Iomega has been busy of late promoting its REV removable storage products as the ideal alternative to tape backup and the latest REV Autoloader 1000 moves it into direct competition with tape based autoloader devices in the SME marketplace. Equally suited to the desktop or in a rack cabinet this sleek 2U chassis has a single internal REV drive surrounded by a carousel with ten slots allowing it to offer a maximum storage capacity of 350GB.
The product is aimed particularly at the DDS-4 format although this is a soft target as it’s a tape technology that’s some six years old, has a market share in decline and its top performance of 3MB/sec is pedestrian by today’s standards. Even so, the Autoloader 1000 also compares very well with DAT72 as a six tape autoloader costs around the same and it delivers a similar storage capacity. However, Iomega wipes the floor with it for performance - whereas DAT 72 can only muster a paltry 3MB/sec the Autoloader 1000 offers an eight-fold speed boost to no less than 25MB/sec. Although it can’t compete on capacity, these speeds put Iomega on a par with medium level tape drives such as Sony’s AIT-4 and Ultrium LTO-1. Note that REV drives don’t support hardware compression but if your backup software offers software compression then total capacity could be doubled.
As we’ve seen with Iomega’s NAS 200d, design has always been one this manufacturer’s strong points and the well built Autoloader 1000 is no exception. The thick plastic front panel has a single slot for access to the media and a motorised door keep the internals dust free. Alongside is an LCD display and control panel which provides access for checking device status and manual configuration. The unit can be placed off-line and then you can use the import and export commands for loading and unloading single REV cartridges and placing them in the drive. A bulk exchange feature speeds things up and this can be used to load and unload multiple cartridges.