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Neither Fire nor Water Can Harm These ioSafe Drives

UPDATED: If you ever have the urge to literally bake a computer hard drive at high temperature and see if it survives to deliver data another day, well, don't bother. Fujitsu and a newish company called ioSafe already have been there and done that.

And they are quite willing to give you a full report on it, too. ioSafe is a provider of disaster-proof hardware and disaster recovery services; Fujitsu, of course, makes hard drives, among other things.

Tomorrow, Aug. 26, the two companies will announce that they are partnering to deliver the world's first disaster-protected internal 3.5-inch SATA (Serial ATA) hard drive. This is a drive that can withstand constant temperatures up to a searing 1,400 degrees F. for a full 15 minutes. It also cannot be drowned by immersion in salt, fresh or even muddy water at depths of up to 5 feet for 24 hours.

So extreme fire and water damage can't destroy it. A large explosion, well, that might be a problem. But that's for another blog item.

ioSafe makes an intelligently constructed casing for 2.5-inch drives that fits into a 3.5-inch drive placement. The ioSafe drive then becomes its own planet -- a cooling faculty (fan), its own aeration system, its own connectivity -- yet won't let water into the drive if you drop it in the drink. How, you ask, can this be possible? That's the magic of it.

The drives come in storage increments starting at 80GB and topping out at 320GB. They normally run anywhere from $300 to $450 apiece -- but ioSafe is selling them for $99 now in limited quantities as a promotional deal. Don't know how long they will be listing them at that price.

The implications of this could be huge. If you're running a data center and are not prepared to employ a full-blown disaster recovery package for any reason, you can simply buy these drives, install them and know that it would take only a major disaster to destroy them. You could buy a few and keep the most important data on them, for example.

"We selected Fujitsu's drives to use in our ioSafe 3.5 series after our tests proved it performed better than every other hard drive on the market," ioSafe CEO Robb Moore told The Station. "In fact, all of the Fujitsu drives continued to work (or perform properly) after our heat testing."

There's also a pretty strong service program, which amounts to an insurance policy, backing these up. If there is a problem with one of ioSafe's drives, ioSafe will pay for transport to and from the fix-it shop (could be DriveSavers, Ontrack or Seagate Services, for example) and will pay up to $2,500 per disk to get it fixed. No typo there. Twenty-five hundred bucks.

So, this is an intriguing alternative -- aimed squarely at SMBs -- to investing a lot of money in a full DR system. Maybe it's worth checking out here.

Check out this YouTube video from a local television report.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...