RDX QuikStor Hard Drive Solutions Challenge Tape Backup
Tandberg's new RDX QuikStor backup solution uses hard drive technology in the form of backup cartridges, which the company claims is a superior alternative to existing tape backup solutions.
We've been using this sort of process for a long time now. I bought a USB hard drive case and a removable drive tray (IDE) then wired it together so that when you turn the key to lock the drive it turns on the USB device as well. It took about 20 mins to do the wiring and we save a ton of cash by going with hard drives instead of tape by not having to buy tapes or upgrade the tape machine when larger capacity tapes come out. And when we need to retrieve something we just grab the drive from the safe, hook it up to the computer and presto! No waiting for the tape to get to the right position to get the information. Just drag and drop. I figure that we have about 3TB of backup on all the drives put together (16 of them ranging from 120GB to 320GB). If you think about the costs of hard drives vs. Tape media we have saved cash as well as have quick access to media.
A lot of servers don't have free internal bays for these types of devices. That means you are looking at an external device.
The Quickstor external version is USB only, no eSATA. That knocks it out of consideration for me. I can't fathom why they would make an internal SATA but a USB only exteranl one.
The REV has an eSATA version, but like all Iomega products, they insist on forcing you to install their crappy drivers. There should be no reason to install drivers for a mass storage device. There have been numerous problems with the REV not working on Windows server OS (and SBS2003 too). It works for some, but not for others. I'm not about to kludge up my mission critical server with Iomega drivers.
The Quantum GoVault is similar (very) to the Quickstor, but they are coming out with an eSATA version at years end. That's the one I'll be keeping my eye on.
Holy smokes, US$310 for a 120GB cartridge?
Interesting idea, making hard drives look like tapes in hardware rather than relying on obtuse Backup To Disk options in various tape backup software solutions. But with inexpensive LTO now available in convenient 1/3-height form factor, or my 160GB (uncompressed) SDLT which is fast enough that it's limited only by the PCI bus the HBA resides on, and whose cartridges now cost less than $50 individually, I'm not so sure the concept is ready for everyone.
Great alternative for folks with modest capacity demands who use portable USB drives as backups, and the bundled Backup Exec variant will help those people achieve more functional backups and enhance their restore capabilities, but at this cost it just doesn't scale.
Some of you are missing the point of the appeal of the Quickstor (and its kind). Slapping some HD's into an external enclosure isn't what this is about. The drives are both:
1. Portable (they will fit in a shirt pocket)
They are the size of a deck of cards and will survive a fall of 3 feet. Take one of your 3.5" drives and drop them onto the floor and you won't be happy with what happens. The premium on these drives is for the ability to easily and safely rotate them offsite.
Tape implies mobile. If you are using tape and are not rotating it offsite, what is the point? In fact, what would be the point of any backup system that has removeable cartridges if you didn't intend to move them somewhere? If you are just going to pop it out of the drive and stick it on the shelf that would be a huge waste of money and a very poor backup strategy.
If you are seriously worried that you would lose one of these cartridges because they are too small, I wouldn't worry too much because you are not the target demographic these companies are going after.
They Travel just fine i stronger enough to lift 1 pound
and there quite mobile enough for backups
now if your taking them to another country then is there may be a size problem
other then that you give up speed capacity compatibility and price for one thing size
So after a major catastrophe (say a fire) i suppose to wait for a proprietary drive to be shipped in before i can start a restore
That’s if it’s still available (I guess you can get it off of eBay)
That’s a bad backup strategy
This is a great article about the rugged, portable, removable hard disk drive, but it is about three years late. There have been a few super
removable storage devices on the market for this time period. For example the HardTape (http://www.hardtape.com) removable device which entered the market in 2003 and since then it supported large
customers like Kodak, XDCinema for their digital movie distribution,
Hitachi Denshi using their digital camera, Nebtek and nNovia for video editing systems, Digital Fusion using the product under the HardFilm logo for their high end photo system, the US Marines using the product under dirty environments and many others. The HardTape has a Floppy size
form factor rather than the RDX QuickStor which is compatible with the
larger CD format. Beyond the RDX QuickStor SATA interface the HardTape offers interchangeable AT/IDE, SATA, USB 2.0, Firewire, Narrow and Wide SCSI Docking Bay, Cable, External Drive and Security System interfaces.
The shipments of these drives have the highest reliability data among all disk drives shipped on the market today. Perhaps potential customers should make a comparison between the RDX QuikStor and other products
on the market today beyond the Iomega Rev products.
If you bought an empty BYO-drive Cartridges and you assemble the unit with a hard disk drive then the product would not be UL, CSA, FCC and other regulatory agencies approval and perhaps somebody (like a kid) could get hurt. In addition the product would not have guarantee in case of
failure. Just a thought!
Just a note: You are right that many servers don't have free 5.25-inch form factor bays. However all servers have multiple 3.5-inch slots for the hard disk drives. If you look at the HardTape (http://www.hardtape.com) Bay and Cartridge it has exactly the same form factor (1"x4"x6") and identical interfaces (AT/IDE, USB 2.0, Firewire, eSATA, Narrow and wide SCSI) as the 3.5-inch drives. The big advantage of using an internal Cartridge and Bay is that you do not need to carry an external power supply.
The REV device has limited capacity and it is not interchangeable with different capacity drives.
GoVault Cartridge dimensions: 1"x3.37"x4.4"
HardTape Cartridge dimensions: 0.66"x3.14"x5.11"
Due to the slimness of the HardTape Cartridge this is truly a shirt pocket size device.
I just check with the technical staff at AUDAVI. The HardTape storage device, although not mentioned on their technical specification, it is totally compatible withe the Server 2003. A number of applications are used
in this fashion. Soon you will be able to see on their updated web site this addition in their specs XP/98/2000/Server 2003.