Removable disk drives vs. tape storage
RDX vs Tape
The appeal of removable disk lies in both its portability and
the fact that, unlike comparable tape storage solutions, you have the option of
fast random access as well as very high data transfer rates.
Removable disk is a particularly viable data backup choice for
the prosumer and small-office home-office (SOHO) market., but beyond that, it
still has an important role to play for instance, remote offices and branch
offices often rely on tape. Removable disk could be a faster and more appealing
alternative, particularly since it can be configured to use RAID to enhance data
protection. At the lower end of the market it is an easy replacement for
tape but if you are a larger organization and have already made a big investment
in tape infrastructure it may not make sense.
Removable disk drives' speed and portability also make them a
strong contender when data backup becomes disaster recovery. Getting through a
data restore would be much faster using removable disk as compared to tape.
However you won't save money relative to tape. Nor is
removable disk necessarily better in other measures. It isn't better than tape
and it isn't worse -- they both face risks from magnetic sources, heat and
radiation, and either could be ruined by being left in a hot car. Physically
moving so much data around so easily could also be considered a risk with
removable disk the best solution is to encrypt all of your data.
The crucial differences between removable disk and tape
probably come down to ease of use and speed. Removable disk storage generally
wins in the category of speed -- RDX removable disk can deliver up to 40 MBps.
Price and capacity are also some of the biggest differences between disk and
tape. Removable disk generally follows the overall trend in disk drives --
lagging the performance of similar capacity drives that aren't removable by
about a year.
Product manufacturers are also hopping on board.
"Manufacturers like HP and Dell, where they might have offered an Iomega Zip
Drive in the past, now are likely to include a docking station for a removable
Removable disk drives also integrate naturally into most
existing data backup software. for example EMC Retrospect recognizes which disks
are the removable ones and reminds you when to do backups.
For the most part the docking stations have a USB port,
Companies such as ProStor is trying to get the industry to standardize on their
solution and they are working hard to make that broader adoption occur, sofar
most if not all of the big players have jumped on board, with the likes of IBM
RDX, HP RDX, Imation RDX, Dell RDX (RD1000), Quantum RDX and Tandberg Data RDX
all offering a complete line of removable disk storage, with cartridges randing
from 160GB to 1TB.
Although removable disk drives are faster than tape, tape is
definitely the dominant player in general, especially for enterprise-type
backup, but removable disk is clearly becoming a great alternative for many
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