in master node and one 1/2 full expansion node at $80,920 List Price equating to $0.21 per GB.

Drew Robb
Drew Robb has been a full-time professional writer and editor for more than twenty years. He currently works freelance for a number of IT publications, including eSecurity Planet and CIO Insight. He is also the editor-in-chief of an international engineering magazine.

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