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Case Study
posted by Spectra Logic Corporation on March 1, 2017 (5 years, 7 months, 6 days ago)

Imperial War Museums digitally preserve the history of modern war and wartime experience indefinitely with Spectra Logic archive

"When we set out on our search to find a storage solution capable of preserving Imperial War Museums’ substantial digital archive, there were specific criteria on which we were not willing to compromise. Spectra met all of our requirements and then some, with its T950 tape library and BlackPearl gateway to deep storage." Ian Crawford – Chief Information Officer, Imperial War Museums

About the UK Imperial War Museums
Imperial War Museums (IWM) is a series of five historical museums (IWM London, IMW North, IWM Duxford, the Churchill War Rooms and the HMS Belfast) located across England. Founded in 1917 by Sir Alfred Mond MP, the museum’s original purpose was to collect and record events taking place during the Great War (WWI). Today, the museums’ goal is to provide for, and encourage the study and understanding of, the history of modern war and ‘wartime experience.’ IWM is partially funded by government grants as well as charitable donations and commercial activity, and houses a collection of more than 10,700,000 items

The Challenge
When it came to preserving their content, Imperial War Museums (IWM) had been facing issues regarding reliability, insufficient capacity and longevity of support with their previous storage solution. They had been archiving their data to standalone disk storage, which was failing to meet their unique data center requirements. It was important that they find a solution that would not only satisfy their organization’s needs, but also go above and beyond their expectations, all at an affordable price.

The Solution
When IWM decided to search for a new solution, scalability was a major priority. The museum manages more than 550TB of data total, accumulating up to 10TB of new video footage each month, and anticipates exponential data growth over time. They opted for a tape-based solution, due to tape’s reputation for large-scale capacity. Having considered several different tape vendors, IWM ultimately decided to go with Spectra Logic. They purchased two Spectra® T950 Tape Libraries, one with LTO-5 media and drives, and one with IBM® TS1150 media and drives, along with a Spectra® BlackPearl® Converged Storage System. The museum also purchased a Spectra® ArcticBlue® Disk Solution. 

Spectra’s BlackPearl allows IWM to set policies that automatically store their assets on multiple storage mediums with one copy of their assets on disk, and two copies on differing tape drive technologies, ensuring digital preservation for many years to come. Through the utilization of genetically diverse media, the organization is assured that their data is always safe and secure. In addition, IWM was impressed with the user interface and the simplicity of transferring content from one storage medium to another. Spectra’s solution offers IWM the capacity, reliability and product longevity they sought for an extremely affordable price, and is backed by Spectra’s efficient, award-winning support services.

Environmental Snapshot

  • SpectraT950 with LTO-5 tape drives and media
  • Spectra T950 with IBM® TS1150 tape drives and media
  • Spectra BlackPearl
  • Spectra ArcticBlue
  • BlackPearl® Eon Browser and JAVA CLI
  • Symantec BackupExec 15
  • Synology DSM 6 & Windows server 2012R2
  • 10GB Ethernet and 8GB fibre channel connectivity
  • HP Procurve 10GB & Brocade 300 switches
  • 500TB of DPX form

Why Spectra?

  • Scalability
  • Reliability
  • Genetic Diversity
  • Exceptional Support
  • Ease of Use
  • Product Longevity

Solution Recap

Spectra T950 – Designed and built to meet the stringent requirements of the enterprise environment for data integrity, data security and high reliability. The T950 tape library reduces staff involvement significantly, affordably scales in capacity and throughput, and delivers the best total cost of ownership of any tape solution. Support options range from the expected 24x7 worldwide onsite support to more advanced offerings including our industry-first Assisted Self Maintenance (ASM) program as well as proactive management and reporting tools that ensure you maintain optimal system availability. Spectra

BlackPearl – To meet the demands of data growth and longterm retention, the Spectra BlackPearl converged storage system enables users to easily store massive data forever at virtually no cost. Designed for organizations where data is a significant part of their operations, BlackPearl allows data to move seamlessly into tape and disk storage in a way not previously possible. BlackPearl enables users to deploy tier storage that is cost effective, easy to manage and scalable to exabytes of data. With BlackPearl’s simple RESTful Spectra S3 interface and embedded media management software, organizations confidently store all of their data forever at costs as low as pennies per gigabyte.

Spectra ArcticBlue – ArcticBlue leverages BlackPearl’s hybrid storage architecture and Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) media, creating the first object storage-based disk platform that delivers maximum longevity, efficiency, and cost effectiveness with the performance of online disk. Drive Lifecycle Management, Spectra’s power-down technology, extends the life of your disk archive up to 7 years, while delivering fast access to deep storage. Engineered for data reliability and integrity, Spectra’s unique implementation of ZFS software brings new life to long-term deep storage disk. ArcticBlue creates an on-premise cloud with an Spectra S3 interface to make deep storage more accessible – all from a company that you want to do business with. ©2017 Spectra Logic. All trademarks and registered trademarks are properties of their respective owners


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