Iomega Ships REVed Up Tape Rival

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Iomega Monday commenced shipping its disk-based challenger to tape, namely the REV 35GB/90GB drive and storage media.

The device can store up to 90GB of compressed data on standard 35GB REV disks using the company’s Automatic Backup Pro software, which offers 2.6:1 compression (hence the 35GB/90GB moniker). Measuring 10 x 77 x 75mm (smaller than a deck of cards), REV media can store and retrieve data up to eight times faster than DDS-4 tape, according to Iomega.

Iomega REV Drive

Iomega REV Drive

The drive/disk combo can reach a maximum sustained transfer rate of 25 MB per second (MBps) and an average transfer rate 20 MBps. Average access time is clocked at 13 ms. The company estimates that the media is built to survive being overwritten more than a million times and will last at least 30 years.

In addition to the aforementioned Backup Pro, the drive ships with Symantec’s Norton Ghost for REV disaster recovery software. Iomega also plans to integrate Boot and Run software later in the year. The Boot and Run application makes it possible to run an OS and applications on a REV drive in the event of a failed hard drive, keeping systems up and running until the troubled drive can be replaced.

REV is aimed at home and small business users in need of speedy backup and recovery and who may be put off by the limitations of tape backup products. Werner Heid, president and CEO of Iomega, said in a release that the “relatively fragile, slow, and expensive linear-access technology” of tape-based storage makes REV a compelling alternative.

Not surprisingly, Iomega has enterprise ambitions for REV. The company is working with BDT GmbH & Co. K.G., a maker of tape autoloaders for IBM , HP , Quantum , and ADIC , on exploring the possibility of creating autoloaders based on the technology.

According to BDT president and CEO Glenn Klein, REV technology from BDT in the form of BDT/Iomega-branded autoloader products could arrive as early as the second half of this year.

Pricing for the new REV drive starts at $399.99 for an external USB 2.0 model with a bundled disk. The internal ATAPI version, which also includes one REV disk, costs $379.99. Additional disks are priced at $59.99 each, or $199.95 for a pack of four.

Currently, the product only supports Microsoft Windows systems (XP, Server 2003 Standard Edition, and Windows 2000 SP3 and SP4). Hardware requirements include a PC with a 333 MHz Pentium II or above and USB 1.1 or USB 2.0.

FireWire, SCSI, and Serial ATA (SATA) variants of the drive are expected to ship in the latter half of the year.

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Pedro Hernandez
Pedro Hernandez
Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to Datamation, eWEEK, and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of IT-related websites and as the Green IT curator for GigaOM Pro.

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