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Tandberg's RDX blockbuster

Major success on its hands

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Tandberg Data looks to have a major success in waiting on its hands with the ProStor RDX QuikStor product - 90,000 drive docks have been sold in less than two years.

ProStor's RDX is a removable cartridge containing a 2.5-inch notebook hard drive, up to 500GB in capacity, in a ruggedised case. It is slotted into an internal or externally-attached dock and so provides a removable disk backup facility, meaning a combination of disk-to-disk backup speed and tape removability for off-site storage. It comes in single drive and multi-drive InfiniVault form.

Both Symantec Backup Exec and Yosemite FileKeeper are available for it. Typically, RDX customers do not run grandfather-father-son style backup schemes. They'll have one cartridge in the drive, one nearby and one offsite. That's why the simpler-to-use FileKeeper product has been made available.

ProStor RDX product image

ProStor RDX product.

FileKeeper is a little like FalconStor's CDP product. But it is file and not block-based and only saves user data, not system files. It does have a bare metal recovery, DR-capability though, like FalconStor's product. The idea is that the RDX + FileKeeper combo offers complete practical protection for smaller businesses, such as hotels.

Files are saved to version levels and only byte-level differences are saved with each fresh version. In effect it's file-level deduplication. The number of saved versions is a user-specifiable parameter. The DR saving of an entire system is a different FileKeeper operation and recovery is done direct from the RDX drive with no need for a recovery CD.

RDX roadmap

Product manager McClain Buggle says RDX will grow to 750GB capacity in the first half of 2009 and a 1TB version is expected by the end of 2009 or in early 2010, still using 2.5-inch drives. Tandberg uses either Western Digital or Fujitsu drives. Samsung, Toshiba and Seagate have also been certified as hard drive suppliers.

The multi-cartridge product will get a SAS interface in 2009. Tandberg reckons that the RDX technology can go into the consumer market, duking it out with EMC Iomega's lower-capacity removable REV disks, and also into larger server environments as the higher capacity catridges become available. RDX may well have 1TB cartridges before LTO terabyte tape cartridges are available.

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