Storage

Disaster-proof hardware: ioSafe's SoloPRO hard drive

The ultimate data protection strategy involves moving data off-site, but there still are plenty of use cases for disaster-proof storage media. Read about ioSafe's new fireproof hard drive.

I recently checked out the new ioSafe SoloPRO, which is part of the company's series of disaster-proof storage devices (which includes USB 3.0 and eSATA interfaces). The ioSafe SoloPRO disaster-proof hard drive can withstand 10 feet of water for 72 hours and survive a fire up to 1,550° F. In fact, a recent fire at a California medical facility used one of these devices for their patient information.

How these devices work

The ioSafe devices are insulated by a number of protection mechanisms. The case is a high-grade metal, and inside the standalone drive cabinets is a single SATA drive. The drive weighs 15 pounds and is as large as a battery backup device. The ioSafe SoloPRO SSD option brings the shock protection up to 1000g. All of the ioSafe drives have a similar casing and internal protection configuration. Figure A shows a drive cracked open. Figure A

In Figure A, you see that the metal case contains an insulator material, and the drive resides in this chamber. The wrapped enclosure for the drive has the I/O connections tightly wrapped and is peeled away to show the drive. The operating temperature for the drive is up to 95° F, so the thermal concerns of operating the drive are addressed by the two materials selected for use inside the enclosure.

Data Recovery Service

ioSafe offers a Data Recovery Service that provides data recovery with any drive sent to them. In the event of a disaster, the IO cables and interfaces may be unusable; the Data Recovery Service would perform forensics on the disk to retrieve the data.

The ioSafe SoloPRO disaster-proof hard drive sells for $249. Visit the ioSafe site for more details about its compatibilities and capacities.

About

Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.

13 comments
Lazarus439
Lazarus439

If you don't consider burglary or structural failure of the building (which happens during fires), these things do sound good. However, the box is big enough to attract the attention of a thief (along with the PCs, servers, etc.) and, even if the box successfully protects the drive from being crushed if there a structural failure, you still have to dig the thing out of the rubble before it does you any good. If the data is only in the building, it is still at risk. Less risk, but risk nonetheless.

seanferd
seanferd

Must be a highly interesting product.

Slayer_
Slayer_

I would think such an enclosure would prevent air from passing by it and cooling its surroundings, and that eventually it would overheat. What is the predicted lifespan of this drive, the normal 7 years?

jasonemmg
jasonemmg

Yeah but what about a fire disaster? Fires burn alot hotter than 95 degrees...

SKDTech
SKDTech

$250 for a 1TB external drive that can withstand those conditions is a great value in my book. I may have to pick one of these up very soon.

Brett
Brett

It can also be bolted to the floor. Additionally, there is a SSD version available that provides additional protection in the event of a structure failure. You are, of course, absolutely right in saying that if the data is only in the building, it is still at risk, although the risks are substantially reduced. Further, ioSafe solutions can be used in conjunction with offsite strategies - having a local disaster-proofed backup can reduce RPOs and RTOs. Thanks for your comments and enjoy the weekend!

Brett
Brett

What's more interesting is how it's kept cool during a fire as, obviously, you'd expect hot air to be pulled through the vents. This doesn't happen become the insulation is a special material that's bonded with water. As it heats, steam is released and is forced out via the vents through which cooling air normally enters, effectively reversing the direction of air flow. Cheers!

b4real
b4real

It still is only a single drive. If you really, really, really want protection but can't get the bandwidth to have a native data mover off-site; I'd recommend getting two or more of these devices. They also have custom NAS solutions. Rickatron

billammon
billammon

I've worked in IT for years and remember the Zip and the, worse yet, the Jazz drive. To those of you too young to remember the "click of death" in the Zip drive and the incredible rate of failure of the Jazz drive (in a classroom of 30 machines replaced all drives three times in one year); I say Beware. Iomega failed in all respects to properly compensate their customers. I distrust Iomega enormously! Caution Here. Many students using Iomega portable media lost their classroom work. Google "Click of Death".

Slayer_
Slayer_

How does it bleed internal heat?

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