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Data storage and protection company Iomega has begun shipping the second-generation version of its popular desktop autoloader, which uses removable disks for data archiving.

The REV Loader 560 incorporates standard hard drive components and removable technology, and provides access to 560GB of native storage.

Up to eight removable disks can fit in the compact device, which measures 7 inches tall and 5 inches wide.

With each device, Iomega is bundling a license for CA BrightStor ARCserve Backup for Windows, which the company says will deliver increased storage capacity with recovery functionality.

The application is also designed to ensure availability of critical applications and data from both large data centers and smaller offices, and can support a range of disk technologies, storage area networks and attached network storage.

Priced at $1,600, the REV Loader 560 uses 70GB disks but is backward compatible with the 35GB disks used by the autoloader’s previous version, the REV Loader 280.

In the market for two and a half years, the 280 iteration has sold more than 250,000 units, according to Iomega.

To read more about Iomega’s NAS line, click here.

The advancement is part of a natural evolution of development, rather than driven by customer requests, said Tom Kampfer, president and chief operating officer of Iomega, but he does expect that the new device will prove as popular, or even more so, than its predecessor.

The autoloader is likely to appeal most to small and midsize businesses, particularly those without IT departments, Kampfer added.

Data storage needs are growing quickly at companies of every size, causing the appetite for storage to increase just as costs are coming down, but those without extensive technical help can sometimes find regular backups to be a struggle, or too complex.

“Often, we hear from customers that are overwhelmed,” Kampfer said. “There are all sorts of regulatory issues that even small businesses face, and if that company is a medical office or a financial firm, it’s even more complicated.”

Smaller companies have developed a fondness for tape-based backup technology, but some vendors have asserted that the medium has its drawbacks, including the need to store tapes at an off-site facility and the limited effectiveness for fitting into an ILM strategy.

“Our whole mission in life is to get SMBs off tape,” said Kampfer. “If you’re a small-business owner and you want to back up one server, we think the REV is the way to go, because you get the drive, software and disk in one box. Really, if we could displace all tape, we’d be thrilled.”

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