Removable hard disks make a come-backup
Disk caddies cheaper than tape cartridges, claims Idealstor
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. ®
How does virtualization change the game?
Tapes and disk drive backup are mostly about Disaster Recovery. Virtual machines that can be quiesced to a few files in some directory have big DR advantages. I'd be interested in hearing any ideas about how virtualization changes conventional enterprise backup best practices.
You guys make me laugh
I have been using the product for 3 years and you have all missed the point. The point is not what some UK distributor said about the drive letters. The point is that it is an affordable and reliable alternative to tape. The reason people backup to dsk is that tape is a difficult and unreliable way to backup data. With the exception of the tape vendors that have anonymously replied here, I can't see how you could believe that tape is reliable.
When I bought the system I could only use 300GB drives. Now I can pop in some 1TB disks and backup my data. Name one tape drive that can do the same. I use my existing backup software. The product runs Windows as the OS and is my backup server.
Even the product discussed on this is less than a comparable LTO3 drive and offers faster backup, restores and larger media.
REV drives are for home users.
These disks are for corporate data.
Nice job Idealstor.
hmmm lets see ..... We are a SME, I have a library that manages this all for me and just spits out a few LTO4 tapes and askes for a few from the off site storage vault. When a tape has been mounted too many times it spits it out and marks it expired. (never happened in LTO4 yet but had a few LTO1s do this.
Why the hell would I want disk as an off site backup medium?