Spectra Logic Unveils Updates, M&E Client Integrations for BlackPearl Deep Storage Gateway

Spectra Logic hits NAB with updates and enhancements to its BlackPearl Deep Storage Gateway, as well as a host of newly announced client integrations in the media and entertainment industry. To meet the demands of exponential data growth and long-term retention, the Spectra BlackPearl Deep Storage Gateway enables users to easily store massive amounts of data forever, at virtually no cost.

The newly enhanced Spectra Logic BlackPearl Deep Storage Gateway sits in front of deep storage tape libraries and allows users to move data anywhere within their network using simple HTTP commands. Spectra Logic’s command set, DS3, is an extension of the S3 cloud storage interface popularized by Amazon. DS3 provides additional features for bulk data movement, increasing workflow efficiency. Spectra Logic’s Developer Program provides the Application Program Interface (API) and Software Development Kits (SDKs) in several programming languages.

“BlackPearl empowers users to deploy a tier of deep storage that is cost effective, easy to manage and scalable to Exabytes of data,” said Spectra Logic’s Chief Technology Officer Matt Starr. “With the new enhancements and BlackPearl’s simple RESTful HTTP DS3 interface and embedded tape management software, organizations will be able to confidently store all of their data forever at costs as low as pennies per Gigabyte.”

Updates to BlackPearl Platform
Performance Enhancements of latest code updates to BlackPearl Deep Storage Gateway:

  • S3 Partial Object Restore allows user to request a piece of an object rather than the whole object increasing efficiency of network traffic
  • Tape Eject – Eject support for a bucket or individual tapes, with tracking of external media at no extra charge
  • Backups of the object database, which keeps track of the objects/files in BlackPearl, are now automatically copied to tape
  • TS1150 tape drive technology support
  • Tape Cache capacity increased from 28TB to 56TB standard with larger capacities available; now supporting 8TB HDDs along with the current 4TB HDDs
  • Throughput performance increased to 800 MBps using 6 to 8 LTO-6 tape drives attached to one BlackPearl Gateway
  • Increased cache performance of 1GBps

Additionally, Spectra Logic has decided to make BlackPearl’s RESTful DS3 interface and Software Development Kits (SDKs) available to everyone in an open source community – the Spectra Logic Developer Program. Developers can now build their own applications to move data to Spectra Logic’s deep storage libraries. This will allow developers to modify the software for their specific needs, and to contribute those modifications back to the developer community.

“Spectra Logic has entered a new phase in our company’s long history of deep storage expertise,” said Spectra Logic’s Developer Evangelist, Jeff Braunstein. “We are now making it easier to store data on our hardware by providing this free and open software interface to everyone.”


Spectra Logic has also released its own DS3 client, the DS3 Browser, which is free and available in the open source community. The simple interface is intuitive, similar to an FTP client, and allows file drag and drop between BlackPearl and a local computer. With the DS3 Browser, customers can have a complete deep storage solution from one vendor, which eliminates complexity. Additionally, the DS3 Browser source code is available for customers to modify for their specific workflow needs, or developers can use the source code as an example while building their own client

BlackPearl Sees Extensive Growth in M&E Space
Designed specifically to give deep storage a cloud interface, Spectra’s BlackPearl enables users to archive critical assets on affordable, scalable tape libraries. BlackPearl enabled applications have direct access to archives using standard cloud APIs, allowing large objects to be securely stored and retrieved quickly and easily. Using LTFS, media content that is stored as intelligent, self-describing objects can be retrieved anytime in the future independent of the original application that wrote them.

“In M&E it’s all about the media; there’s more of it and it’s more valuable than ever, however having it all directly accessible has been costly and difficult to manage. Spectra and its partners are applying both object storage and a cloud-like approach to provide the simplicity and elasticity of the cloud, on premise or at remote locations,” said Spectra Logic’s Chief Technology Officer Matt Starr. “This is the only approach that keeps costs in check while still protecting your assets in an environment dealing with exponential data growth.”

Currently available BlackPearl Clients include:

  • Avid | Interplay Archive: Interplay solutions include a set of media production and asset management technologies that enable you to access and create media, automate your ingest, production, and distribution processes, and even link with business functions such as planning, traffic, analytics, and rights management.
  • Cambridge Imaging Systems, Imagen: Trusted by the world’s leading brands to manage and monetize their media. Simple, scalable and secure, Imagen makes the most of your media assets – preserving your content for the long term and enabling controlled access through a customizable website.
  • Empress, eMAM: A powerful media asset management platform that provides an online proxy library of digital content with rich collaboration tools while managing native resolution content in storage and archive native resolution content in storage and archive on premise or in the cloud.

Additional partners with clients currently in development include:

  • Archimedia: Atlas
  • FilmPartners: MXFserver
  • Levels Beyond: Reach Engine
  • Marquis: Project Parking
  • QLS Distribution (CatDV): FocalPoint Server
  • Tiger Technology: Tiger Series
  • TMD: Mediaflex
  • Vidispine: Vidispine Enterprise MAM
  • Vizrt: VizOne

Spectra Logic’s additional offerings:

  • DS3 Browser tool: Spectra Logic also released its own Windows/Mac deep storage browser. This simple tool is intuitive and allows file level or directory level drag and drop between the local file system and the object based deep storage behind BlackPearl. The client is available in Spectra Logic’s Developer Program and open source community.
  • Network File Interface (NFI): Spectra Logic also released a client for its nTier Verde NAS product; this provides automated data movement from Verde disk to tape through BlackPearl.

“Spectra Logic continues to provide technological advancements to BlackPearl through our partnerships as well as internal development,” concluded Starr. “We will have many more partnerships, and will include additional features and product capabilities that we look forward to announcing throughout the year.”

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