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Portable Disks Bolster Backup

Idealstor, Dell, and Tandberg tout portable disk drives as a tape replacement

More and more vendors are touting removable disk media as an alternative to tape backup, claiming superior reliability and speed. Next week, for example, Idealstor will take the wraps off a 750-Gbyte disk drive in an attempt to lure users away from tape.

Other vendors have been getting in on this act recently. Last month, for example, Dell unveiled its own PowerVault RD1000 disk-based device, a few weeks after Tandberg took the wraps off its RDX QuikStor offering. (See Dell Adds Removable Drive and Tandberg Ships Device .)

The idea is that firms can use disk, as opposed to tape-based backup appliance, and send the disk drives offsite for longer term storage. Users have already voiced their concerns about the weaknesses of tape, citing reliability issues and the need for a controlled storage environment so that tapes don't stretch and contract. (See Users Open Up on Optical.)

Because disk drives are sealed units, the technology is regarded as more robust than tape, where the media is exposed to the environment. Tape technology, unlike disk, also requires physical contact between the tape head and the media, which can eventually lead to corruption.

On Monday Idealstor will unveil a 750-Gbyte drive and caddy, or portable cartridge, for its Backup Appliance and FrankeNAS devices. The appliance, which contains 8 drive bays, and the FrankeNAS, which contains 2 Tbytes of RAID and four bays, run software such as Veritas NetBackup and CA's Brightstor ARCserv.

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