Spectra's BlackPearl: Sailing through oceans of data just got easier

Arctic Blue nearline disk array adds extra archival capabilities


Virtual tape, LTFS and StorNext

How does this differ, in effect, from a virtual tape library (VTL)? Such a library presents a disk interface to a tape storage backup software or media server product. It can generally transfer data to actual tape drives, like BlackPearl.

VTLs don't generally support MAID and won't have ArticBlue's drive longevity and low power draw.

With ArcticBlue you don't need backup software to populate the device with data. Instead, developers have integrated with applications such as Avid.

The LTFS protocol can provide file-type semantics to move data to and from tape drives without having a full hardware/software front-end product between the user and the tape store. But it is not intended to provide a nearline buffer between the tape store and the user, so it ultimately is a tape-speed technology and not disk speed.

Arctic Blue merits comparison with Quantum's StorNext which provides a file interface to both object storage on disk, the Lattus element, and tape storage.

Quantum focuses this product set on the media and entertainment industry and has an eco-system of developers there. Also the tape drive is written to a standard tape format, and not via an object system.

Spectra is more of a generic nearline/archive system in comparison.

ArcticBlue will begin shipping in December 2015. Pricing for a 48-drive ArcticBlue disk system begins at $49,920. Spectra claims that the initial cost as low as $0.10/GB (US MSRP) which it says would be the industry’s lowest total cost of ownership over product life. ®

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