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Jeff Braunstein
Developer Evangelist

Spectra Logic has just closed the books on another successful fiscal year. Part of that success has been due to our BlackPearl Gateway, which provides a private cloud S3 interface to our deep storage tape libraries. While Spectra’s tape libraries have always been a low-cost, scalable and durable solution for storage, BlackPearl now also makes it very easy to move data to tape.

Software clients will always be needed to move data to tape. However, in the past, these clients needed to communicate directly to the tape drives in the tape library. Tape drives use SCSI commands, which are fairly complex and low level. The software clients needed to know how to efficiently stream data to the tape drives. Most tape libraries have more than one tape drive, so the clients needed to be aware of all tape drives and efficiently manage data traffic between them.

With BlackPearl, this complexity is eliminated. BlackPearl takes care of all communication to the tape drives in the tape library. Clients can now instead communicate with BlackPearl via Spectra S3 commands, a much simpler, HTTP-based command set. BlackPearl caches all incoming and outgoing data and efficiently steams it to and from the tape drives and clients. Client creation is now much easier with BlackPearl.

Spectra Logic and our partners have already developed many Spectra S3 clients, including ones for Hadoop, Avid Interplay Archive and Arcitecta. Many of these clients are free and open source. During this new fiscal year, we are committing more resources to increase the rate of client creation. We are hiring more engineers to develop more clients and more development toolkits. We are also hiring more staff to assist partners and customers with client development.

Moving data to Spectra’s deep storage tape libraries has never been so easy. But with all the new clients on the way, it will get even easier.