BlackPearl Software Updates Enable Intelligent Object Management

Spectra Logic has released a new version of its BlackPearl software, version 5.0. The update, which was announced in a recent press release, introduces several major new enhancements, including object versioning and staging, chunk aggregation, and a host of intelligent object management attributes. The feature-rich software is a key component of Spectra’s BlackPearl® Converged Storage System, a purpose-built storage platform that integrates directly with ”data mover” software applications to simplify workflows, and seamlessly manages large volumes of content to a variety of storage targets, including disk, tape and public cloud. The latest software advancements provide modern data centers with lower storage costs, time advantages, and improved capacity and data integrity.

The first of these components, the BlackPearl S3 Object Versioning, is a data resiliency feature that allows multiple versions of the same file to be uploaded and saved on BlackPearl, ensuring customers do not lose data. While a client recall of the file will, by default, restores the most recent version, any version can be retrieved if the version ID is specified in the request. Object versioning also protects data from accidental deletion by continuing to retain all versions of an object when a traditional DELETE command is received.

Another important enhancement is BlackPearl’s newly-developed Data Staging capability, which allows pre-staging of data from tape to disk. Data staging reduces wait times to use assets while taking advantage of tape’s cost savings. In environments where data sets can be quite large, or where data has been gathered over long periods of time and archived daily to tape, staging from tape to disk spares expensive compute storage. Along the same lines, the system’s new Chunk Aggregation feature reduces tape mounts and improves tape throughput performance by identifying and grouping files together when writing to or reading from tape. By automatically scanning across all active data transfer operations and intelligently grouping those that are going to be written to or read from the same storage target, BlackPearl can increase the number of files in each operation, allowing for continuous write or read without pausing.

BlackPearl’s Chunk Aggregation feature reduces tape mounts and improves tape throughput performance

While all of these enhancements play their part to improve data integrity, drive down costs, and maximize performance, Intelligent Object Management (IOM) is perhaps the most significant new development. As the name implies, IOM is a suite of features that allows BlackPearl to more intelligently manage objects. Its four main components are: self-healing, automatic tape compaction, data policy modification and migration.

With the Self-Healing feature of IOM, BlackPearl can automatically self-heal all copies of a file across all media if a problem is detected. As long as a good copy exists, any detected bad copies , be it during a random recall or a scheduled object verification, will be automatically recreated through self-healing.

On the capacity front, BlackPearl’s new Automatic Tape Compaction feature provides self-activated consolidation of data on fragmented tapes, reclaiming deleted tape storage space. Once Automatic Tape Compaction is enabled, administrators can then set the threshold by which it will begin. When the amount of space wasted by deleted objects exceeds the defined threshold, BlackPearl will move the active data to new tapes and reformat the old tape for reuse. This feature optimizes overall capacity and reduces the challenges of using tape media in data storage environments where files are regularly deleted.

In addition, the Data Policy Modification feature in IOM allows customers to modify BlackPearl data policies after they have already been in use. Not only does new data entering the BlackPearl follow the now modified data policy, but BlackPearl will read all of the existing data that was previously written and conform it to the modified policy in the background.

Finally, as tape and disk storage technologies evolve, customers need an easy way to migrate their data to new storage technologies. IOM’s Media Migration capability allows data to be migrated from one storage type to another quickly and transparently, which ensures data integrity while reducing costs. The feature automatically migrates data in the background, allowing users to continue to archive and restore data without being interrupted and making it easy to upgrade to new technologies without disruptions.

BlackPearl’s feature-rich software delivers a modernized approach to storage. To learn more about the BlackPearl Converged Storage System, visit the product page here.