Spectra Logic and Arcitecta take on NAS market

SpectraLogic and Arcitecta are partnering to enter the high-performance scale-out NAS market with the former’s all-flash BlackPearl storage system and the latter’s MediaFlux software.

BlackPearl is SpectraLogic’s hybrid flash/disk, front-end cache and gateway that can be used to store files as objects on back-end tape devices. It also comes in all-flash BP-X form for faster response to file and object I/O requests. Spectra and Arcitecta have developed their partnership and produced two products: Arcitecta Mediaflux + Spectra BlackPearl NAS, and Arcitecta Mediaflux  + Spectra BlackPearl Object Storage system.

SpectraLogic CTO Matt Starr said: “The combined solutions offer unprecedented high performance, scalability, security, efficiency and significant cost savings … Customers can cost-effectively manage massive data volumes in powerful new ways – a game-changer in the data storage industry.”

Arcitecta partnering with SpectraLogic

Jason Lohrey, Arcitecta CEO and founder, said: “We developed our joint solutions’ NFS and SMB protocols in-house to achieve the level of computing performance organizations require to process enormous amounts of data. Mediaflux plus BlackPearl NAS can support hundreds of billions of files in a single, easily managed global namespace. Multiple storage nodes work in parallel, allowing the system to handle vast I/O request volumes, increase throughput and reduce latency.”

The multiple nodes provide high availability with node failover. A distributed file system, with data stored across multiple nodes, allows data to be accessed from any node in the cluster, increasing data availability.

SpectraLogic, Arcitecta diagram
For the archiving config, replace the NFS and SMB tags with S3 ones

The combined offerings provide automatic tiering with data lifecycle management, easy administration, and on-premises S3 object storage with infinite scalability and easy search and access control. By storing data on-premises, the joint product reduces the latency associated with accessing data stored in the cloud. Infrequently accessed data can be stored on lower-cost media such as tape or object storage – while leaving active data on more expensive, high-performance flash storage. That should lower cost.

The joint products have ransomware resiliency and security with multiple layers of protection, such as intrusion detection and prevention, and real-time monitoring and response capabilities to detect and prevent unauthorized access or activity.

A SpectraLogic spokesperson tells us that the Arcitecta/BlackPearl combo is an “order of magnitude cheaper than Isilon (PowerScale)” and mentioned “about $30,000/PB.”

They added: “For BlackPearl a small scale NAS disk unit will be about $120–150 per terabyte with five years of service, or about $0.004 per gig per month. At scale, 30-plus PB, with a large portion going off to tape archive, [it will be] under $50 a terabyte with five years of service or $0.00071 per gig per month.”

The archiving is claimed to be more affordable than Amazon Glacier. 


This will be a natural extension for existing Spectra and Arcitecta customers. How it will fare in a straight fight against Dell PowerScale and Qumulo remains to be seen. They have substantial scale-out NAS market presence and their existing customers are unlikely to look at an alternative unless there is a compelling reason – such as a substantially lower price or need for specific Arcitecta and/or Spectra features.

VAST Data also has skin in the game, but is probably aiming at a higher-scale customer. HPE may not be so picky, though. It’s going to be an interesting contest.

Arcitecta Mediaflux + Spectra BlackPearl NAS is available from channel partners as a turnkey offering. Get a NAS backgrounder for the combo here and an archive (object) backgrounder here.