Iomega Rolls Out 120GB Backup Drive
New removable disk backup will be priced lower than the previous 70GB version, CEO says.
The new drive represents the third generation of the company's REV technology, which divides its components into a drive bay and a low-cost removable disk. The sensitive drive heads and electronics reside in the REV drive bay; a hard disk and fluid-dynamic bearing motor are located in the ruggedized REV disk.
The announcement was made at CeBIT 2008, the international technology tradeshow that opened March 3 in Hanover, Germany, and continues through March 9.
The REV 120GB Backup Drive is expected to be available worldwide in April as both external USB 2.0 and internal SATA (serial ATA) interface models; a REV 120GB ATAPI (Advanced Technology Attachment Packet Interface) model is planned for midyear, Iomega President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Kampfer told eWEEK.
"Compared to entry-level tape products like LTO-1 and DAT160 format tape drives, the new REV 120GB Backup Drive offers more native capacity, near instantaneous random access to files, faster backups and restores, and ruggedized cartridges-all at a much better drive price," Kampfer said.
REV drives offer a multimedia enthusiast a storage package for libraries of content, with each 120GB REV disk holding approximately 48,000 photos, 2,000 hours of music or 12 hours of high-definition video, Kampfer said.
The drive features transfer rates of up to 35M bps, third-party software support and an estimated 30-year archival life, Kampfer said.
"The fact that they now have a 120GB REV drive is quite a feat-that can't be easy to do," Bob Amatruda, senior analyst for tape and removable storage at IDC, told eWEEK. "They've had to do a lot of innovation in the heads, for example, and that's pretty amazing."
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There are a few key points to make with this release, Amatruda said.
"First, this is the third generation of the product; the company continues to invest in the technology, so that tells you a lot," he said.
"Second, the fact that they've sold more than 2 million disks and 350,000 drives is very impressive; and third, the fact that the 120GB drive is read-compatible to the previous 35 and 70GB drives is a very nice feature for all previous customers, so they can continue to use their old cartridges in the same frame if they want to."
Iomega introduced its REV technology with the first-generation REV 35GB Backup Drive in 2004, followed by the second-generation REV 70GB Backup Drive in 2006.
The company competes with Quantum's GoVault and similar products from ProStor, Tandberg, Imation and Dell.
"With a REV install base of 350,000 drives and 2 million disks, [we believe] tape backup for small business has worn out its welcome," Kampfer said.
Kampfer said the pricing has been set but that the company will announce it when it becomes available in April.
"I can tell you that the price for the 120GB drives will be below that of the 70GB drives, and we'll drop the price for those, too," Kampfer said.
The 70GB REV drives are currently selling for $554.95, according to the Iomega Web site.