Imperial War Museums

Imperial War Museums

IWM (Imperial War Museums) tells the story of people who have lived, fought and died in conflicts involving Britain and the Commonwealth since the First World War. IWM’s five branches attract over 2.5 million visitors each year and house a collection of over 10 million objects. The branches are IWM London, IWM North, the world renowned aviation museum IWM Duxford, Churchill War Rooms and the Second World War cruiser HMS Belfast.

Spectra T950 Tape Library with BlackPearl

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. Spectra met all of our requirements and then some, and now continues to deliver with StorCycle’s storage lifecycle management capabilities.

– Ian Crawford, Chief Information Officer, Imperial War Museums

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The Challenge

IWM is home to hundreds of thousands of films, videotapes, audio recordings and photographs that must be preserved forever but won’t last on their original media. They currently store an archive of around 750,000 digital assets, which amass a total of 1.5PB as uncompressed files. Their digital asset collection includes 5,000 film and video scan masters, 100,000 audio masters dating back to the 1930s, nearly 500,00 image masters and thousands of lower resolution versions (access versions for commercial and web use) of the above assets. New scans in their film collection generate an additional 10TB of data per month, and the videotape scanning project is expected to create another 900TB over four years.

Spectra’s StorCycle storage lifecycle man­agement software 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.

– Rob Tyler, IT Infrastructure Manager (DAMS), Imperial War Museums

The Solution

The IWM’s existing archive infrastructure included 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. Recently, IWM decided to leverage their investment in the Spectra hardware that was in place for their digital asset archive to help their audiovisual and exhibitions departments offload primary storage. They deployed Spectra’s StorCycle, a storage lifecycle management software that scans and identifies inactive data outside of the digital asset management applications and moves it to a Perpetual Tier of storage. Spectra’s complete solution offers IWM the capacity, reliability and product longevity they sought for an extremely affordable price, and is backed by Spectra’s efficient, award-winning support services.

Environment Snapshot

  • Spectra StorCycle® Storage Lifecycle Management Software
  • Spectra BlackPearl® Converged Storage System
  • Spectra BlackPearl® Object Storage Disk
  • Spectra BlackPearl® NAS
  • BlackPearl® Eon Browser
  • Spectra® T950 with LTO-7tape drives
  • Spectra® T950 with IBM® TS1150 tape drives
  • Veritas BackupExec

Imperial War Museums Customer Story

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