Spectra Logic BlackPearl V3 Brings Object Storage to Enterprise Data

 
 
By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Posted 2016-02-15 Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - Spectra Logic BlackPearl V3 Brings Object Storage to Enterprise Data
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    Spectra Logic BlackPearl V3 Brings Object Storage to Enterprise Data

    We look at how BlackPearl V3 enables storage administrators to meet the needs of a broad range of data management applications, from big data to video storage.
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    2 - BlackPearl V3 Runs on Spectra-Branded Appliances
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    BlackPearl V3 Runs on Spectra-Branded Appliances

    Although BlackPearl V3 is an object-storage gateway and management product, the BlackPearl software is tightly integrated with Spectra Logic's storage hardware and runs on the company's branded appliances. That ensures compatibility with other Spectra Storage products, as well as full support for Amazon's S3 object-storage system paradigm.
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    3 - Here's BlackPearl's Primary Dashboard
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    Here's BlackPearl's Primary Dashboard

    BlackPearl follows the primary conventions of cloud management by offering a browser-based dashboard, which serves as the launching point for the product's various functions. The dashboard also informs administrators of the status of the object-storage infrastructure at a glance.
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    4 - Configuration Options Are Selected From the Main Dashboard
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    Configuration Options Are Selected From the Main Dashboard

    Configuration of the S3-based object-storage paradigm involves concepts, such as buckets, which are basically object containers. BlackPearl offers an ordered approach to configuration, which is launched from the main dashboard.
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    5 - BlackPearl Employs Concept of Buckets to Store Files
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    BlackPearl Employs Concept of Buckets to Store Files

    Spectra Logic leverages the concept of buckets, which roughly translate to containers for files. In other words, administrators create buckets, which are then deployed to storage resources to receive data files. Those buckets are accessed using access control lists (ACLs) and driven by defined policies, allowing users to access buckets as if the data contained was a file system. Buckets promote both ease of use and the object-driven paradigm needed for easily managed cloud storage.
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    6 - Buckets Give Administrators Granular Control
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    Buckets Give Administrators Granular Control

    Buckets can have user lists, as well as policies associated with them, enabling administrators to grant granular control to the bucket, as well as assign custom policies, which drive when and where the bucket is physically stored.
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    7 - Buckets Contain File Objects
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    Buckets Contain File Objects

    Once defined, a bucket becomes a repository for data, which is displayed to users as a file system paradigm. That removes much of the confusion associated with containers by presenting information in a way that looks and feels familiar.
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    8 - Tracking the Physical Allocation of Buckets
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    Tracking the Physical Allocation of Buckets

    Buckets are designed to be a virtual representation of storage-object containers. With that in mind, it becomes clear that there is a physical abstraction layer being used that works akin to what virtualization does for hardware devices. Nevertheless, administrators still need to know the physical location of the bucket beyond the abstraction layer. BlackPearl allows administrators to drill down into the bucket and locate the physical storage pool.
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    9 - Data Policy Selection Is an Important Task
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    Data Policy Selection Is an Important Task

    Buckets exist according to administrator-defined policies. Those policies can drive multiple occurrences and control the movement of objects. Policies are the cornerstone of efficient object-based storage and should be created with care and tested before enterprise deployment.
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    10 - Advanced Bucket Management Gives Administrators Full Control
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    Advanced Bucket Management Gives Administrators Full Control

    Although buckets hide complexity from those working with files, the simple fact of the matter is a great deal happens behind the scenes when dealing with buckets. Thanks to abstraction, the casual user never has to deal with any alien concepts. That said, administrators still need to have full control over the data sets. Advanced Bucket Management helps by graphically conceptualizing how buckets interact with policies, storage domains, storage partitions and storage pools.
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    11 - Defining Partitions, Domains and Policies
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    Defining Partitions, Domains and Policies

    The advanced bucket management menu offers pull-downs that allow administrators to create and define the critical elements of the object-storage paradigm.
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    12 - Defining a Disk Partition
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    Defining a Disk Partition

    Disk partitions are objects that are assigned to storage pools. The job of a disk partition is to be a target storage resource for a bucket. Several partition types exist, including speedy nearline storage and even faster online storage. Frequency of data usage, as well as policy definitions are used to determine if the data is to be stored nearline (archival) or actively available (online). Partitions can be created on disk or tape, depending upon the needs of the enterprise.
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    13 - Storage Domains Control Access Traffic
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    Storage Domains Control Access Traffic

    Much like a domain in Website terms, a storage domain offers a hierarchy that controls traffic. In BlackPearl's case, that traffic is the objects associated with storage. Domains control what partitions are available as well as how data is written and how files are represented as objects to a file system.
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    14 - Data Policies Control Objects in Storage Subsystems
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    Data Policies Control Objects in Storage Subsystems

    Data Policies are the key to controlling the flow of objects across the storage subsystem. Abstraction allows policies to work across multiple storage paradigms, while still offering rule sets that fit in with the established concepts of object storage.
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    15 - Cache Management Speeds Data Access
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    Cache Management Speeds Data Access

    BlackPearl includes the capability to assign high-speed disks to a cache and then allow administrators to define that cache based on the needs of the enterprise. A cache is critical when it comes to reducing latency and allows fast access of frequently accessed data, regardless of the source, whether it's remote, on-site, on tape or on disk.
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    16 - BlackPearl V3 Displays Status Screens, Reports
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    BlackPearl V3 Displays Status Screens, Reports

    The dashboard offers several status screens and reports, providing administrators with the critical information on how every aspect of the object-storage platform is performing. Extensive reporting makes it easier to track down issues or drive forensics, while monitoring of storage pools gives administrators an instant view into what is available.
 

The concept of "object orientation" has won wide support for enterprise software development, becoming one of the de facto methods to create new applications. Yet, when one mentions that object orientation can be applied to enterprise storage, many CIOs and their staffers steadfastly defend the technologies of yesteryear, especially file systems and block-level storage paradigms as the ideal way to work with data. However, storage vendor Spectra Logic begs to differ and is able to deliver on the promises of object storage in the enterprise. With BlackPearl V3, Spectra Logic strives to bring the benefits of object-based storage to enterprises by eliminating the market uncertainty that blurs the lines between cloud, on-site and hybrid storage systems. BlackPearl V3 makes object-storage available any time and anywhere for enterprises seeking to embrace the storage ideologies of the cloud. BlackPearl V3 is an integrated collection of object-storage tools engineered to work with Spectra Logic's storage systems. This slide show covers how BlackPearl V3 enables storage administrators to meet the needs of a broad range of data management apps, including big data analytics, data forensics, data archival, video storage and more.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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