Spectra Logic Delivers ExaScale Storage for ‘Big Data’; Announces Series of Products and Advancements and Unveils World’s Highest Capacity Storage System

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                                                            Suite of Robust Performance, Reliability and Data Integrity Advancements Added Across Entire Line of TSeries Tape Storage

BOULDER, Colo.—November 1, 2011—Spectra Logic, celebrating more than 30 years of data storage innovation, today unveiled five new products and advancements that reset the bar in defining exascale storage. As the computing industry has continually evolved over recent years in moving from petascale to exascale computing, demands on storage platforms have evolved dramatically. Today, Spectra Logic is introducing a suite of advancements that meet the complete feature set, capacity and performance needs of the new market of exascale storage. Spectra Logic is introducing the world’s highest capacity storage system as well as performance, reliability and data integrity advancements across its complete line of TSeries tape libraries. Spectra’s new exascale storage capabilities are designed to help organizations safely store and manage massive amounts of data, and are leading a paradigm shift in expectations and requirements for Big Data and Cloud storage.

"The 'Big Data' trend is driving technology requirements in applications ranging from enterprise data centers to academic supercomputing labs,” said Addison Snell, CEO of Intersect360 Research. “The next generation of exascale data will require capabilities that not only provide sufficient capacity, but also deliver the speed, reliability, and data integrity features to match the needs of these environments."

According to IDC, in 2011 the amount of information created and replicated will surpass 1,800 exabytes, growing by a factor of 9 in just five years.[1] Data creation in the world today is exponential but disk drive capacity growth is linear. Organizations are seeking exascale storage, which is defined as a storage system that is contiguously accessible and scalable to more than an exabyte of capacity. New data storage strategies built on highly scalable tape-based storage systems are necessary to offer the paradigm shift needed to meet these burgeoning data storage needs. 

TFinity ExaScale Storage Powered by BlueScale 12

Spectra Logic is introducing the world’s highest capacity storage system, a high capacity TFinity enterprise tape library capable of storing more than 3.6 exabytes of data. Powered by Spectra’s BlueScale 12 software management, the Spectra TFinity provides the highest capacity single library and the highest capacity library complex.  A single TFinity library will now expand to 40 frames for a capacity of up to 50,000 tape cartridges. In a library complex, up to eight libraries can be clustered using Spectra’s skyway technology for a capacity of up to 400,000 tape cartridges. The Spectra TFinity with TeraPack media storage is optimally designed for support of Redundant Arrays of Independent Tapes (RAIT) and provides enhanced performance, reliability and data integrity capabilities. With support for LTO and IBM TS1140 technology tape drives, the exascale-capacity TFinity offers customers the flexibility to choose the right media type and capacity options to best meet their Big Data storage needs.  Tape media options and corresponding native and compressed capacities are shown in the table below. 


  Library (40 Frames) Complex (8 Libraries)
  Native Compressed Native Compressed
LTO5 75 PB 150 PB* 601 PB 1.2 EB*
LTO6 160 PB 401 PB** 1.3 EB 3.2 EB**
TS1140 152 PB 457 PB*** 1.2 EB 3.6 EB***

Capacities based upon industry standard 1,000 TB per PB.

* 2:1 compression on LTO5

** 2.5:1 compression on LTO6

***3:1 compression on TS1140 tape drive technology

Spectra Logic’s latest unified management software, BlueScale 12, provides enhanced performance, management, and integration capabilities. With faster barcode scanning and motion code enhancements, BlueScale 12 delivers 35 to 60 percent faster robotic performance across Spectra’s enterprise and mid-range tape libraries, plus 15 to 20 times faster library ‘power on’ times. In addition, BlueScale 12 provides support for CarbideCleanTM media, faster and improved GUI and SSL web certificates and delivers the industry’s first XML-based Open Library API to enable customers’ development groups to directly interface with the system for easy, full integration with their customized software management platforms.

BlueScale 12 is now available on all Spectra TSeries tape libraries providing a common user interface across Spectra’s entire range of tape libraries from the entry-level T50e, distributed level T120, mid- range T200, T380 and T680, and enterprise scale T950 and TFinity libraries.

Performance, Reliability and Data Integrity Enhancements

In conjunction with its exascale-capacity TFinity and BlueScale 12 announcements, Spectra Logic also unveiled four significant exascale tape storage and archiving advancements.  The advancements address storage requirements that are critical for exascale data storage – from the smallest, most minute elements to larger-scale capabilities, and include:

  • CarbideClean, developed by Spectra Logic as an enhancement to its Certified Media offering. CarbideClean extends the life of tape media and drives by using a precision carbide blade to pre-clean media prior to shipment to customers for initial use. An industry first, Spectra Logic considers CarbideClean a tape media best practice, and is offering it on all Spectra Certified Media as an additional value-add at no additional charge.
  • Bulk TeraPack Access Port (TAP) system, which allows customers to import or export tapes 7x faster and more efficiently than before. With Spectra’s Bulk TAP system, users can import or export 500 TBs of data in just minutes. Bulk TAP is an optional feature available on Spectra’s enterprise tape libraries – the T950 and TFinity.
  • Spectra Logic is extending its customer-acclaimed Media Lifecycle Management (MLM) capabilities and reliability advancements to the IBM TS1140 technology tape drives, which are available with Spectra’s enterprise-class TFinity tape libraries. Spectra’s MLM provides industry-leading tape library reliability and data viability by tracking and proactively alerting customers to replace overused or damaged media. It also performs data integrity verification of the data on tape.
  • TeraPack Optimized RAIT. Spectra Logic has teamed with the archive software developers, High Performance Storage System (HPSS), to provide improved management, handling, import, export and storage, as well as up to 2x faster tape mounts of RAIT sets.  RAIT protects users from potential data loss similar to RAID capabilities, historically only offered with disk-based storage systems. TeraPack optimized RAIT from HPSS will begin testing in customer environments this month. The TeraPack is a patented Spectra Logic innovation that maintains a set of tapes with a unified barcode to deliver greater media management efficiencies both within and external to tape libraries.

“HPSS RAIT architecture significantly improves data reliability in high performance, big data environments,” said Jason Alt, senior software engineer, National Center for Supercomputing Applications. “The innovation of RAIT enables customers to recover from a media failure without having to invest in full duplicate copies of all the data tapes.”

“As today’s announcements exemplify, Spectra Logic has harnessed 32 years of innovation in electronics, robotics, data storage and software to expand the capacity and capabilities of our TSeries tape libraries to meet the needs of Big Data storage environments,” said Matt Starr, chief technology officer, Spectra Logic. “We have addressed the unique challenges of exascale data storage – from ensuring the integrity of each bit of data on the media to delivering the highest capacity storage system on the market.  Today’s announcements demonstrate Spectra Logic’s committed to innovation leadership and to delivering storage excellence for Big Data environments.” 

Spectra Logic’s executives are hosting a free Webinar to cover the details of its new products and enhancements on Wednesday, November 2 at 10:00 am MDT. Register here.

For more information about Spectra Logic Corporation, click here.


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[1] IDC Digital Universe Study, sponsored by EMC, June 2011