Spectra Logic adds entry level, high end products to BlackPearl storage gateway family

The entry-level V Series, with a starting street price of $12,000 – a third of the original S Series – should open up new markets, especially in security, while the high-end P Series is aimed at larger users in the markets served by system integrators.


Brian Grainger, Spectra Logic’s CSO

Boulder CO-based Spectra Logic has expanded its Spectra BlackPearl Deep Storage Gateway product line with two new products. The BlackPearl V (for value) Series is an entry-level product while the BlackPearl P (for Performance) Series has more than three times the throughput and number of tape drives managed compared to the original BlackPearl S object storage gateway.

“We introduced BlackPearl in 2013 and we have had phenomenal success with it,” said Brian Grainger, Spectra Logic’s Chief Sales Officer. “We realized pretty quickly that one size doesn’t fit all. We saw that there were a plethora of customers out there in both existing accounts and new opportunities who had much smaller infrastructures that didn’t need the performance and object counts of our S Series. On the flip side of that, there are many HPC and rich media which required MORE object counts than the S Series. So in the last year, our engineers have been building both these new products out.”

The BlackPearl object storage gateway provides a direct interface from any workflow into an active archive, providing access to nearline storage, tape and cloud, while reducing costs.

“We have been consistently adding new clients, and now have approximately 20, with key verticals being media and entertainment and high performance computing (HPC),” Grainger stated.

“We are very vertical focused, where we focus in on key ones and double down,” Grainger said. “One market where we didn’t have a lot of focus before was video surveillance and security, even though that market is greatly expanding, especially as it moves from analog to digital. So we have more recently looked at how we could increase our value proposition for video surveillance, and have developed an integrated video surveillance solution for that market.”

Grainger said the security market is one of the target markets for the new V Series product.

“The V Series lends itself better to most of the security market than the S Series, except for the small number of larger security projects, such as at the city level, with many thousands of cameras,” he noted. “These are a good fit for the P Series.”

The V Series has the ability to store 300 million objects and transfer data at up to 300 MBps sustained to disk or tape – compared to the original S Series 600 – 800 MBps. With a small 2U form factor, the V Series combined with a Spectra T50e Tape Library could store up to 750TB in a 6U space.

The V Series pricing is calculated to appeal to the smaller and more price-sensitive buyer.

“The V Series starts at a $USD 12,000 list, for a one-time price, with small yearly maintenance fee, compared to the $USD 33,000 list for the S Series,” Grainger said. “Many of the smaller accounts deal with middleware software, and middleware can get expensive. We eliminate that middleware piece, and take that whole complexity out of the equation, as well as the middleware support licenses which are much more expensive.”

The P Series, on the other hand, is designed to store up to a billion objects, with a list price that is in the $USD 80-90,000 range depending on configuration. It can transfer up to 3000 MBps sustained to disk or tape, and manage 20 or more LTO-7 tape drives.

“The P Series is aimed more at the market served by larger systems integrators, traditional media and entertainment or HPC customers, but with very high demands,” Grainger indicated. “In contrast, I believe the V Series has a much larger strength among resellers in the channel, where they start out small with customers and bring them up as needed.

Although Spectra Logic has a hybrid go-to-market model, with about 70 per cent of revenues coming from partners, Grainger said that he sees the V Series and even the P Series as mainly channel products.

“We have that 70-30 channel-direct sales ratio, but overall, the sales have been moving to the channel,” he said. “The 30 per cent direct comes from a few very large accounts that are direct.”

All the products in the BlackPearl family are available now