A Record Year at NAB

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By: Graham Stoner

The National Association of Broadcasters trade show in Las Vegas is Spectra Logic’s largest trade show every year. A transplant to our Media and Entertainment team as of July 2014, this was my first opportunity to attend, and it certainly lived up to everything I’ve heard about it.

In our 20×30 booth with four seating areas and a smaller, remote whisper suite for NDA discussions, I’m happy to say that on Monday and Tuesday (Wednesday and Thursday being calmer days at NAB), there was literally standing room only for the majority of the day.

The star of our show this year was undoubtedly our BlackPearl, which is our S3 interface, Deep Storage Gateway to tape that started shipping in December of 2014. I would estimate that BlackPearl was the leading topic of at least 75% of the discussions I had in our booth, and I’d wager that my other booth cohorts would echo that sentiment…much better odds than the Blackjack tables.


With BlackPearl being such a focal point, our booth conversations took an interesting shift this year. Rather than simply talking about tape and disk storage targets in the workflow, we were digging into the elasticity and many ways BlackPearl can augment and simplify workflows in different Media and Entertainment environments.

There was also a good amount of conversation around a few press releases we released during NAB. The first announced Spectra’s BlackPearl integration with about a dozen Asset Management partners. The second announced the proof of concept of integrating our BlackPearl with NetApp’s StorageGRID Webscale.

To better demonstrate BlackPearl’s functionality, Jeff Braunstein, Spectra’s “Developer Evangelist” for our BlackPearl product, presented live “Drinks and Demos” in our booth at 4PM. He provided an overview of how BlackPearl and its cloud interface make it easier for customers to archive their video files to low-cost and reliable tape. He also demonstrated some of the current Black Pearl/DS3 clients including our client for Avid’s Interplay PAM and our DS3 Browser which is a basic file movement client that Spectra Logic developed in-house.

All in all, we had a really positive showing at NAB, and though it may take us until then to recover from this year, we’re looking forward to returning next year with an even more robust BlackPearl and a much deeper list of BlackPearl partner clients.