Restoring Large Files in Windows with BlackPearl – Sparse Files

Spectra Logic provides Software Development Kits (SDKs) for BlackPearl in several different programming languages to make it easier for our partners and customers to create integrations to BlackPearl. Some of the BlackPearl SDKs are used in Windows environments, particularly the Java and .NET SDKs. An issue was recently discovered in the way that these SDKs write large data blocks (64GB+) restored from BlackPearl on to disk.

In Windows, by default, when a file is created, Windows will initially reserve the space for the file on disk by filling the file with zeros. It then later replaces those zeros with the actual file byte content as it is received. When the files are 64GB or larger, it can take a very long time to write all of the zeros. In that time the file transfer from BlackPearl can time out, causing the SDK to have to resubmit its request to BlackPearl to restore the file. This resubmission causes the overall transfer process to take longer than it would if the resubmission did not occur. And in extreme cases with extremely large files (1TB+), the transfer can permanently fail.

To avoid this time out issue, the zeros should not be initially written in the file. This can be done by specifying that Windows Sparse Files be used. With Windows sparse files, per Microsoft, “the system does not allocate hard disk drive space to a file except in regions where it contains nonzero data”. Sparse files are therefore initially written much more quickly than non-sparse files.

We have updated our Java and .NET SDKs to use sparse files on restores. Partners and customers using these SDKs should update to the latest versions to ensure that they have this sparse file fix. However, the fixes in these SDKs will only be helpful if the “FileHelpers” class is being used, in which case the SDKs will be writing the restored files. For those organizations that are using these SDKs but have written their own code to write the restored files, they must implement sparse files themselves in their own code.

You can see examples of how Spectra Logic implemented sparse files in the SDKs:

Please Contact the Spectra Developer Program Team  if you need assistance with implementing sparse files with BlackPearl.


BlackPearl Eon Browser 2.1 Official Release

BlackPearl Eon Browser 2.1 has been officially released. The official release version is 2.1.6. There are many new features and bug fixes since the prior 2.0 release. We recommend users upgrade to 2.1.6 at their earliest convenience. You can get this release on our Downloads page. Contact the Developer Program Team if you have any questions or run into any problems.


Eon Browser 2.1 Beta Available for Testing

We have released a beta of the next version of the Eon Browser, version 2.1.4. You can download the Eon Browser beta on GitHub. A draft version of the new User Guide is also available. Note that this version should not be used in a production environment and will not be supported by Spectra Support. You can submit feedback via GitHub or by Contacting Us. We look forward to receiving your feedback.

 

 


Developer Program News – May 2017

The Developer Program provides developers with SDKs, APIs, documentation, and more, to design, create, and develop Spectra BlackPearl Converged Storage Spectra S3 applications with deep storage capabilities. Spectra Logic has seen tremendous success with BlackPearl and has many exciting activities planned in 2017!

Getting Started with BlackPearl Partial File Restore Integration

In the Media & Entertainment world, data files have reached very large sizes, particularly in the case of high resolution video that can exceed 1TB in size. In order to efficiently work with very large files, the media file processing is done in sections, with the end-user requesting content “snippets” based on timecodes. Object storage devices that are used to store very large files are not typically aware of the timecode-to-byte relationship, and do not have the content awareness necessary to extract and create partial media files. To bridge the gap between time and bytes, BlackPearl has added a Partial File Restore (PFR) feature to enable the media processing application to efficiently retrieve a complete media file based on timecode offsets. Read More

BlackPearl SDK for Python 3 Now Available

Spectra Logic provides software development kits (SDKs) to make it easier to create applications that integrate with BlackPearl. We provide these SDKs in Java, C#/.NET, C, and Python. Our initial Python SDK was built to be used with Python 2. We have now also released a Python SDK that is intended for Python 3. Read More


SDK & CLI New Releases; Improvements to BlackPearl 3.0 Compatibility

Our Engineering Team has released new versions of the .NET/C# and Java Software Development Kits (SDK), as well as the Java Command-Line Interface (CLI). There are a number of new features and bug fixes in these releases. Probably the most important new feature in these releases is improved support for the upcoming BlackPearl 3.0 release. We strongly recommend that developers currently building BlackPearl clients using the .NET or Java SDKs upgrade to these new SDKs so that their clients will be more compatible with BlackPearl 3.0. These new releases should not require any code changes.

BlackPearl 3.0 will be released soon, and shortly thereafter we will be releasing further updates to our SDKs to access the new version 3.0 features. Read about these upcoming additional SDK updates  in our recent blog post Preparing for the BlackPearl 3.0 Release.

Download Latest .NET SDK

Download Latest Java SDK

Download Latest Java CLI


NAB: See BlackPearl, Learn About DS3 Development

Spectra Logic will be at NAB 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA from April 11-16 in Booth SL 11816 displaying our products and meeting with customers and partners. The Developer Program team will be there in full force to help out developers and spread our message. We’ll be doing demos at our booth and showing how easy it is to get started with DS3 client development. We’ll also show some of the great client applications we have built using our own software development kits (SDKs) that allow users to easily move data to tape. Please stop by and visit us if you are in town.