Analyst Product Review: Spectra Logic’s BlackPearl Ecosystem

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By: Steven Easter

Integrating a tape library into a data center environment is generally a challenge. A variety of software/middle-ware products exist to help make the process easier, but are expensive and do so with a huge financial penalty. Spectra Logic’s BlackPearl Deep Storage Gateway, in many cases, provides a great alternative. BlackPearl functions as a private cloud, hybrid storage platform, and with the release of v3 (the third edition of BlackPearl’s software), it is now more flexible than previous versions. BlackPearl now supports genetically diverse storage including: several digital tape drive types, power-down SATA (SMR) HDDs, and online SAS HDDs. The two types of disk storage and LTO-7 format are new additions for the v3 release, and a policy engine and access control lists have also been added with the new update.

US Analyst Frank Ohlhorst recently paid a visit to Spectra Logic’s headquarters to perform an onsite testing of BlackPearl. The focus of his visit was to evaluate the flexibility of the BlackPearl v3 platform, the pricing structure, and the steps required to provision the power-down disk storage and tape storage. Although Frank and I didn’t focus on the end user experience, I did highlight some of the applications that move data to BlackPearl showing how an end-user could do this from their work-station. During his visit, Frank was also able to participate in a hands-on experience with one of Spectra’s newest products, ArcticBlue; a new disk subsystem built into the third software release of BlackPearl.

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Depending on the goals for a visit to Spectra Technology Center, the lab can accommodate a variety of requests. The demo center houses the company’s latest and greatest products, as well as some of their partner solutions. Visiting the demo center lab provides guests with a real world, hands-on experience, allowing them to become familiar with new products and/or new software releases. The lab provides both a ‘sandbox’ experience as well as an end user experience through solution demonstrations, testing and more. The sandbox is free reins, hands-on time with the products; make any configuration changes in the Web Management GUIs, swap customer replaceable components, or just experience the out-of-box feel our end users get with new Spectra Logic product. The Technology Center also features several solution partners who have taken the BlackPearl’s open source Spectra S3 API, an SDK in one of many programming languages, and integrated it into their product.

Are you interested in paying a visit to Spectra Logic’s headquarters in Boulder, CO and participating in an onsite product review in the Spectra Technology Center? Contact us for more information.

Frank’s BlackPearl test results have been published in two articles to date, and can be found here and here

Author: Steven Easter, Product Manager, Spectra Logic Corp. 6285 Lookout Rd. Boulder CO, 80301