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Spectra Logic Promises Better Storage for Inactive Data

Spectra StorCycle moves infrequently used data to more economical, longer-term storage tiers based on age and size.

Data storage company Spectra Logic today announced a software solution designed to move inactive or infrequently used data from high-performance disk to less expensive storage quickly and easily.

Spectra StorCycle moves inactive data to more economical, longer-term storage tiers based on age and size, using user-defined policies that define sources, targets and selection criteria. It uses a multiple-threaded scanner to very quickly identify inactive files on primary tier storage, and then migrate and store them to one or more perpetual tier storage targets, which can be cloud, disk and/or tape. Data can be migrated either to project directories or by auto-migrating inactive data on a regularly defined basis.

With the product’s Project Archive feature, users can tag and move full data sets to a perpetual storage tier. This allows the entire data set to be analyzed, categorized and compared as a group.

StorCycle also protects files so they remain safe on the perpetual tier for long-term storage.

That means there is typically only one copy of the data, making it critically important to protect it in a way that ensures availability. At the same time, the system also can be set up to automatically make additional copies of data for disaster recovery purposes. This includes creating tape-based copies for physically separated air-gapped copies, according to the company.

The software uses HTML links to access and retrieve migrated files from the perpetual tier. According to Jeff Braunstein, director of product management at Spectra Logic, the HTML links are unique to Spectra. With these links, files can be deleted and replaced with new files with an .HTML extension. Braunstein described HTML as breadcrumbs and hints that the file used to be there. “When the file is opened, information appears that shows it was archived and allows restoration of the file, or files around it, or the whole project,” he explained. The HTML links also enable users to continue to access the files in their original location, even though the files have been migrated.

Using these links also helps with the latency associated with tape and cloud, to keep the system from timing out, said Mark Peters, a principal analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. “It also helps with the treatment of archived projects and, as you might expect given Spectra’s heritage, [provides] strong data protection capabilities, supported by end-to-end check-summing,” he added.

In a future release, symbolic links will provide transparent access, Braunstein said.  

Spectra Logic claims that StorCycle can reduce the cost of storing data by up to 705, chiefly by removing inactive data from the primary storage tier and moving to the more economical perpetual tier. While Peters can’t back up those claims, he did say that it offers users a way to continue to keep, use and protect data without spending more than necessary storing relatively inactive data and projects on more expensive tiers of high-performance flash and disk.

StorCycle can be implemented as standalone software using public cloud storage or existing network-attached storage, or combined with Spectra storage hardware to create a complete storage solution.

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