Idealstor to Add 1-Tbyte Disk

Vendor to use Hitachi drive as a means to push removable storage out to SME masses

June 8, 2007

3 Min Read
Network Computing logo

In a move that hints at emerging solutions for SMEs, Idealstor says it's ready to add Hitachi's 1-Tbyte disk drives to its removable backup appliances. (See Idealstor Offers 1TB SATA.)

Idealstor is one of several vendors, including Dell and Tandberg Data, that offer removable HDD (hard disk drive) backup appliances based on drives from Hitachi or Seagate. These products deploy caddies or "sleds" to house the drives. The caddies are portable and slot in and out of a backup appliance, which links directly to the server and can run with third-party backup software. The goal is to eliminate the risk of tape loss or damage, while offering the convenience of portable backup. (See Vendors Tilt Over 1-Tbyte Drives.)

Idealstor's channel partners now have the option to include the consumer version of Hitachi's drive, which runs at 7,200 RPM and comes with a 3-Gbit/s SATA interface. The drives will work with any of Idealstor's caddies, which in turn work with its range of server-attached backup appliances, including the recently announced Teralyte. (See Idealstor Launches Teralyte.)

Pricing on the Idealstor disk drive caddy is about $40. The 1-Tbyte drive will cost about $500. The Teralyte appliance, which has two caddy slots, starts at $1,995.

Idealstor's other appliances can handle up to eight caddies, for a potential total removable drive system of 8 Tbytes.Only Hitachi and Seagate have announced 1-Tbyte SATA drives so far, and Seagate hasn't released its yet. Hitachi, which began shipping an enterprise version of its drive last month, also has deals with Best Buy and CDW for consumer drives. (See Vendors Tilt Over 1-Tbyte Drives.)

So far, removable disk appliances in general have been the realm of small businesses, since larger ones are likely to adopt full-scale disk-based archiving systems. What's more, there's a growing roster of disk-based systems that don't feature removable cartridges but do support SMBs (small- to medium-sized businesses), as opposed to slightly larger SMEs (small- to medium-sized enterprises). (See Unitrends Steps Up.) But if successful, the use of higher-capacity drives in products like Idealstor's could change the situation.

"We've typically appealed to smaller businesses, but this new capacity increases our appeal to larger companies, too," says Idealstor sales manager Martin deLannoy.

There are potential drawbacks. Cartridges of any kind, whether tape or disk, are vulnerable to physical loss. And not everyone's convinced removable's the way to go.

"With removable media, disk, or tape, you still have to track it, find it, and recover it," says George Crump, president of the Storage Switzerland consultancy. "But for the SMB space I can see where the cost savings may be very appealing."Even the economics are questionable, another analyst thinks. "Granted, a 1-Tbyte disk drive might be attractive. However, how do the economics play versus a 1-Tbyte tape [system]?" asks Greg Schulz of the StorageIO group consultancy. "Then there are the issues around any new drive type which will pop up." He expects to see some adoption of 1-Tbyte disk as a tape replacement, but he's hedging his bets on widespread deployment.

For now, other removable cartridge system suppliers don't seem interested in expanding capacity. Dell has no intention of increasing the PowerVault RD1000's media capacity beyond 160 Gbytes, a spokesman says.

Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch

  • Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL)

  • Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST)

  • Idealstor LLC

  • Seagate Technology Inc. (NYSE: STX)

  • The StorageIO Group

Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox

You May Also Like

More Insights