ProStor Systems has announced its RDX removable disk cartridge to replace tape. The product is a ruggedised, removable cartridge, backs up over 100 GB per hour and retrieves files in milliseconds. This appears to be the first disk-based, true tape cartridge replacement technology.

The cartridge has a 2.5in drive mounted in a shock-proof system. Adaptive Archive technology augments the drive's own error-correction technology. ProStor says it provides a 1,000 times improvement in data reliability, giving users "a 99.999 percent confidence level that their data will be protected for more than a decade". The cartridge looks and acts like tape, and should work seamlessly with backup software.

ProStor wheeled out an analyst for support. IDC research manager Robert Armatruda said: "ProStor System's RDX disk cartridge technology provides a fast, affordable, random access data protection solution for servers and workstations."

There are other tape-replacement-by-disk initiatives:

  • Imation recently introduced a removable disk cartridge masquerading as tape.
  • Spectra Logic, a tape library supplier, is said to have a removable disk cartridge RXT technology in test
  • Maxtor, Western Digital and Seagate all ship external USB drives which are removable and used for PC/notebook backup.- but aren't reliable enough for everyday business use.
  • Copan and Nexsan MAID product use an array of disks to replace a tape library. The disks aren't removable though. Instead they are spun down and left in the array until required.

ProStore was founded in May last year to design and build disk-based tape replacement technology. It needs partners to build its product into devices that look and behave like tape automation products - autoloaders and libraries. The RDX products are now in beta test and general availability is expected to be next year. No pricing information was supplied.