NetApp, SpectraLogic link up for on-prem archival storage

SpectraLogic is providing validated on-premises object archival storage on tape for NetApp StorageGRID systems as an affordable alternative to S3-based public cloud long-term retention.

StorageGRID is NetApp’s S3-based object storage product with its software running in a virtual machine, bare metal server or NetApp appliance, and using SSD or disk-based storage. It can store billions of objects in a single namespace and scale up to 16 datacenters worldwide. Spectra’s on-prem archive pairs a tape library system and its BlackPearl object interface and storage device to provide an S3-to-tape front end to Spectra tape library systems. The key point here is that an On-Prem Glacier archive can provide both faster access and lower costs than an AWS S3 archive store.

Vishnu Vardhan, Director of Product Management for Object Storage at NetApp, said: “The Spectra On-Prem Glacier solution provides NetApp StorageGRID customers with the ability to add a Glacier tier configured with object-based tape to extend the capacity and reduce  the costs of their long-term on-prem object storage.

NetApp, SpectraLogic diagram
Spectra diagram

“The validated integration gives organizations more flexibility in how they store their data, especially archives and back-up  that are not in active use. By combining both technologies, our customers can get both the agility of flash and the longevity of tape to help ensure their data is always ready when they need it.”

Spectra and NetApp say that on-prem object stores can fill up with old and cold data. If that is tiered or mirrored to a backend long-term retention store based on tape, it can offer faster retrieval than Amazon’s public cloud S3 Standard and Amazon S3 Glacier protocols, and up to two thirds lower cost because there are no egress fees. Of course you’ll need a relatively large amount of data to go into on-prem Glacier to make the cost-savings appear as the necessary hardware and software must be purchased and maintained.

There are three tiers of Spectra’s On-Prem Glacier with varying retrieval speeds – Instant Retrieval, Eco, and Archive – as a table indicates: 

NetApp, SpectraLogic table

The On-Prem Glacier provides air-gapped tape and object lock to secure the data and provides an on-premises hybrid cloud. It can be used as a replication endpoint for the StorageGRID CloudMirror service create a protected copy of the objects.

Chris Bukowski, Senior Manager, Product Marketing, Spectra Logic, said: “We’re excited that NetApp has validated Spectra On-Prem Glacier for use by StorageGRID customers … We recognize the significance of the increasing costs of storing data in the cloud. This integration provides a valuable new option for reducing  cloud data retrieval and accompanying egress fees, while scaling to near-limitless capacity with less complexity.”

Access a NetApp solution brief document here. A short NetApp blog provides that company’s perspective on the partnership.


Object storage tends to grow and grow. Moving stale objects to background storage as a way of saving space and cost on the primary object can make sense once the cost savings are greater than the cost of the backend storage itself and the value of having faster data access is factored in to the equation.


Spectra tells us: “The BlackPearl appliance comes in two physically separate versions, BlackPearl NAS and BlackPearl S3. Only the BlackPearl S3 includes S3 Glacier and an object-based interface to tape.”