Spectra Logic

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Spectra Logic Corporation is a computer data storage company based in Boulder, Colorado in the United States. The company builds backup and archive solutions for secondary storage to protect data after it migrates from primary disk. Spectra Logic's primary product is tape libraries. The company was founded in 1979,[1] and is a privately held company.[2]


Spectra Logic was founded in 1979 by Nathan C. Thompson in his apartment while he was an engineering student at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Thompson is currently the Chairman and CEO of the company.[3]

The company was the first to automate Advanced Intelligent Tape (AIT) magnetic tape in a robotic autoloader (tape library),[4] and was also the first tape library vendor to implement the iSCSI networking protocol in its products.[5] Spectra Logic was again first when it released a tape library with integrated hardware-based data encryption.[6]

Spectra's TFinity tape library was introduced in November 2009, offering 99.9% reliability and scaling to 180 petabytes of storage capacity in an LTO-5 configuration.[7]

In December 2010, Spectra's tape library product line won first place in all 14 categories of Storage magazine/SearchStorage.com's 2010 Quality Awards for enterprise and midrange tape libraries.[8] Spectra Logic again earned top honors in the 2012 Storage magazine/SearchStorage.com's Quality Awards, winning both the enterprise and midrange tape library categories.[9] In May 2012, DCIG, LLC released a Tape Library Buyer's Guide, which evaluated over 60 tape libraries from 8 storage vendors. Only the Spectra Logic TFinity and T950 received the highest "Best-in-Class" ranking.[10] Also that month, Spectra Logic announced that it would provide Spectra TFinity tape libraries to the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) for their Blue Waters supercomputing system. The TFinity tape libraries will be able to store hundreds of petabytes of data and will be one of the world's largest active file repositories.[11]

Spectra Logic is a founding member of the Active Archive Alliance.[12] Active Archive is a method of tiered storage which gives the user access to data across a virtualized file system that migrates data between multiple storage systems.

Spectra T950[edit]

The Spectra T950 tape library stores media tapes in the tape library bundled in trays called TeraPacks. A TeraPack holds ten tapes, which increases the density of the tape storage, which the company claims simplifies the loading and unloading of the tapes from the library.[13]

There are Spectra T950 installations in several high performance computing (HPC) facilities, including the NASA Ames Research Center, Argonne National Laboratory, and Los Alamos National Laboratory. These customers chose the Spectra T950 because at the time it offered the highest storage density and energy efficiency.[14]

On 20 April 2009, NASA Ames announced that it would replace ten of their 20 year-old silo tape libraries with two Spectra Logic T950 tape libraries. This allowed the center to reclaim 1,400 square feet (130 m2) of floor space and increase its storage capacity from 12 petabytes to 32 petabytes. The new tape libraries used 20,000 tape cartridge slots and LTO-4 (Linear Tape-Open) drives.[15]

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