Spectra Tunes IT Architectures for Modern, Remote Storage Workflows

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Spectra Logic StorCycle storage lifecycle management software now supports Linux as well as Windows operating systems for midsize and large enterprises that want to automate customised data management. Spectra also updated the BlackPearl Object Storage platform with control and protection tools to help IT teams manage new infrastructure challenges and virtual workforces, and launched a Pre-Purchase Programme ahead of the release of LTO-9 tape drives.

“Due to the much larger number of people around the world working remotely during the coronavirus crisis, IT infrastructures are being stretched,” said Spectra CEO Nathan Thompson. “If organisations are to remain competitive, they need ways to optimise their infrastructures. StorCycle takes the pressure off the Primary Tier of storage by finding less active data and moving it to a Perpetual Tier where it is accessible and also protected for the long term.”

StorCycle 3.0 and Data Migration

StorCycle’s new support for Linux operating systems is meaningful for enterprise users because Linux has several characteristics that large organisations with IT departments can take advantage of. As free software, developers can download, modify and re-distribute Linux without spending money, and Linux operating systems often have a smaller footprint and resource load than Windows. Although it is only a kernal and not a complete OS, organisations can buy user-configurable software layers designed for use in specific markets.

StorCycle 3.0, now interoperable with Linux or Windows, scans primary storage for inactive files and migrates them to a lower cost tier of storage, called the Perpetual Tier, made up of combinations of cloud storage, object storage disk, NAS and object storage tape. Since the Primary Tier holds active data it is usually composed of high performance flash, NVMe and high-performance disk drives.

Spectra storcycle dashboard

Combined with the lower cost Perpetual Tier, StorCycle makes sure that data is stored on the most appropriate storage medium – for example, deciding when to store long-term copies offsite and when to maintain copies on a fast SSD. The Perpetual Tier is used for secondary storage, distribution, backup, archive and disaster recovery. By reducing data on the Primary Tier, organisations can configure the Perpetual Tier to be as responsive as necessary according to their workflows.

Data Protection

A priority of the Perpetual Tier is data integrity and safety. Because the data stored there isn’t normally included in the back-ups scheduled for the Primary Tier, keeping multiple copies of data in multiple locations is important to avoid loss. StorCycle helps set up policies for diverse media storage, based on several factors including backup of the StorCycle database, capacity available in the Perpetual Tier, number of copies to be made, geographic separation of data sets and so on.

Users can also migrate whole, completed data sets, such as machine-generated research results, television episodes, instrument data sets and finished videos, with the Project Archive method. This reduces the amount of data left on primary storage, which means back ups are quicker and overall performance increases without buying extra primary storage.

Data on the Move

To help keep IT infrastructures using BlackPearl Object Storage up to date, Spectra enhanced the functionality in the platform devoted to managing multiple storage types – cloud, disk and tape – used within a single orgnisation.

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For example, BlackPearl 40U rack density on object storage disk is increased to 15.4PB and on BlackPearl NAS to 16PB using extremely dense 16TB hard drives and 107-bay 4U expansion nodes. Also, cloud services workflows are supported by writing full objects to S3 cloud-out targets.

RioBroker is a built-in data mover that works as a software front-end to BlackPearl, offloading the data transfer task from the user’s application to the RioBroker system. The result is much higher performance, even when working between cloud and physical storage, and scalability regardless of the MAM system used on top of the platform.

RioBroker makes the platform more consistent to work with and simplifies integration with asset management software applications by adding Partial File Recall and FTP capabilities.

LTO-9 Pre-Purchase

To help customers prepare their systems for the next generation of LTO tape, Spectra is now operating an LTO-9 tape systems pre-purchase programme. Customers on the programme pay for LTO-9 drives in advance of shipment. Spectra supplies them with LTO-8 tape drives to use in their tape libraries now, and upgrades the libraries with LTO-9 drives, as soon as they become available.   www.spectraLogic.com