Every year at CES ioSafe has raised the bar for disaster-proof storage—often with dramatic demonstrations involving fire, or guns, or massive bolts of electricity. This year ioSafe scaled back the theatrics but announced a new product that lets you store massive amounts of data in a private cloud that can survive virtually anything.
ioSafe announced the new 1513+. It is a disaster-proof network attached storage device capable of storing up to 90TB of data. More importantly, the data can be accessed from virtually anywhere over the Internet, allowing you to gain the benefits of a private cloud without the security and privacy concerns of public cloud services.
The ioSafe 1513+ runs on a 2.13GHz dual-core Intel Atom processor with 2GB of memory (RAM can be expanded to 4GB). It runs Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM), and there are a number of apps available for DSM to expand its features and capabilities. These allow you to set it up as a mail server, media server, content management server, and more. It also uses ioSafe’s patented technologies to protect data from fire up to 1550 degrees Fahrenheit, or submersion in salt water of up to 10-foot depths for 3 days.
I haven’t had a chance to use the 1513+ yet, but I currently have the ioSafe N2 appliance. It is similar to the 1513+, but with only two drive bays. It’s connected directly to my home network so all of the PCs in the house can store or retrieve data from the device. If a drive fails, I can swap it out and replace it with a good one without shutting the unit down and without losing any data.
My main complaint with the N2 is the number drive bays. With only two to work with, my options are limited. I have two 4TB WD RED drives in it, but because they are set to mirror each other I only have 4TB of total storage capacity. The 1513+ will solve this problem because I could outfit it with five 4TB drives and choose a configuration that provides 16TB of capacity while still ensuring no data is lost even if any one of the five drives crashes.
The ioSafe 1513+ is not a cheap storage solution, but it is reasonably cost effective over time. The standalone unit will retail for $1,600. You can outfit it with up to five drives. Depending on the capacity of the drives you choose, it can add hundreds or thousands of dollars to the total investment. If you need additional storage, you can also add up to two optional 5-bay expansion units for a total of 15 drive bays.
Contrast that with $10 per month for a CrashPlan Business plan with unlimited online storage capacity, and CrashPlan clearly comes out the winner. However, you also have to keep on mind the security concerns of transferring and storing data in the cloud, as well as the bandwidth constraints of trying to upload or download multiple terabytes of data. CrashPlan is also billed per PC, though, so if you have five PCs you’re backing up it will cost $50 per month, while you can have any number of PCs or mobile devices connect to the ioSafe 1513+.
I do use cloud storage—mainly Box—for some things. But, I appreciate being able to store or retrieve data much faster across my local network from the ioSafe N2, and I like knowing that the security and privacy of my data are in my control, and not dependent on a third-party.
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Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.