University of Bristol Creates Active Archive with Spectra Tape Library

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We were excited to announce last month that the University of Bristol selected our tape library to accommodate up to 2PB of capacity for its data storage needs.

The University consists of a heavily virtualized environment, providing over 450 servers to back-up in central services and it needed to create an archive and migrate less time-critical data to a tape library in order to free up costly primary storage.

After considering its options, the University did a trial-run for a few months with our T200 tape library and then selected our T680 tape library due to its larger capacity, with 42 rack units providing up 2PB of compressed storage with the LTO-5 tape drive and media technology deployed in the library. They also used StorHouse software from FileTek to move the data from primary disk storage to the active tape archive so that the data held on the library is always readily available.

The T-680 includes the advanced security technology that initially attracted the University to Spectra's solutions, namely integrated BlueScale Encryption to provide added AES-256 bit security for stored data and Media Lifecycle Management. Media Lifecycle Management records over 40 data points every time a tape is loaded, giving vital statistical and diagnostic information so that integrity of the data on the tapes can be ensured and easily managed.

Post installation, the University of Bristol is migrating data into its active archive to help offload the primary storage and to more efficiently manage backups. In addition, the extra capacity afforded by our tape libraries will enable the University to scale to multiple petabytes in the same footprint in the future.

Today's universities are facing their own data growth challenges as more information is being created daily by faculty, students and staff in the form of research, communications and academic projects. The University of Bristol is the most recent example of how Spectra is able to more cost-effectively accommodate the needs of higher education institutions using our tape libraries and an active archive approach.

If you'd like to learn more about our tape libraries or active archives, please contact me at