Ever wanted an indestructable hard drive? DataFortress is offering one that can survive fire, flood and bomb attacks.

It is basically a data centre in a safe, and includes hard disk drive bays, power and data connections in a fire-proof container. Most importantly, it potentially offers smaller businesses a 40 percent cost saving on a comparable recovery setup if there is a network disaster.

The DataFortress carries a U/L Class 125 half-hour rating, meaning it can withstand a fire reaching 843 degrees centigrade for 30 minutes. Twin disk versions are set to RAID O+1 and can stripe data across disks or mirror it between them.

It is similar to Maxtor's OneTouch III package of external hard drive with Retrospect but adds a lockable, fire safe-type enclosure. During normal operations data is backed up to disk inside the DataFortress. If disaster strikes then the hard drives are removed from the safe, installed in a replacement server, and the data restored. This is much faster than using tape-based restore and much cheaper than having a standby server located in a separate data centre, and networked to your primary server.

DataFortress spokesperson Mark Kohoot said: "It can easily cost $12,000 or more to have two servers in two data centres networked together. If disaster strikes a business with one server, costing $2,000, and a $2,900 Data Fortress, then it buys a new server, $2,000 again, plugs in the DataFortress disks, recovers and starts operations again. The total cost is $6,900 compared to the dual networked data centre cost of $12,000. Your cost saving is 42 percent and your business is up and running in hours or days instead of it taking weeks."

DataFortress comes in capacities of 120GB, 200GB and 320GB with RAID-protected twin disk versions of the 200 and 320GB units. Prices range from $2,656 to $3,550, about £1,500 - £2,100. Higher capacity versions are slated for roll out in the spring. The product is avaulable now with stocks held in France.