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Iomega's REV Loader 280: The Ultimate Backup Master?

REV Loader Performance

A big advantage to the hard drive schematic is random data access compared to a tape drive's linear access. Average seek time for tape based solutions including the newer LTO (Linear Tape Open) or Ultrium is around 75 seconds contrasting about 12 ms (12/1000 of a second) for the REV. There is no rewind, forward, stretching or need for realignment as sometimes experienced by a stream/tape based medium.

According to Iomega, this means fewer parts are under less stress, leading to greater reliability and fewer maintenance headaches. Users can boot directly from a REV disk and access files instantly vs. the insane seek and file restore times that beleaguer tape. Once attached, the REV Loader appears as a standard file system device allowing for the browsing of data stored on cartridges like any regular drive.

If the amount of data needed for archival exceeds the available disk capacity, the backup is spanned across several disks (somewhat defeating the "disk for each day of the week" practice). In our tests, the REV stored around 1 GB per minute (1021 MB/min). This is a pretty good test result for a small 35 GB size disk, translating to ~17 MB/s, which is a respectable speed for data backups. The USB 2.0 interface was sufficient to support transfer rates reported by our tests.

Cumulative change time for the REV cartridges measured ~35 sec with approximately 25 sec load time and 10 sec for eject. The Iomega software allows for the load, format and eject of the REV data cartridges.