Spectra Stack Capacity

Modern storage for today’s data center

Spectra Stack Capacity on Demand

The extreme capacity of LTO-9 tape, 18TB per cartridge uncompressed, has changed the way in which modern data centers deploy tape. Other stackable libraries still require users to expand tape in increments of 25 slots, and even up to 80 slots at a time. The Spectra Stack library allows users to add capacity in 10-slot increments, which is much more in line with today’s high density/high capacity tape. When a module is filled up, another expansion module can be added in minutes allowing for up to 80 additional slots, again being licensed in 10-slot increments. When the Spectra Stack library is fully expanded, it can hold up to 560 slots delivering 10.08 PB of uncompressed data storage (25.2 PB compressed*) using LTO-9 media. Spectra’s licensing policies and modular design allow Spectra Stack to be a true capacity on demand solution.


Adding an expansion module to the Spectra Stack library is easy and can be done without the need for professional assistance. By following the nine simple steps outlined below, users can add an expansion module with up to 80 slots and up to 6 drives in less than 30 minutes.

  • Unbox new expansion module
  • Remove the top cover of the controller module (or bottom cover if expanding downward)
  • Remove the bottom cover of the expansion module (or top cover if expanding downward)
  • Load expansion module into the rack
  • Engage the module alignment pin located in the rear of the library
  • Connect power cable to new expansion module
  • Connect module expansion cable to connect controller module to expansion module
  • Re-initialize library and new module will be recognized.

Spectra Stack Management Software:

Spectra Stack Management software is fully integrated library management software that has been adapted from Spectra Enterprise BlueScale software to run optimally on the new Spectra Stack tape library. The interface is accessed via an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) available on both the color touchscreen of the control module or via remote web interface.

Spectra Stack Management Software Features

  • Local or remote control via the front panel or web browser
  • Partitioning – Up to 20 partitions can be created within a full rack of Spectra Stack. Each partition requires a minimum of 1 drive and 5 tape slots.
  • Media Lifecycle Management (MLM) – MLM tracks over 40 pieces of information on each tape within the Spectra Stack library. The information is recorded onto the MAM chip of each LTO tape and follows tapes into offsite storage as well. Spectra Stack Management MLM and BlueScale MLM are compatible and tapes created on either are able to be shared between libraries.
    • Using Spectra certified media from the start will allow MLM statistics to be compiled and stored even before MLM is released. Once MLM is available all certified media will have media health displayed for the life of the media.
  • Capacity on Demand (COD) – Users can start with as few as 10 tape slots enabled and grow the number of slots needed over time. Both the control module and expansion module(s) are equipped with 80 tape slots. Slots are enabled in increments of 10.
  • Attack-Hardened Storage Management – Tape offers the only true “offline” air gap for data protection. But as ransomware becomes more intelligent, it is not out of the realm of possibility that ransomware could implement tape load commands to delete, steal or encrypt data. Spectra’s Stack Tape Library allows users to create a secure storage space not accessible by software. Human intervention would be required to move tapes to and from this secure area. The design is simple yet effective.
    • Users can manually move tapes from a used tape partition into any licensed but unused slots in the tape library. This can be done via the Remote Library Controller (RLC), the front panel or a REST interface.
    • The tapes that have been moved will no longer show in the application’s inventory. If a tape is needed for a legitimate restoration, an administrator can return the tape to the partition by the RLC, front panel or REST interface.
  • Multiple Encryption Options – Best practices require that all removable media be encrypted. Spectra Stack makes that easy.
    • Spectra Stack Management Encryption – Built in encryption key management. Spectra Stack Management Encryption and Spectra Encryption are fully compatible. Encrypted tapes can be freely moved between all Spectra libraries provided the encryption key(s) is exported/imported for the given tape set.
    • Support for ESKM 4, SKLM, and KMIP encryption functionality is available as well

Drives and Media Supported

The Spectra Stack library is equipped to support both half-height and full-height LTO drives. A single module has the ability to run up to 3 full-height drives and up to 6 half-height drives. With a fully expanded Spectra Stack, you can have up to 21 full-height drives or up to 42 half-height drives, showing why the Spectra Stack library is most flexible solution for any environment.

With support of LTO-5, LTO-6, LTO-7, LTO-8 and LTO-9 tape technology, the Spectra Stack library has the ability to plug into your existing environment, as well as provide a path to the newest tape technology. With LTO-5’s ability to read/write back to LTO-4, and read LTO-3 media, virtually any LTO tape technology will be able to be accessed through your Spectra Stack library.

LTO Tape Technology Grows with You

The Spectra Stack leverages LTO tape technology, the only open format tape technology available. Rest easy knowing that each generation of LTO is backward compatible to at least the previous generation – with a vigorous roadmap extending to LTO-14 and beyond, so you have peace of mind that your tape technology format is here to stay.

Spectra Certified Media is Vastly Superior

Our commitment to you is making tape pain-free through Spectra Certified Media. From manufacturer selection to packaging and customer shipment, every step of the Spectra Certified Media manufacturing process is designed to ensure you have the most reliable and automated tape storage available. No other supplier places as much emphasis on continual enhancements and features that simplify all aspects of the media management process.

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