University of Georgia

University of Georgia preserves world-renowned library collections through Spectra disaster recovery solution

Spectra BlackPearl Platform and Tape Technology


The University of Georgia (UGA) is a well-known educational institute, located in Athens, Georgia. Founded in 1785 as the United States’ first state-chartered university, UGA has more than 36,000 students and over 305,000 living alumni worldwide. UGA is organized into 17 schools and colleges, offering over 140 degree programs in a wide array of disciplines, and has three primary campuses. One of America’s “Public Ivies” and a top 10 best value in public higher education, the University of Georgia tackles some of the world’s grand challenges — from combating infectious disease and securing the world’s food supply to advancing economic growth and analyzing the environment.

Spectra Logic provided University of Georgia with a fully- integrated solution that allows them to manage their data both efficiently and cost-effectively. The University’s new digital archive gives them peace of mind, knowing that their data is secure. Spectra is confident in its ability to preserve the University’s library content for future generations of students, faculty and staff.

— Nathan Thompson, CEO, Spectra Logic Corporation

The Challenge

The University of Georgia is ranked among the best research libraries in the country, housing over 5.2 million volumes and one of the nation’s largest map collections. It is home to several prestigious libraries, including the Richard B. Russell Special Collections Libraries, which is a 115,000-square-foot facility containing the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and the Peabody Awards Collection.

These libraries are composed of nearly 80 years’ worth of digital content in varying formats – including radio, audio, video, oral histories, books and individual documents. The University continues to accumulate additional media and is required to keep all files forever. The University of Georgia was in need of a certified archive solution to preserve their library content indefinitely. They also sought a new backup solution to replace their dated Quantum SuperLoader, and perform regular backups of administrative data.

The Solution

The University of Georgia worked with Spectra Logic to implement a disaster recovery archive strategy, to assure their library content would be protected and preserved forever. They installed two Spectra tape libraries, and Spectra’s BlackPearl® Hybrid Storage Platform with object storage disk. Using the Spectra S3 client developer tools, the University was able to create their own custom BlackPearl Application Program Interface (API), allowing them to issue unique commands to their BlackPearl platform. Additionally, BlackPearl’s sophisticated Advanced Bucket Manage- ment (ABM) policy enables the University to write content to three different storage targets simultaneously, genetically diver- sifying its data. BlackPearl writes one disaster recovery copy of data to its offsite tape library and one copy of data to its BlackPearl Object Storage Disk. BlackPearl Object Storage Disk provided a middle ground between their Tier-1 storage and archive for their digital assets. It allows for the fast recall of digital assets when needed, at an attractive price point due to its spin-down disk technology.

Utilizing a mix of storage mediums across different locations allows the University to not only protect its data from disaster, but also make smart tradeoffs between speed of access and overall cost of storage. They are able to store data that needs to be accessed more quickly and frequently to BlackPearl Object Storage Disk, and less often to tape.

The University also utilizes their new Spectra solution to backup administrative data. Previously, they had been using a Quantum SuperLoader for administrative backups, but sought a system that was more efficient. Now, they perform incremental backups daily and full backups of over 40TB weekly, to their onsite Spectra tape library.

Environment Snapshot

  • BlackPearl Hybrid Storage Platform with Object Storage Disk
  • 8TB Disk Drives
  • Two Spectra Tape Libraries – one onsite, one offsite
  • LTO-7 Half-Height Tape Drives
  • Spectra® Certified Tape Media
  • BlackPearl® Eon Browser
  • HP Data Protector Software
  • GigE Connectivity

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