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  • ant6n - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

    Most of the inventions related to cooling the drive while fire/water-proofing will be moot once SSDs get cheaper. Maybe they should focus on finding ways to redundantly store data in SSDs in a fire/water proofed way. Reply
  • ganeshts - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

    ioSafe has a disaster proof SSD solution also. Why do you think fire/water proofing is not necessary for SSDs? Reply
  • bji - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

    I think you misunderstood the comment.

    The comment was that COOLING THE DRIVE is not necessary for an SSD which makes it easier to develop fire/water proof solutions based on SSDs.

    The comment was NOT that fire/water proofing is not necessary for SSDs.
    Reply
  • B-Unit1701 - Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - link

    I would imagine that is the basis for the internal drive plugged at the end of the article. A standard sized SSD in a 5/12" vault. Reply
  • PostToaster - Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - link


    bji -

    Mmh didn't misunderstand your comment. You mis-wrote it. You should have said "trivial" instead of "moot". They mean different things.
    Reply
  • robb.moore - Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - link

    Hi bjl-
    Cooling electronics is always important as HDDs, like SSDs, all generate heat. SSDs generally do generate less heat than HDDs at idle but when operating - they both use about 4-5W of energy. Even 1W in a small enough enclosure can get incredibly hot if insulated.

    ioSafe technology is about how to built a heat generating computer in a perfectly insulated box. It's tricky to do both at a price point that everyone can afford. Thanks for your comments!
    -Robb

    Robb Moore
    CEO
    ioSafe
    Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, April 12, 2012 - link

    I agree. 5-watt SSD's get pretty hot, you can't just put them in an air-tight enclosure. I've read a number of stories involving OCZ's drives (among the highest wattage drives) failing in laptops, especially older Thinkpad's that were designed for 4200RPM drives. Reply
  • g00ey - Thursday, April 12, 2012 - link

    I'm still concerned about the integrity of data storage. It is a well known fact that storage devices are prone to failure no matter how fire- and waterproof you make them. This means that some form of redundancy is required and at the moment only ZFS can deliver proper protection against data corruption.

    File systems such as BrtFS and HammerFS look promising but it will take years until they can deliver the same data integrity protection as ZFS currently does.
    Reply
  • robb.moore - Thursday, April 12, 2012 - link

    Agreed - redundant copies of the data is VERY important. (See 3-2-1 Backup in the comments further down.)

    The simple choice with ioSafe is that if you're going to buy an external hard drive anyway...would you like the RED hard drive or the FIREPROOF WATERPROOF hard drive for your data.

    -Robb

    Robb Moore
    CEO
    ioSafe
    Reply
  • JNo - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

    Off site cloud storage (as well as onsite secondary backup system) is surely the way to go? Onsite backup can burn down too but one or more cloud systems are unlikely to go down simultaneously. Now if only it was cheap enough to back up my movie collection as well as my documents :) Reply
  • ganeshts - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

    Many companies are still paranoid about cloud storage (security and other concerns).

    Syncing data in real time from the main office to the cloud is also dependent on the bandwidth available.

    Yes, the cost is a concern. I am hoping that ioSafe can easily scale up the number of disks without increasing the cost of the enclosure too much.
    Reply
  • zanon - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

    Onsite matters for rapid recovery from hardware failure, but in this age I think it's highly questionable for serious disaster recovery. Syncing to your own offsite location (between friends and family for example) offers far more robust protection for nothing beyond the hardware, which not needing to be "disaster proof" per se carries no premium. Good cloud backup is cheap and even more reliable. Encryption means that there are no inherent security issues beyond one's own. A $200 premium will buy more then *5 years* of cloud service for something like CrashPlan+.

    This seems like an interesting product, but with a pretty niche application of areas that do not have broadband access. Those applications absolutely do exist of course, but it's a shrinking market, and even then it'd still generally be smart to buy some duplicate media and rotate it offsite manually.
    Reply
  • robb.moore - Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - link

    Hi zanon and cloud surely-

    Over the years, we've experience numerous disasters with users backing up on nearly 100K ioSafe units . When used in conjunction with our Data Recovery Service, our users are better than 99.9% success of retaining their data - human error, hdd crashes, fires, floods, etc. ioSafe is making a difference in our customer's lives. Much better imo than the 50% of people that have typically lost data.

    Our opinion is that the public cloud is great for backing up 20, 30 or maybe even 100GB but it starts to break down after that. It's faster to FedEx a TB across the country than to pipe it over the cloud. If you're a small business, you need to get your business back tomorrow - not next week after all your customers have gone somewhere else.

    I have 2TB+ at home on my Synology NAS and CrashPlan, Mozy, etc. simply isn't an option for people in this position as "unlimited" cloud storage is "limited" to data files on a PC and doesn't backup the OS, programs or NAS devices. Rotating media offsite regularly is a pain and I often can't remember to do it. I use a SoloPRO as a backup target for my NAS. With that I get fire, flood, RAID, NAS, "private cloud access" and backup - all without having to install any additional software on my computer.

    Disaster proofing terabytes of data, imaging multiple PC OS's, programs, settings, etc. is tough. There's no magic bullet for every situation. ioSafe technology is intended to be used wherever data sits vulnerable and be a simple "disaster plan in a box" solution for data backup and protection.

    Combined with cloud and offsite vaulting as you like - ioSafe technology can be layered in wherever vulnerable data exits or your recovery time objective demands.

    Great comments - thanks!
    -Robb

    Robb Moore
    CEO
    ioSafe
    Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, April 12, 2012 - link

    Robb, this is great technology. I've been an IT consultant for small business for 10 years and have a number of clients, especially those with small medical practices, that are paranoid about off-site backup solutions. Most of my clients use Carbonite, iDrive, or CTERA without hesitation, but there are a few they just rely on local tape backups or external hard drives that have no fire protection. I try to have clients always keep a rotating tape or hard drive in a fire safe, but there is a lot of room for human error as they can be weeks out of date when someone forgets.

    I will be trying one of your drives shortly. It's mind boggling you are the first to market something like this when it has been a field waiting to be exploited for 30+ years.
    Reply
  • stolid - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

    It seems like it would defeat the purpose if the drive were to fail in a typical manner. This would be cooler if it were two drives within the enclosure in RAID1. Reply
  • robb.moore - Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - link

    Thanks stolid-
    We're constantly working on new products with ioSafe technology - stay tuned!

    That being said - the ioSafe SoloPRO is meant as a backup target - not primary storage. At ioSafe we highly recommend that our users follow a minimum of our 3-2-1 Backup Rule:

    <> Keep at least 3 complete copies of your data
    <> Keep them on at least 2 different devices
    <> 1 copy should be on an ioSafe, taken offsite or disaster proofed in someway

    Even a RAID 1 device can be accidentally formated or have RAID controller failure causing all the data to be lost. RAID is not "backup". Humans have, many times, pulled the wrong "dead" drive from a RAID 5 array only to discover that the entire array is now corrupt.

    Again - just a guideline. Everybody's situation is a little different. Do what makes sense for your data, computer, business, etc.

    Thanks!
    -Robb

    Robb Moore
    CEO
    ioSafe
    Reply
  • P_Dub_S - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

    I have a 1TB Solo and it works great in conjunction with Mozy backup. The server is on a RAID 5 that backs up the entire server locally on the ioSafe incase more than one drive dies or fire/water damage. Then I use Mozy to backup the company data. Very cost efficient backup solution for a small business with under 20 users. Reply
  • robb.moore - Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - link

    that's perfect - thanks P_Dub_S. Layering different technologies together to make a disaster recovery plan that works for you is the way to do it.

    We have 3 ioSafe's go through the Joplin tornadoes. All the offices were destroyed. They recovered all servers the next day.

    Tough to do via a pure cloud solution - pushing a pulling TB's of data up and down across an internet connection that's a shredded wire :) The added problem of all the original program disks scattered across the neighboring county!

    -Robb

    Robb Moore
    CEO
    ioSafe
    Reply
  • zanon - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

    The cloud stuff in this article is really silly.
    Home users dealing with small amounts of data can always back up their contents using cloud services like Dropbox and Box.net.
    [...]
    However, the former is not suitable for large amounts of data (say, more than a few hundred GBs),

    For small amounts of data, an online backup service should suffice.

    It is not 2005 anymore. Dropbox and the like are general cloud services, not dedicated backup services. Dedicated backup services, like CrashPlan and Carbonite, offer unlimited plans for $3-5 a month. There are even seeding options, wherein they send you a 1TB (or whatever size) drive by mail to start things off for people with slower connections (and vice versa, can pay for a courier service to get data back rather then downloading it). Terabytes of storage is plenty for the vast majority of home users.

    After initial replication, obviously backup is incremental. If someone is actually generating many gigs per day in critical new data and has a slow connection, then yes, local is important. I don't think that is describing either most home users or most small businesses, however.
    Serious businesses always have an off-site tape backup or some other similar mechanism for data backup.
    [...]
    and the latter is not suitable for making a disaster proof copy of files changed recently.

    Ridiculous. Serious businesses have real time online backup offsite, if not to multiple offsite locations.
    Many small and medium businesses continue to remain paranoid about cloud storage.

    Maybe so, but that's due to either miseducation or stupidity, and Anandtech shouldn't be feeding either. This site should be better then that :\.
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

    zanon, I am sorry you feel that way about my approach to the cloud in this piece.

    I see your point about Carbonite and CrashPlan, but what is the guarantee that the company won't shut shop suddenly ? Rather than trusting someone with their backups, some people might prefer to have their data close by.

    I won't comment on the real time online backup offsite comment, but I do know of companies personally which do an offsite backup once a week (Think in terms of non-IT companies). I do see that ioSafe claims McD, Best Western, Sheraton Group etc. as customers, and I am sure they have their own reasons for choosing ioSafe as their disaster proofing solution.
    Reply
  • zanon - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

    First, thanks for your reply! Regardless of the situation, it's always appreciated when the author gives feedback.

    My biggest fundamental problem with your coverage is that I really think it does get some key points wrong and do a disservice to readers who might not know better. There are certainly valid reasons why a local solution might be useful/necessary, but storage and security aren't among them and Anandtech isn't a site that should be fuzzy with the details on matters like this, IMO.
    I see your point about Carbonite and CrashPlan, but what is the guarantee that the company won't shut shop suddenly?

    This is silly. You have no "guarantees", per se, about anything tech related. What's your "guarantee" that a meteor won't come out of nowhere and obliterate Microsoft next week? Nothing. But that's not how data security or uptime is managed, no one ever says "100%", it's all about probability, and how many "9's" you're willing to pay for. A company like Code 42 or Amazon have been around many years now, and appear to have very stable models. Same with all the other reputable players. The odds of them just up and vanishing without warning are miniscule, and the important thing is that those odds are weighed against the risk odds of the individual, which are far more significant.
    Rather than trusting someone with their backups, some people might prefer to have their data close by.

    No common individual can even vaguely match the kind of backup and redundancy that a pro solution can. Good ones have replication to multiple redundant data centers (which in turn have their own replication). They have physical and environmental security. Having data "close by" is good as a secondary level to aid in rapid restores (for hardware failure and such). But a hardened case won't necessarily work for serious disasters, or against some of the most key threats of all, like theft (or confiscation). A single drive with no redundancy isn't even much use against data corruption.
    I won't comment on the real time online backup offsite comment, but I do know of companies personally which do an offsite backup once a week...and I am sure they have their own reasons for choosing ioSafe as their disaster proofing solution.

    Oh, I'm sure too. There are situations where a given location may simply not have access to broadband, or only via something expensive/highly asymmetric like satellite. When data is expensive enough, it also just makes sense to have multiple redundant setups in place. But if they could do an online remote solution as well (online remote doesn't mean "cloud" necessarily) but aren't because they're worried about space, security, or more likely are just ignorant that's not a shining example for you to point to, that's companies being foolish, as they so often are. We know better.

    It's worth repeating and double emphasizing too that "remote replication" doesn't necessarily mean "cloud". Software like CrashPlan (or lots of others, or roll your own with open source), for free, enables backing up to any system connected to the net. So a few friends living in different areas can all agree to host backups for each other (or a business might replicate between offices).

    Thanks again for your response.
    Reply
  • robb.moore - Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - link

    Hi zanon-
    Great comments - you seem like a really knowledgeable person. Couple of observations:

    1. The Pentagon uses ioSafe. Arguably with the biggest IT budget on the planet, why choose ioSafe? They have a remote office with Macs. Pentagon runs on Windows. The remote office has vulnerable data, at risk and they're not allowed to backup over the internet due to security concerns.

    2. "Serious" business with thousands of remote offices choose ioSafe to backup vulnerable data not in the data center. They utilize ioSafe as a temporary backup location until the data can be uploaded or taken offsite. ioSafe plugs a vulnerability in their DR plans. It's not perfect but it was better than having thousands of endpoints backing up to the data center between the hours of 2am and 4am.

    3. Many IT people don't like the idea of perpetual incrementals. They prefer to take daily or weekly snapshots of the entire server, OS and programs and recover from "clean" images. Balancing Recovery Time Objective (RTO) with Recovery Point Objective (RPO) is tricky for all businesses to do more with less. ioSafe can often times help RPO/RTO for business with vulnerable data and limited budgets.

    4. Data creation outpaces online bandwidth in growth. This is expected to remain true for decades to come. It's as if the Atlantic Ocean is growing faster than the garden hose you're pushing it through. Data created locally will generally stay local. Data created in the cloud will generally stay in the cloud. It's tough to push massive amounts of data across a pipe that proportionally getting smaller over time.

    We're big fans of the private cloud - Local data that can be access remotely on any device. ioSafe is one solution of many to help mitigate the risk of loss for the local data. Every situation is a little different though.

    Excellent comments.

    -Robb

    Robb Moore
    CEO
    ioSafe
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

    "The unit protects data from loss up to 1550°F for 1/2 hour as per ASTM E119"

    Without comparison to major house/apartment/office fire numbers this rating by itself is fairly meaningless. My biggest question would be what does the long tail of fire heating to do it? The main blaze could be extinguished in a house fire within the 30m timeframe; but fire fighters need to hang around for hours afterwards because hot spots will periodically flare back up.
    Reply
  • robb.moore - Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - link

    Hi Dan-

    The average house fire lasts 10-20 minutes at about 1100 degrees. Almost all fires involve water. In fact most of the damage is done by the fire fighter hoses than by the fire. Typically, when a room burns, all the fuel in the room is used up in a relatively short time. If a building burns for a couple hours, it's not the same spot burning as the fuel gets used up over a few minutes.

    1400 degrees is a VERY hot section of the fire (typically right at the ceiling. As you move downward in the room, the temps drop into the 300-400 degs F near the floor.

    -Robb

    Robb Moore
    CEO
    ioSafe
    Reply
  • rs2 - Monday, April 09, 2012 - link

    A simple hard-drive failure is a far more likely occurrence than a fire or a flood, and for all its imposing presence and costly engineering this solution does nothing whatsoever to protect against internal failure of the mechanical disk. That shows a troubling lack of foresight.

    Would it have been so difficult for them to also include some sort of cloud-based data backup/replication service with this device? Obviously the people in the market for such a product are people who seriously care about the safety of their data, so it would make sense to market a solution that covers all common failure modes; fire, flood, and physical device failure.
    Reply
  • robb.moore - Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - link

    Hi rs2-

    As mentioned in a previous response:

    That being said - the ioSafe SoloPRO is meant as a backup target - not primary storage. At ioSafe we highly recommend that our users follow a minimum of our 3-2-1 Backup Rule.

    Human error (accidental deletion, format, etc.) is our #1 reason for recovery. It's amazing to me how many people confuse "backup" to mean "move" and not "copy"

    It's very wrong (as I think you're trying to explain) to "move" all your data onto a single drive. It's also very wrong to move all your data onto a 100 disk RAID array without a backup.

    It's just as easy to accidentally format a large RAID array as it is a single disk - the human is the weak link.

    We've considered layering in some kind of cloud offering. Mozy and Carbonite both recommend onsite external drives to supplement their cloud backup. I guess I see it as we're better than 99.9% "good" already. There are lots of companies that do cloud backup and there's only one ioSafe.

    thanks for the comments!

    -Robb

    Robb Moore
    CEO
    ioSafe
    Reply
  • DonCBurr - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Robb
    I agree with your 3.2.1 strategy and I agree with your analyses of the cloud when data becomes large which is why I like this concept; but I have to disagree with the idea of a single drive rather than RAID 1

    Even in my home environment data is stored in RAID 50 (fifty) and complete images are backed up to external drive RAID 1 drives; which I can put into our fire-safe that has a .rating of 45 minutes @ 1400 degrees BUT that requires backing up and swapping drives. RAID 1 because drives can and will fail and Murphy’s Law says it WILL fail when you need it the most. (and frankly most RAID implementations are not that much more than single drives implementations e.g. Sans Digital))

    Now if I could only run a long cord into the safe and continuously back up the data that would be great, but not practical; which is why I looked at your product: however IF I am to rely on your solution for the Fire/Water/Earthquake event (as opposed to the long-cord solution ) then I surely want the latest online real-time backup and RAID 1 simply reduces the odds that a single drive and single point of failure will be responsible for data-loss since the odds that two drives will fail at exactly the same time is pretty low.

    I hear you may have a NAS version with RAID coming out, which I am excited to see; but NAS adds a bunch of costs that a simple eSata, USB3.0, FireWire would not have.

    I certainly think that a $200.00 premium over standard drives as Anandtech points out, is worth it. So if I use this as the bench mark and I can buy a SansDigital RAID 1 box w/ eSata and USB 3.0 for 130.00 and put 2 1TB drives into it for about $200 that 330 + 200 = $530.00: I am a buyer at between $495.00 and $530. (doesn’t $495 sound SO much less than $530)

    My two cents….
    Reply
  • robb.moore - Monday, April 23, 2012 - link

    Thanks Don for the feedback. Disks in RAID can be a good way to help guard against single disk failure. For many though, the concept of RAID, or confusing RAID with "backup" is common.

    Specifically speaking to the odds, ioSafe has a track record of protecting people's data better than 99.9% when our hardware + Data Recovery Services are used together. This stat is inclusive of all our customers various techniques and scenarios for data loss (human error, fires, floods, hdd failure, etc. etc.)

    Adding RAID to the backup target will incrementally improve chances of recovery but probably not as much as you think if you're already creating a redundant backup copy in the first place.

    Where RAID can dramatically benefit a business is what Disaster Recovery folks call Recovery Time Objective (RTO). There's a big advantage to having a disk failure that can be corrected by hot swapping a disk resulting in zero downtime if you business requires it.

    We highly recommend a RAID array for your main server if you're a business. RAID on the backup target can help incrementally improve your chances (0.005% better?) but so will 2 backup targets (twin external hard drives), online backup and offsite vaulting if this worries you.

    There are all kinds of techniques to improve your chances and every situation is a little different.

    Thanks again for your comments.

    Robb Moore
    CEO
    ioSafe
    Reply
  • EddieBoy - Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - link

    I see that Costco.com has the 3 TB version for $349.99. Very tempting... Reply
  • bobbozzo - Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - link

    Nothing is Disaster-Proof (or fireproof or hackproof or whatever)... Please use terms like disaster-resistant instead when reviewing such products. Reply
  • Coup27 - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Hi Rob,

    It's nice to have a CEO, or even a company rep in these comments. I don't know if you are still checking these comments but if you are, is there a reason why there is no NAS version of this product? USB obviously has cable length limitations and if you wanted to secure the ioSafe somewhere on-site out of the practical reach of theft, the chances are it's going to be more than 5M away from my expensive server.

    My company is only small, about 30 staff with 10 computer based users. Today I have spent longer "discussing" the my options for backing up my IT provider than I did talking about the actual server implementation and roll out. Every option we discussed had a pit fall and we were left with the classic and incredibly frustrating "2 x external drive shuffle alternating once a day/week by a member of staff who someone then takes home" [insert expletive here]

    As has been mentioned already, cloud backup completely fails when backing up considerable data, especially large email repositories.

    Regards
    Reply
  • robb.moore - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Hi Coup27-
    At ioSafe we use a Synology NAS (RAID, NAS, Private Cloud, Etc) with an ioSafe SoloPRO as the backup target for the NAS using the eSATA port on the back of the NAS. This will allow you to place the ioSafe anywhere on the network (wired or wireless).

    This works really well imo for the small business as there's no backup software to install on the clients if you're just after protecting the NAS. If you'd like to image the entire OS for the attached clients, you can either buy an ioSafe for each computer user and image it that way - reducing the data pushed across the LAN (this is what we do at ioSafe). Or you can image the user's hard drives across the LAN to the NAS which in turn backs up to the ioSafe (this is what I do for my home computers).

    Additionally, you can layer in whatever offsite strategy you'd like if you feel you need it at this point.

    We're also working on some other NAS solutions that we'll be announcing later this year. Hope that helps.

    Robb Moore
    CEO
    ioSafe
    Reply
  • Coup27 - Thursday, April 19, 2012 - link

    Hi Robb,

    Unfortunately having to rely on a seperate NAS to add network capabilities adds a significant cost to a quite reasonably priced item.

    When I can eventually afford my own house I would certainly consider a NAS ioSafe to place in my loft as a secure backup. This would be inpractical to be taken during a theft, and would survive water and fire damage. Obviously that would not include an off-site backup but I'm not sure how practical that is for a domestic user with TB's of data. I think a NAS ioSafe would be an excellent overrall solution and hope so see them soon!

    Cheers
    Reply
  • glugglug - Monday, March 04, 2013 - link

    Can the ioSafe be opened up and the drive inside it replaced with a larger one?

    Will opening it break some seals required for the disaster proofing?
    Reply

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