Imperial War Museums Integrate Spectra StorCycle Software to Advance Digitization and Preservation of Invaluable Historical Assets

Spectra Logic’s StorCycle Storage Lifecycle Management Software Scans and Moves Inactive Data from Primary Storage to Perpetual Storage for Long-Term Access and Archive


BRACKNELL, UK— 24 March 2021 — Spectra Logic today announced that Imperial War Museums (IWM) deployed Spectra StorCycle® Storage Lifecycle Management Software to enhance its existing storage infrastructure, which supports its audio-visual and exhibitions departments to preserve invaluable data, including thousands of films, videotapes, audio recordings and photographs that would otherwise disintegrate and be lost forever were they not digitised. StorCycle software is being used to manage a large amount of unstructured data that resides on expensive SAN and NAS storage outside of IWM’s existing DAMS (digital asset management system) platform.

IWM has five sites across the UK, IWM London, IWM North, IWM Duxford, Churchill War Rooms and HMS Belfast, and is home to approximately 750,000 digital assets, representing a total of 1.5PB of data as uncompressed files. This volume is constantly growing, with new scans in the Museums’ film collection generating an additional 10TB of data per month, and its videotape scanning project expected to create more than 900TB of data over the next four years.

A Spectra customer since 2009, IWM has implemented a large-scale data archiving solution to reliably preserve and manage its substantial digital archive pertaining to UK and Commonwealth wartime history. IWM’s current archive infrastructure consists of two Spectra® T950 Tape Libraries, one with LTO-7 tape media and drives, and one with IBM® TS1150 tape media and drives, along with a Spectra BlackPearl® Converged Storage System, BlackPearl® Object Storage Disk and BlackPearl® NAS solution.

IWM is on track to realise significant long-term cost savings by deploying Spectra StorCycle Storage Lifecycle Management Software to optimise their primary storage capacity through the offloading of inactive data to the Museums’ archive infrastructure. Spectra StorCycle identifies and moves inactive data to a Perpetual Tier of storage, consisting of object storage disk and tape. StorCycle scans the IWM departments’ primary storage for media file types older than two years and larger than 1GB, and automatically moves them to the IWM archive, maximising capacity on the primary storage system.

“When we set out on our search to find a storage solution capable of preserving Imperial War Museums’ substantial digital archive, there were specific criteria on which we were not willing to compromise,” explained Ian Crawford, chief information officer, IWM. “Spectra met all of our requirements and then some, and now continues to deliver with StorCycle’s storage lifecycle management capabilities.”

Rob Tyler, IT infrastructure manager (DAMS) at IWM said, “Spectra’s StorCycle storage lifecycle management software has empowered us to move our data into reliable, long-term storage, offloading our primary storage and preserving media files and unstructured data — all with the push of a button.”

Craig Bungay, vice president of EMEA sales, Spectra Logic, added, “IWM preserves invaluable historical data and it is vital that their data storage infrastructure be failsafe and reliable in addition to providing flexibility and affordability. This is achieved by storing multiple copies of the museums’ data on different media, and by automatically offloading inactive data from expensive primary storage to its archive solution using StorCycle.”

About StorCycle

StorCycle is a storage lifecycle management software solution that ensures data is stored on the right tier throughout its lifecycle for greater IT and budgetary efficiencies. StorCycle scans primary storage for inactive files and migrates them to a lower cost tier of storage, which includes any combination of cloud storage, object storage disk, network-attached storage (NAS) and object storage tape. Interoperable with Linux and Windows, StorCycle migrates data, without changing original formats, and allows users to have easy access to all data including data migrated to higher latency storage mediums like cloud “cold” tiers and tape. StorCycle includes an open RESTful API that allows users to integrate the software into a broader set of workflows, as well as migrate data to disk, tape and all tiers of Amazon® and Microsoft® Azure®.

For more information about Spectra’s customer, Imperial War Museums, read the case study here.