Removable Disk Storage Solutions: Why It Is a Good Choice for Backup and Recovery

prostor.jpgOnline backup solutions have been taking a lot of the “thunder” when it comes to storage. Larger businesses of course have robust backup strategies which include online backup (many of them using services such as and Mozy – recently purchased by EMC and others), but a number use more traditional methods such as tape backup and server to server backup solutions.

Steve-Georgis-over.jpgProStor Systems, is a leader in the removable disk storage marketplace their CEO and President Steve Georgis gives us some deeper insight into removable disk storage in the following interview. Removable disk storage technology is like having a hard disk, but one that is on a cartridge that you can remove and take with you. It’s different than tape backup and CD backup, for a number of reasons.

Is removable disk storage still viable with so many “online backup solutions”
The emergence of online backup certainly offers a new alternative to small businesses, but the costs are much higher than removable disk. On a cost per GB basis, a customer will expect to spend about 10 times as much per year for an online service than they would to buy and operate an RDX removable disk solution. For SOHO type business with small amounts of data, this might be OK, but for SMBs with more than 25GB to protect, an RDX solution will be more affordable.
While the “backup” part of the online service sounds attractive because it is automatic, the “restore” part is the big challenge. The backup operation functions over a DSL or T1 line because only the changes to the data are transmitted. But if a system fails and needs to be restored, all the data needs to be transmitted back at once. At roughly 0.5 GB per hour on a T1 line, it will take a small business with only 25GB of data several days to recover. With removable disk this can be done in half an hour.
Finally, with online backup services, you pay forever to store data. For data that needs to be archived for many years, like business records, tax records, patient/client records, this is a continuing cost for data that has no active business purpose. Once stored on RDX removable disk, data can be archived securely for up to 30 years at no additional cost beyond the cost of the cartridge (which is as low as $1/GB today and trending downward).
When should it be used and when should it not be used.
Removable disk should be used for routine backup/restore operations, for long-term archiving and for reliably transporting data between locations.
In all of these applications, removable disk offers higher capacity, much higher speed and ease of use compared to alternatives such as tape or CD/DVD. This means that a business can store everything everyday on a single cartridge and usually complete the task in minutes. I can’t really come up with a realistic scenario of where removable disk shouldn’t be used.
Are there any particular businesses it is most suited for?
The beauty of removable disk is that it works for everyone. While business can use specialized backup software, it’s not necessary. It works as a drag’n’drop device under Windows and MacOS. For businesses who never want to see tape again, have outgrown the capacity of DVD and don’t like to spend too much money, RDX removable disk is ideal.
The removable hard disk product category is relatively new. RDX is the market leader and is being rapidly adopted as a replacement for tape of business servers by companies like Dell and others around the world. Every major backup software vendors supports the RDX format. With ProStor’s introduction of its InfiniVault enterprise-class intelligent archive system, the technology is now being adopted by larger enterprises and supported by a broader range of applications. This is the new wave in removable storage media.