ProStor Increases RDX Removable Drive Capacity, Aims For Cloud

hard drive

ProStor is the developer of the RDX removable hard disk cartridges. The RDX cartridges are similar in size and format to tape cartridges, and can be taken out and stored for archive and recovery purposes in the same fashion as tape.

The new version of the RDX cartridge now features 640 GB in capacity, said Steve Georgis, founder and general manager of the Boulder, Colo.-based storage vendor.

By mid-2010, ProStor expects to release a 1-TB version, Georgis said.

The RDX cartridges come complete with a 2.5-inch mobile hard drive inside. ProStor uses hard drives from all five mobile drive vendors. "It's nice for our OEMs, because they can specify their preferred hard drives," he said.

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ProStor is targeting SMBs that are looking to move away from tape as their primary backup-and-restore medium. Georgis said that DAT tape, which is most common in the SMB market, has a smaller capacity and slower speed than RDX hard drives, and costs about $900 for one drive and cartridge compared to about $250 for an RDX drive and cartridge.

ProStor is also moving toward making it easier for customers to work with cloud-based storage services, Georgis said.

Currently, when a customer either does its first backup to a storage cloud, or does a complete restore from the cloud, it has to send a hard drive through a service such as FedEx.

This is because small businesses cannot afford the kind of bandwidth to handle so much data, Georgis said. "A T-1 line, fully utilized, can only handle 13 GB of data per day," he said.

However, sending a hard drive through FedEx can be risky because of rough handling. Therefore, ProStor is developing relationships with cloud storage providers to use RDX disk cartridges instead of standard hard disks because of the RDX cartridge's increased ruggedness, he said.

RDX cartridges, because of a proven 30-year shelf life, lower per-GB cost than tape cartridges, and WORM (write once, read many) capabilities, are also good for archiving of data, Georgis said. He estimated that data can be archived using RDX cartridges for a cost of 12 cents per GB per year.