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Takeaways on the HPE RDX Removable Disk Backup System

Home lab: Getting started with the HPE RDX Removable Disk Backup System

Mark Simpkins extends a welcome into his home lab where he uses and reviews a variety of HPE gear. This time he reports on his experience with the HPE RDX Removable Disk Backup System.

I have been able to play with some gear from HPE in my ever-growing home lab - an older HPE ProLiant DL360p Gen8, two models of the HPE ProLiant Microserver (Gen10 and Gen10 Plus), Aruba Instant On AP12 access points and Aruba Instant On 1930 PoE switches. Now I get some time with the HPE RDX Removable Disk Backup System.

The HPE RDX Removable Disk Cartridge is a rugged cartridge style hard disk drive. You can use it with an internal or external docking station — in my case the external docking station — to provide easy off-site data protection and quick access to your most critical data.

The HPE RDX Removable Disk Cartridge makes backups simple with drag and drop file access and fast disk-based performance (up to 360 GB/hr). Disk capacities range from 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB, 3 TB and 4 TB of data in a single cartridge. These removable disk cartridges are forward and backward compatible with all the HPE RDX USB 3.0 internal and external docking stations, lowering your overall cost of ownership.

Okay, that’s the marketing speech — let’s talk real life now.

Simple, well-constructed hardware

I am using the external dock. There is also a version which is mounted into a server. The external version best fits my use, allowing me to use it across multiple systems and locations. The case itself seems solid and robust with shock protection provide by rubber panels. The power cord is clamped on both DC ends with what appear to be ferrite suppression clamps. I love that extra quality design touch which helps eliminate electrical interference.

I confirmed that the USB cable also will power the drive when the “Y”-end is plugged into two USB ports. The cartridges come in varied capacities up to 4 TB. The sweet spot for me is 1 TB although I am working with a 500 GB cartridge right now.

No dismay — plug and play

The setup is simple: connect the USB and power to the external dock, plug in the power cord, and insert the cartridge. I am using this to back up data from a Windows 10 Pro workstation. I regularly back up a data folder to an internal drive, so this 500 GB cartridge is just barely large enough. I’ll need a couple 1 TB cartridges soon, or perhaps larger which would allow multiple backups per cartridge as well as some virtual machines.

I like the idea of having a supplemental offsite backup which is not cloud: that could be another office, a trusted individual’s residence (hmm, be careful whom you trust), or an old school safe deposit box. The point is to have another non-cloud backup available offsite and routinely to rotate the cartridges. I would also consider having a backup external dock offsite as well — perhaps not in the same site where the cartridges are stored, depending on one’s level of security requirements.

Should I stay or should I go — removable or fixed disk settings

The default setting is a removable drive which does removable drive things, but one can change to fixed disk and open up other possibilities. Formatting options are standard, NTFS or exFAT (I’m still waiting for an exSLIM file system) .

The cartridge may be locked with a small red switch to prevent accidental overwriting. The device will not encrypt the data on its own.

Bootable disk? Sure, I tried it. Windows Media Creation Tool worked just fine to make a bootable installation disk. That’s not really a use case for me, but it did work, as should any way you might normally expect a removable disk to work.


This is a good storage layer to supplement a disaster recovery protocol. If you don’t have a physical offsite backup process (i.e., not cloud based) to supplement your normal backup system, be that to back up locally or to back up via cloud, consider this option as an inexpensive and simple method to foray into offsite disaster recovery.

  • Inexpensive
  • Not cloud based
  • More rugged than a plain drive
  • Easy to use
  • Functions as removable or fixed disk
  • Format as NTFS or exFAT

Contact your BackupWorks Account rep today and ask about RDX Storage for your data storage needs


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