Removable disk for business IT use needs a different (and tougher) format than one for consumer use. That's why ProStor's RDX differs from the iVDR specification.

Steve Georgis, ProStor Systems' president and CEO, was kind enough to offer his views on the differences between the removable disk specifications being worked on by the iVDR consortium and ProStor's own RDX format.

He said: "The iVDR consortium is targeting consumer applications like A/V (audio-visual) and automobile markets unlike RDX which targets business and enterprise IT applications."

"The iVDR data cartridge is dramatically different than ProStor's RDX in several ways. First, iVDR does not contain any shock proofing to ruggedise the HDD or ventilation to keep the HDD (hard disk drive) from overheating during high-duty-cycle operation. IT data storage usage requires a more robust and reliable cartridge like RDX which is fully shock-proofed and thermally ventilated to ensure reliable operation of the HDD."

"Second, the iVDR design requires a custom designed HDD with a non-standard interface connector. Unlike RDX which uses a standard SATA connection, low-cost commodity HDDs cannot be used in the iVDR cartridge. This will ultimately mean that iVDR is more expensive until multiple HDD vendors begin to supply drives for iVDR in high volumes."

"All-in-all iVDR is addressing a different market segment than RDX, but serves as another good example of how removable disk is permeating many new applications."

He also suggests that Seagate's joining the iVDR consortium is consistent with its recent push into consumer markets.

These are all good points and make the thought that people face conflicting removable disk standards less valid. It seems unlikely that iVDR removable disks will appear in business IT applications.