SPECTRA BLOG


On the seventh day….

Day seven brings us closer to the big day.  I can feel the excitement build.  And build is the right word, because in addition to roasting chestnuts, eating cookies and singing carols, we have the presents to deal with. I am sure you are in better shape than I am, and already have everything bought.  How many toys did you get with the dreaded "some assembly required?"  Wouldn’t it be great if there was 7/24 support to assemble these little nuggets of fun and excitement?  (Here’s a tip, many toy companies have opened support centers for just such an emergency.  Though I doubt the are open on Christmas Eve.)  This car looks especially fun! Read More


On the sixth day…

It’s the 6th day of storage Christmas and we’re half-way home. What better way to celebrate the holiday than with a ginormous gift under the tree? How about a gift that stores well over a petabyte of data in a single rack!

The Spectra T680 in our midrange library family is actually designed to fit both midrange and large data center customers who need intense density and a great economic story. Santa and his elves can fill a lot of stockings in a flash, but even they will find it tough to fill this library quickly!  Give us a call and find out how the T680 can help make for a great holiday season, not only for your storage admins, but for your business. Read More


2010: The Year Vendors Get Smarter or Go Home

Hearing news about the difficulties currently being faced by Copan it struck me that the storage market has been a fairly tumultuous one in 2009. As disk prices have dropped over the last 2 or 3 years, and as virtualization has gained a foothold in enterprises, there has been a fair amount of innovation in the disk market with technologies such as deduplication and thin provisioning becoming hot topics. However, with the challenging economic environment shaping the decisions of investors and end-users, it has been a challenging time for any companies desperately trying to gain a foothold.

From an industry perspective there seem to be two camps forming – in one camp are the very big fish in the storage pond – the EMCs, HPs and NetApps of this world that continue to gobble up relatively

small tadpoles Read More


On the fifth day…

For some folks, Holidays Without Pain means the in-laws behaved and none of the kids got sick. For storage admins, Tape Without Pain means the backup jobs ran smoothly and there was no mad scramble to recover a tape or fix any gear at one in the morning.  Ahhh, now that’s bliss!

At Spectra, we may not be able to do much about the in-laws or the kids, but we can certainly do something about tape! We firmly believe in Tape Without Pain. In the spirit of giving, we think all those storage administrators out there dealing with archive requirements and backup jobs should be given as much Tape Without Pain as possible. Tape Without Pain from Spectra Logic is super fast, ultra reliable, and so affordable you’ll feel like Scrooge AFTER he was visited by the three Christmas ghosts. Read More


On the fourth day…

Brother can ya spare a dime? How about sparing some time? Many storage administrators are hard pressed to spare either – especially when it comes to ensuring their archive and backup operations are always on. 

That’s why Spectra Logic provides customers with the option to have a Global Spare Tape Drive within their Spectra libraries. This Global Spare is a hot failover tape drive. If a production drive experiences any kind of issue, then the Global Spare may be quickly, seamlessly, and transparently failed into place to pick up the work, even remotely, with no changes to physical library configuration or to your backup / archive application. To learn more, contact your Spectra representative.   =&0=&   =&1=&   =&2=&   =&3=&   =&4=&

On the third day…

The Grinch may have stolen Christmas from the Whos in Who-Ville, but theirs was still a happy ending. Dr. Seuss probably won’t write such a joyous postscript for your storage people if data is lost or stolen. 

Few things offer storage administrators greater comfort and security than knowing their data is nestled all snug in its bed…   OK, locked safely away for a long winter’s nap.  And the best way to ensure that is to encrypt it.    Give the gift that keeps on saving… data encryption from Spectra Logic.  Spectra encryption key management is integrated right into the BlueScale library management platform making it easy to secure your data for that long winter’s nap.  The kind that lets your storage people sleep easily.   =&0=&   =&1=& =&2=& =&3=&

On the second day…

Tape houses nearly 70% of the world’s data. That being the case, what could be more useful to a storage admin than receiving media for Christmas? Certified Media from Spectra Logic, no less! Coupled with Spectra’s Media Lifecycle Management in every Spectra library, Spectra Certified Media helps ensure your backups complete successfully and your archived data is safe and healthy.

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me;
2 Spectra Certified Tapes
and a large frosty beer.

On the first day…

As we approach the holidays, it seemed like a fun idea to do the 12 Days of Christmas – Spectra Style. Look for an update everyday from the blog team. 

  Data protection is one of the little noticed battlefields in IT. The least glamorous part of IT touches everything from front line applications to security to networking and of course storage. If everything works perfectly, no one knows you are there. Without a doubt, this Holiday Season, backup administrators and storage guys deserve a nice cold beverage.    

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a large frosty beer.

If you find yourself in the area, I have some Boulder Beer in the fridge.


Out-running the Bear

I just got back from the Gartner Data Center Conference 2009 in Las Vegas.  It was a good show – then again, can you have a bad show in Vegas?  I mean, it’s Vegas!  Anyhow, there were lots of decision makers roaming around engaged in a plethora of interesting discussions and speaker sessions.

One intriguing conversation kept occurring in the Spectra booth.  Joe Customer would walk up and say, "You guys do tape? We’re getting away from tape completely!  Well – except for… The stuff that’s going off site that we can’t replicate because the bandwidth costs too much, even with dedup."  Or… "the data we’ve got to keep for 10 years – or keep indefinitely."    Every customer  who started by saying he or she was moving away from tape finished with the “except” phrase at which point in time we talked about all the data they had on tape and how long they’d have to keep it.  And how much less expensive it would be to do so on power-friendly tape than on spinning disk.  The conversations were enlightening.   On November 25th, Sepaton (you know, the “no tapes” spelled backward guys) published their own research from the UK in which they specifically state that of the 100 storage managers surveyed, only 9% said they don’t use tapes in their backups.  That’s right, only 9%.  It would have been interesting to see what the numbers would have been had they asked about tape use in archive as well!   At this point, I’m sure you’re wondering how out-running the bear works into the story around tape usage conversations at the Gartner show.  It has to do with SSD.  Many of the customers who were talking about tape use also talked about installing SSD – because it was high performing, removable, and coming down quickly in price.  Fair enough, but what about the bear?   If the price of SSD is at hundreds or thousands of dollars per gigabyte, falling fast, and disk at dollars or tens of dollars per gigabyte, falling more slowly, and tape at pennies per gigabyte, also falling, which price point is SSD going to eclipse first as it comes down? Disk.   It’s likely that SSD will become highly price competitive to disk when it gets within 30% of the purchase price of spinning platters simply because it draws little power.   At that point, SSD will be not only high performing and removable, but also economically competitive — but not yet with tape.   The SSD-disk-tape scenario reminds me of the story of the two hikers who encounter a bear in the woods and are forced to run for their lives.  At some point, one hiker stops to put on running shoes instead of hiking boots.  The second hiker also stops to ask if the first hiker thinks he’ll out-run the bear with running shoes to which the first hiker replies, “I don’t have to out-run the bear. I just have to out-run you.” In the case of SSD, tape, and disk it looks like SSD is the bear as price comes down. 

After that, who do you think has to out-run whom when it comes to long-term economic advantage? Leave us a comment on the topic below:


CapEx, OpEx, Floor Wax, and TFinity

Dear Ms. Meade:
How would an enormous up-front capital expenditure (aka CapEx) for a TFinity reduce my capital expenditures? By definition, reducing CapEx means spending less, but you’re saying if I fork out a lot of money, I’ll spend less? Where is that logic? And reduce my operating expenditures? (OpEx)? TFinity will do all that–is it a toaster and a floor wax, too?

Signed,
Doing Fine With My Powderhorn

Dear Doing Fine:
So glad to hear that things are going well in your world.

Would you be interested in what is going on in the real world?  It turns out that old technology is expensive. Tried to get spare parts for your Model T lately? How about finding truly floppy floppy-disks (the 8×8 inches model) for your Atari? Read More