IO Data is set to ship the first removable hard drive based on the IVDR (Information Versatile Disk for Removable) specification. The system is comprised of a hard disk drive sealed in a case which fits into an adapter housing with a USB 2 interface (with USB 1 backwards compatibility.) The initial release will have a 20GB capacity on a 1.8in hard drive in a 3.14 x 2.6 inch cartridge, with larger capacities planned. The adapter and disk will run $323, and disks a la carte at $229.
Meanwhile, Iomega is already producing a similar doodad. The Rev is a 35GB removable hard drive that is aimed at supplanting tape devices for backups and archiving. The Rev costs $400 for the external USB 2.0 unit and $380 for an internal ATAPI drive, both with a bundled disk. The disks alone cost $60 each, or 4 for $200. That makes the IO Data unit seem terribly expensive. Let’s see what Moore’s Law does with that.
I’ve been looking at alternatives to my old, slow tape drive system, which now fills five compressed 60GB tapes and takes two days to do a full backup (I like incrementals!) I’ve been toying with the idea of using a hot-swap RAID tower with a stack of big hard drives instead of a tape library, but the cost and complexity of that is making me hesitate. Either the IO Data or Iomega units might be just the ticket.