External USB RDX Drive w/ cartridgesA few months ago, I lost almost 200 GBs of personal data due to dead hard drive.  Luckily, I subscribed to a cloud backup service and was able to recover most of it.  Unfortunately, some of the larger files I used for backups such as hard drive images and CD backups were not included because they take too long to upload.  For the most part, I recovered important documents since they were quick to download.

That would be the day I learned the downsides of cloud backup.  Even though I had “unlimited” storage, versioning at a low cost. I learned the following:

  • Cloud backups can only restore what has been uploaded.
  • My own internet bandwidth becomes a limitation.
  • There is a limit in file retention.  In my case, I can recover files from the last 30 days.  Backups older than 30 days are removed.  This can vary between different services.

So, I decided to move to something more robust: RDX Storage: Removable Disk Technology, geared towards small business.  I wanted to avoid consumer grade drives such as the FreeAgent and other mass-market products because they are more “pre-assembled external drives” than dedicated backup drives.

The downside of RDX is the higher upfront cost for the drives.  They are built tougher, come with plastic cases and accommodate labels.  In combination with Acronis True Image, I can use incremental backups to utilize RDX cartridge space more efficiently.

For now, I continue to use it and recently, I survived yet another hard drive failure.  I was able to do a restore which was much faster than the cloud.

Link: Imation RDX Data Storage

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