Getty Images

Spectra Logic brings Glacier on premises for NetApp

NetApp StorageGrid customers can backup data in the cloud or on premises thanks to a new integration with Spectra Logic, a development one analyst described as advantageous.

Spectra Logic can now integrate with NetApp's software-defined object storage, providing access to an Amazon S3 Glacier-like experience on premises.

NetApp's StorageGrid provides customers with unstructured data storage with native Amazon S3 APIs, including Amazon S3's deep archive, Glacier. Now through a validated integration between StorageGrid with Spectra Logic On-Prem Glacier, customers have a competitive, on-premises alternative to Amazon Glacier.

StorageGrid customers can use Amazon Glacier directly or Spectra Logic's On-Prem Glacier or both, according to Chris Bukowski, senior manager of product marketing at Spectra Logic.

There are advantages to having access to both backup methods, according to Mark Nossokoff, an analyst at Hyperion Research. The cloud includes infrastructure management, depending on the use case. But backing up data on premises can remove a major cloud pain point.

"The primary advantage of archive on-prem would be to avoid, eliminate or minimize data movement costs into the cloud," Nossokoff said.

Fees and speeds

Spectra Logic's On-Prem Glacier, which offers S3 compatibility, combines the vendor's Black Pearl S3 device and a tape library, which can help to increase retrieval speeds compared. Lower tiers of AWS Glacier can take up to 48 hours to retrieve data, but Spectra can do so in minutes at no additional cost, the vendor said.

When customers choose Glacier, they are already electing a cost-effective method for cold or archive storage, according to Marc Staimer, president of Dragon Slayer Consulting. While this new integration between NetApp and Spectra provides an alternative to Glacier or Azure Archive Blob Storage, it mainly appeals to specific customers.

"Looking at it as a faster, lower-cost Glacier, it makes sense for the media and entertainment space, government, and verticals like oil and gas," Staimer said. These are areas that have large data footprints, so the cost of storage and data backup can be expensive.

Unlike cloud offerings, customers will need to make a Capex purchase of Spectra Logic On-Prem Glacier, Staimer said. The Black Pearl NAS devices and the tape libraries will need to be purchased before customers could use the service. As more data is collected, the libraries will have to be expanded.

Reassessment or repatriation

Some customers are in the process of reconsidering where workloads should be processed and where data should be stored thanks to economic instability. Even so, repatriation -- the decision to move data from the cloud back to on-premises environments -- is not a large trend, Nossokoff said.

"It depends on what the overall goals are, but [where data is placed] is certainly a consideration that needs to be factored in," he said.

While Spectra Logic On-Prem Glacier can be used for repatriation of backup or archive data, customers will have to weigh their options, Bukowski said. For example, newer, cold data can be stored using the On-Prem Glacier, and in-cloud compliance data can be left to expire past its keep date and deleted. However, moving data out of AWS Glacier to On-Prem Glacier will incur fees.

Adam Armstrong is a TechTarget Editorial news writer covering file and block storage hardware, and private clouds. He previously worked at

Next Steps

 Spectra Logic, Geyser Data launch tape as a service

Dig Deeper on Archiving and tape backup

Disaster Recovery