Spectra Logic and Geyser Data serve up TAPAS – Tape-as-a-service

On-premises tape library system vendor Spectra Logic is offering its products as a service.

Spectra Logic customers buy its Tfinity and Cube tape library systems for deployment on-premises as backup and archive targets, often front-ended by a BlackPearl file and object gateway. Geyser Data provides cloud archive systems and is partnering Spectra Logic to offer the first Tape-as-a-Service (TaaS) system with the name Tape Archive Platform As-a-Service or TAPAS.

TAPAS provides tape storage in a subscription-based model that can be instantly provisioned, is scalable on demand, and requires no specialized knowledge or skills to use. It is still a cloud service as the tape library systems are located off-premises in datacenters external to customers.

Spectra Logic CEO Nathan Thompson said in a statement: “With the ever-rising volume of backup and archive data being stored in the cloud, there is a clear need for greater security, better performance, and lower cost.”

The partnership with Geyser Data, it claims, delivers “the traditional benefits of tape in a modern, easy-to-consume service that is more cost-effective than typical cold storage services in the cloud.”

Nelson Nahum, Geyser Data co-founder and CEO, added: “Spectra Logic is the ideal technology partner to help Geyser Data fulfill our mission to deliver secure, durable, sustainable and cost-effective  data archiving in the cloud.”

Nahum co-founded Zadara in 2011 and served as CEO until April 2023. He also co-founded StoreAge in 1999.

Spectra Logic Cube library rack
Spectra Cube library rack

TAPAS combines Spectra Logic’s Cube library with its up to 30 PB of native capacity, LTO-9 tape media, and BlackPearl S3 object storage. This trio of offerings produces an AWS S3 and Glacier-compliant system. Geyser’s TaaS software provides provisioning, management, monitoring, billing, and instantiation of the service. TAPAS service sales and delivery will be available through a global network of VARs, MSPs, and datacenter providers.

Actual system delivery would involve a service or datacenter provider managing the tape storage infrastructure, including handling the setup, maintenance, and data management processes. Spectra Logic and Geyser Data will refer customers to a recommended network partner in their region.

Customers pay for usage on a per-tape basis. Expected pricing is $27 per month for each 18 TB LTO-9 tape cartridge used, approximately $1.50/TB. Depending on the capacity used per cartridge, the efficiency of data compression, and the number of copies desired, the effective price per terabyte per month can vary between $0.70 and $3.00.

Geyser says it stores only one customer’s data per tape cartridge and gives customers control over encryption keys for added security.

Target use cases include users of cloud-based cold storage services who want lower costs and better security with the environmental benefits of tape, but without having to own or manage tape infrastructure. A second concerns on-premises tape users who want to migrate or replicate archive data to the cloud.

Spectra Logic and Geyser say:

  • Data retrieval is fast and free compared to AWS S3 archiving. TAPAS data can be retrieved in seconds to minutes, not hours to days, with no access charges or egress fee. For an optional fee, tape cartridges may be delivered to the user if desired. 
  • TAPAS can copy data to all major clouds, enabling cold data to be used by AI, analytics, or other apps running there. 
  • TAPAS uses dedicated tapes, physically segregating individual customer data and enabling real, not logical, air-gapped isolation, reducing exposure to cyber threats like ransomware. 
  • Tapes are stored in secure datacenter facilities with users retaining full control over data encryption keys and access permissions, reducing the likelihood of a data breach. 
  • Data residency is user-determined, with users designating the physical locality of their data, avoiding data residency, localization or sovereignty issues that can arise when using public cloud storage services.

Inaugural availability of TAPAS is scheduled for June 1. A  free, 30-day limited capacity TAPAS trial is available here.