Spectra Logic BlackPearl Brings Unified Object Storage to Enterprises

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Posted 2016-02-22 Print this article Print
Spectra Object Storage

From a design standpoint, BlackPearl sits in front of Spectra Logic’s storage systems, such as the company’s robotic tape libraries, ArticBlue Disk storage systems and the Verde File Storage System appliance.

In essence, BlackPearl V3 brings S3 compatible object storage provisioning and management to both disk and tape libraries by providing a layer of abstraction that embraces HTTP style requests.

The benefits of object-based storage are often obscured by the complexity that is often found in many systems. Perhaps the biggest accomplishment of BlackPearl V3 is the ease it brings to managing object-based storage.

For example, BlackPearl V3 uses a browser- based console, which presents information using a dashboard ideology. At a glance, a storage administrator can determine the status of the multiple pieces that make up an object-based storage platform. That ease of use is extended to the initial and daily management and maintenance tasks associated with petabytes of data.

For those new to S3- based storage ideologies, one term that comes up quite frequently is a “bucket”, which is used to simply define a container that holds objects. Spectra has gone to great lengths to simplify the concept of a bucket by providing wizard-driven tools that make it easy to define and manage buckets. The buckets become an easy to understand element.

Administrators can quickly create buckets, assign policies to buckets, as well as “place” those buckets on physical hardware. Yet buckets are not necessarily static in nature. Buckets can be moved with ease across storage domains and modified on the fly to access additional storage pools. All of which is very easily accomplished using the browser-based management console.

Although buckets act as the user-facing object container, users can access what is within those buckets using traditional data access definitions of files and folders. This insulates users from any unnecessary complexity. Administrators on the other hand can deal with buckets using administrative tools to assign policies, ACLs (Access Control Lists), Storage Domains, Storage Pools and so forth, giving administrators the flexibility to grow buckets as needed or shift buckets to other storage resources.

Policies are a critical element for managing object-based storage. Here, BlackPearl provides an extensive policy management console, which makes it very simple to define policies. Policies can drive events such as moving objects to tape, creating duplicate objects, moving objects to online disk systems and many other storage-related chores that were once done manually.

The management console also gives administrators the ability to define storage domains and storage pools. A storage domain functions similar as a Web domain. It is the top level target for accessing data. Storage pools are created under storage domains and represent the physical target for the data contained in objects. Both prove very easy to create, manage and assign to whatever storage use case an enterprise desires to use.

Spectra’s BlackPearl V3 solves many of the problems associated with object-based storage and helps to further blur the lines between cloud, hybrid cloud and private cloud, giving storage administrators the flexibility to work with data sets where it makes the most sense from an operational level.

The ease of use provided by BlackPearl V3 also enables storage administrators to concentrate on architecture and the protection of data, while not being bogged down with the complexities normally associated object-level implementations.

All things considered, BlackPearl V3 provides a viable path to reach object-based storage efficiencies, without introducing any unnecessary complexities the need to resolve unexpected technological road blocks. The use of the RESTful API further enhances the product’s compatibility, allowing developers to create custom interfaces to bring object-based storage to applications and other projects.



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