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Spectra Swarm Brings Ethernet Connectivity to LTO Tape Libraries

Today Spectra Logic announced enhancements to its family of tape libraries that help end users simplify and enhance their workflows. With the introduction of Spectra Swarm ethernet connectivity, the company makes tape connectivity easier and adds a modern interface to LTO tape libraries by leveraging all of the same infrastructure and networking capabilities as the rest of the equipment in a modern data center. Spectra Swarm is tested and qualified to work with Spectra LTO tape libraries — Spectra Stack through Spectra T950.

With the unprecedented growth of data and the need to keep it indefinitely, Spectra continues to invest in tape technology, including making tape connectivity easy,” said Matt Ninesling, director of tape engineering at Spectra Logic. “The world’s use of data continues to evolve and we’re working to ensure that tape storage, with all of its economic, capacity and performance benefits, advances with it.”

While Fibre Channel continues to be fully available across all Spectra tape libraries, it is frequently being obsoleted in modern data centers. SAS tape drives, and in particular half-height SAS drives, provide a significant cost savings, allowing the addition of more drives for the same price, but SAS is not normally viable for connections beyond a single rack. Spectra Swarm solves that problem by utilizing a backbone 40GbE [Ethernet] RoCE or iSCSI connection that is then locally switched to multiple SAS-connected LTO drives.

Spectra Swarm benefits include:

  • Enables cost savings due to the ability to use lower-cost SAS half-height tape drives
  • Eliminates the need for Fibre Channel with the conversion to a standard Ethernet backbone
  • Delivers faster tape library performance with the addition of more tape drives for the price

For users needing extra data security, the Spectra Stack Tape Library now provides end users with even more protection with built-in BlueScale encryption and key management. The new encryption feature enables Spectra Stack customers to protect their data through the same robust key management as Spectra’s other enterprise-class tape libraries. All Spectra Stack Tape Libraries come with standard encryption, which allows all tapes in a library to be encrypted automatically. This feature can be added to any existing Spectra Stack library with a free code upgrade. Tapes that were encrypted on any other Spectra tape library using BlueScale standard encryption can also be imported into a Spectra Stack and used seamlessly.

For users with immense data storage needs, Spectra now provides the IBM TS1160 drive and new JE media, for use in Spectra’s TFinity ExaScale Tape Library. When fully populated with the TS1160 tape drives and media, a TFinity ExaScale will store and allow access to more than 2 exabytes (2,000 petabytes) of compressed** data, making Spectra’s TFinity ExaScale Tape Library the largest single data storage machine in the world.

Spectra Swarm will be available in July.

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