Imation has launched Odyssey removable hard drive technology for small business data protection. Users would load a cartridge, containing a shock-proofed 2.5 inch serial ATA (SATA) hard drive, into a docking station. The docking station fits into a standard server 3.5 inch bay and connects into the server's bus structure.

Imation is now looking for partnes to build the technology into end-user products for Windows servers. They would need to ensure that data protection software could use Odyssey. With it end-users could operate a traditional grandfather-father-son backup sequence using three cartridges.

The product would compete with existing tape drive-based server data backup products such as Travan and DAT-32, by offering much faster backup and restore times. It would not be suitable for Microsoft DPM use because that requires a separate DPM server.

It would also compete with USB-attached external backup drives, presumably by ofering faster I/O than a USB 2.0 cable.

Iomega already has removable hard drive technology with its Rev products. These are available either as drives or auto-loaders and cartridges can hold 35GB - 70GB versions are coming. Imation Odyssey cartridges could hold 100GB or more, depending upon drive manufacturer specifications. For example, Seagate introduced 160GB 2.5 inch drives in June, 205, using perpendicular recording technology.

Imation has previously announced its Ulysses removable hard drive technology. This presents a docking station installed in a tape library as an LTO2 drive with the disk cartridge presumed to be a tape cartridge by both the tape library robotics and a server's backup software.

Imation says it offers both faster backup and faster restore than a tape cartridge and does so without affecting the existing tape library infrastructure too much. Sun and Qualstar are working with Imation; Qualstar to integrate Ulysses technology into its tape library product lines; Sun is reviewing the technology.