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Removable hard disks make a come-backup

Disk caddies cheaper than tape cartridges, claims Idealstor

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There's always something a little off-beat around the edges of these shows, and this time it was a small company, called Idealstor, pushing an ejectable hard disk called Teralyte as a replacement for tape backup.

Teralyte is a different approach both from the removable disk cartridges offered by Tandberg and Iomega, and from external USB drives, argued David Room of the company's UK distributor ProDefence.

"The Tandberg RDX and Iomega REV drives are more aimed at the desktop user, from a capacity point of view - they go up to around 160GB," he said. "We're using standard drives in removable caddies, so it's up to 1TB each."

He added, "People ask, why not use a USB drive? For one thing, there's no guarantee you will get the same drive letter, and that confuses backup software. A second thing is you can't just pull our drive out - you have to eject it, and we ensure the operating system's cache is flushed and the drive powered down properly."

The downside is that the caddy is very bulky, compared to a tape cartridge or RDX/REV disk. It certainly won't fit in your shirt or trouser pocket - not unless you've got some very odd clothes, that is.

Plus, it's not cheap - each caddy is £25, then there's the cost of the hard disks, and the "drive" that the caddies slot into is £1395.

However, Room claimed that the caddy system can actually be cheaper than tape for SMEs. He said that if you back up to tape on a daily cycle, say, then you'll have to replace your set of tapes every few months as they get worn, but with hard disk that's not the case. ®

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