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Tandberg plots 1TB removable hard drive

More RDX-based products coming

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Updated Tandberg Data is planning a 1TB capacity RDX QuikStor removable hard drive for the August-September period. This will be the first 2.5-inch 1TB drive available.

The RDX is a removable 2.5-inch hard drive in a shockproof case. It was developed by ProStor and Tandberg is a licensed maufacturer, along with Imation and the just-announced BDT. Customers load the RDX into a dock, write data on it in a backup process at disk speeds, and then store it offsite, just like tape.

The maximum capacity available on it today is 750GB, courtesy of HP and a Tandberg-manufactured drive. The most you can get today from a standard 5400rpm, two-platter, 2.5-inch hard drive from Seagate, Toshiba, or Western Digital is 640 GB. WD has announced a 2-platter 750GB Scorpio Blue product and that is probably the source hard disk drive in the HP RDX.

WD has also announced a 1TB, 5200rpm Scorpio Blue, one with three platters, and Seagate has a rumoured 1TB, 2.50-inch drive coming out soon. Back in 2008 Tandberg thought such RDX capacities would be available early this year. It looks like that timing was six months out. The 1TB RDX will initially use the 3-platter 1TB drive and then transition to a 2-platter one towards the end of the year.

Tandberg has a second-generation RDX dock coming in September and will introduce a USB 3.0 interface on it. Marije Stijnen, Tandberg Data's Marketing VP, said: "It will be very fast, compared to USB 2.0, and enable us to kick up throughput."

Stijnen also said Tandberg had just won another OEM deal but declined to name the OEM, and said: "All major OEMS ship RDX." The smart money is on Acer.

Tandberg's Accugard data protection software, which provides source-based deduplication, backup and restore, is being extended so that it can be used to backup a small and medium enterprise's (SME) whole IT infrastructure. There will be announcements coming in the next few months about that.

Tandberg will also deliver an RDX automation device by the end of the third quarter, and it will have an iSCSI capability with eight targets supported. This support will presumably come from Accugard, which could then backup eight servers.

Tandberg Data now has three product lines: tape, with a half-height LTO5 drive just announced; the RDX QuikStor line; and thirdly the DPS line of NAS/iSCSI and Virtual Tape Library drive arrays. The target market is firmly focused on SME businesses and the company is steadily rebuilding its business after the revenue horror-show of early 2008 which led to CEO change, bankruptcy and restructuring.

It's now very much a healthier company with a more rounded product line. The RDX products are not a company-sustaining goldmine but they are an indisputably important part of Tandberg Data's product line. ®

Update: This story has been updated to reflect the points that Tandberg actually manufactures a 750GB RDX QuikStor drive, and doesn't stop at 640GB as its press releases say, or 500GB as its web site says, and that HP produces an RDX product using the 750GB Tandberg drive. HP hasn't said much about that either. Keep your lights under bushels boys.

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