Posted by: Eric Slack
data backup, data archiving, Eric Slack, removable media, Storage Channel
For VARs unfamiliar with RDX storage, it’s an innovative technology that may deserve a place on your line card. It’s essentially a removable hard disk drive that’s close to the size of an LTO cartridge. The drives are ruggedized, not from a Mil-Spec sense, but they’re made to be handled like a tape cartridge and can facilitate off-site data movement for backup and DR. Being a true random-access device, they also offer a way to extend an archive by storing cartridges on the shelf but can support much faster searching and file recovery than can linear tape. The other advantage they have in an archive use case is longevity. The dock essentially provides only power and connectivity — the disk drive is in the cartridge — so old RDX storage “media” doesn’t require users to keep older-generation docks around to replay them.
RDX was invented by ProStor, a Boulder, Colo., company that licenses the technology to a number of OEMs, including iMation, Tandberg and BDT. ProStor markets a line of NAS devices called InfiniVault, which incorporate RDX with spinning disk drives to create a tiered storage device for archiving fixed-content, digital assets. Last week ProStor sold the RDX storage technology to backup manufacturer Tandberg Data and will focus on its InfiniVault business as an OEM partner for RDX.
Tandberg won a Bronze award from Storage magazine for Products of the Year in 2010 for its AccuVault RDX. This solution is focused at the backup market, with embedded AccuGuard software, which offers backup and source-side deduplication to increase effective backup capacity and reduce LAN bandwidth requirements. With the off-site portability of RDX storage cartridges, this system is an all-in-one data protection and DR solution for SMB/SME customers.
RDX is a truly unique technology that can give you something different to show an existing customer or a way into a new account. Initially, RDX was used as a simple backup target for companies that required data be taken off-site or in archive applications that had a compliance requirement (RDX shelf life meets the retention time periods and can be used as WORM to replace optical storage). AccuVault greatly enhances the first use case as a complete backup solution in an appliance form factor, enabling users to safely carry backups off-site, as many have been doing with tapes or USB drives. InfiniVault can get you into accounts that use optical media and are looking for a way off that obsolete technology. The new Model 70 can support up to three disk drive shelves, in addition to RDX, making it a good shared-storage NAS solution, in addition to an archive.
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