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Spectra Logic Verde DPE archive houses shingled hard drive

Spectra Logic's latest Verde DPE system for backup and archiving uses a shingled hard drive to pack 200 TB in a system and 7.4 PB into a single rack.

Spectra Logic Corp. this week updated its Verde network-attached storage (NAS) archiving platform with a system built on shingled magnetic recording (SMR) drives that the vendor claims can store data for pennies per gigabyte.

The new Spectra Verde DPE nodes can handle up to 200 TB of storage, and the shingled hard drive system can expand to 7.4 PB in a rack. Up to 96 drives can be loaded into 4U expansion units for a density factor of 180 TB per rack unit.

The system uses ZFS software for triple-parity RAID Z3, continuous checksum and global spare drives to lower the probability of data loss.

The DPE is the latest version of Spectra Logic's four-generations-old Verde system. The previous Verde system came in 2U and 4U models ranging from 24 TB to 3.4 PB of raw storage.

The shingled hard drive is designed to handle larger demands for density that non-overlapping magnetic tracks, which are positioned in parallel, can no longer handle.

Spectra Verde DPE also does snapshot mirroring and replication to another system at a mirrored site. The system accesses files through Common Internet File System (CIFS) and Network File System (NFS) protocols.

Spectra Logic claims the NAS box can store data for as low as 9 cents per GB of raw capacity.

"What we are not is an I/O database machine," said Matt Starr, CTO at Spectra Logic, based in Boulder, Colo. "We are a perfect target to dump the snapshot. If you have EMC [storage] and an SAP database, the snapshots can be stored on Verde that is used as a backup, or to look at as point-in-time data. We are a good place to park that data."

DPE uses 8 TB Seagate SMR disk drives. SMR is magnetic storage data recording technology that increases storage density on hard disk drives. The emerging technology uses shingled recording to write new tracks that overlap the used tracks. The shingled hard drive is designed to handle larger demands for density that non-overlapping magnetic tracks, which are positioned in parallel, can no longer handle.

The Verde DPE system is integrated with Spectra Logic's BlackPearl gateway appliance client that supports the company's linear tape file system (LTFS) appliances, and also serves as an on-ramp to the cloud.

Deni Connor, analyst at Storage Strategies NOW in Austin, Texas, said Spectra Logic is accelerating its expansion from its core tape technology into disk storage.

"DPE is really meant for deep archiving. It's for bulk storage opportunities," she said. "It's interesting the way they have expanded from tape [with BlackPearl and Verde]. Now, they are making more of it. They really have an end-to-end solution for the enterprise."

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