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Vol. 3 No. 3 May 2004

Disaster recovery for the masses

You've heard me ramble many times about how nothing is ever really new in this business--we tend to take something that already exists, twist it up, change the acronym and yell real loud that it's the latest and greatest. Sometimes we need to do that--the world just isn't ready for our genius yet. That seems to be the case with removable disk packs. About 300 years ago, Control Data's 205MB washing machine-sized disk drive sold like hot cakes to every major OEM (Digital Equipment Corp. called it the RA60). It cost more than plutonium (still available online for about a grand), but it had a removable disk pack (RMO5 in DEC-speak). All the disk platters were locked up in this cool Tupperware container that could be removed from the drive itself and replaced with a new pack. Removable media meant disaster recovery! Content distribution! A load device! Sure, but which removable media? Clearly tape won. That's because disks blow up when you shake them, drop them, leave them in the sun, etc. And they were a million times more ...

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