Iomega Doubles REV Removable Hard Disk Capacity

Iomega on Tuesday unveiled USB 2.0 and ATAPI versions of its new 70-Gbyte REV removable hard disks, which double the capacity of its current 35-Gbyte models, said Tom Kampfer, president and COO of the San Diego-based storage vendor.

The REV product line consists of a drive that fits in a server, PC or autoloader, along with 35-Gbyte or 70-Gbyte disk cartridges. The cartridges, unlike the Iomega's older Zip drives, are based on the same technology used by traditional hard-drive vendors and are sealed from dust, moisture and other environmental conditions. However, as with tape cartridges, they can be inserted and removed for off-site storage. Those capacity points also can be doubled using software compression, if needed.

"So far, we have sold 225,000 REV 35 drives and 1.2 million disk cartridges," Kampfer said. "We think the REV 70 opportunity is much greater now that we have a [product] family now."

The REV 70 drives can read data from and write data to the REV 70 cartridges and the older REV 35 cartridges, but not vice versa, Kampfer said.

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Jon Ouzts, sales manager at Advanced Automation, a Norcross, Ga.-based solution provider, said that in the two-plus years his company has worked with REV technology, it has found the removable drives a great fit for medical and dental office customers.

"They are using REV to rotate disks off-site for disaster recovery," Ouzts said. "Tapes don't work so well in those environments, especially in dental offices where sprays used on customers' teeth can create a lot of dust and debris. The REV drives are fully enclosed."

The REV drives also are easier to use that tape, he added. "It's easier to check a hard drive to see if the information is there than it is to check a tape. A REV disk looks exactly like a hard drive."

Besides selling the REV 70 technology to new customers, Ouzts said he expects to upgrade a lot of his REV 35 customers to the new technology. "Customers will have to upgrade," he said. "They are accumulating so much data. They are waiting for the new products."

Kampfer said Iomega plans to release an autoloader that can take advantage of the REV 70 technology in the next couple of months.

The REV 70 drives and cartridges are available now as stand-alone items. Starting in August, they will be able to be purchased in a bundle that includes a drive, five disks and backup software. Computer Associates' ARCserve software is bundled for servers, and EMC's Retrospect software is bundled for desktops and workstations.