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Sphere 3D adds 3 TB drives to Overland's RDX QuikStor backup appliance

Sphere 3D promises 3 TB RDX removable drives in its new QuikStor backup appliance, acquired in its $81 million merger with Overland Storage.

Sphere 3D Corp. has pumped out a revamped RDX Quikstor backup appliance for removable enterprise desktop with up to 3 TB of storage, marking its first product release since merging with Overland Storage in December.

The enhanced RDX appliance is aimed at companies with large numbers of mobile users or distributed workgroups. However, the 3 TB capacity removable drives are not expected to hit the market until later this year. The appliance currently supports 2 TB drives. Sphere 3D said the new QuikStor backup device will be compatible with new and existing RDX drives.

The vendor said it also upgraded the RDX firmware to enable older QuikStor appliances to recognize drive capacities greater than 2 TB.

QuikStor enhancement eliminates need for separate external power supply

Unlike previous QuikStor versions, the latest iteration does not require mobile users to carry a separate power supply. The device plugs into a USB3 port on a standard laptop computer for power and uses cartridge-level encryption to protect storage.

Overland Storage picked up the RDX Quikstor line of products from Tandberg Data, which bought the removable storage business of ProStor Systems in 2011. Overland closed the Tandberg Data deal in January 2014, 11 months before Sphere 3D and Overland finalized their $81 million merger.

Nilesh Patel, a vice president of product management and product marketing at Sphere 3D, characterized the QuikStor product line as a high-performance adjunct to Overland's SnapServer NAS products.

"Some of our entry NAS systems are being used heavily by customers for backup. We have heard from some that pairing SnapServer and the QuikStor appliance provides a compelling use case for the 'prosumer' and SME markets," Patel said.

RDX firmware upgrade to support 3 TB and higher removable drives

The installed QuikStor base consists of machines that support 2 TB RDX removable hard drives. Patel said RDX firmware has been upgraded to enable older QuikStor appliances to support drive capacities up to 3 TB.

Sphere 3D has its work cut out as it integrates a varied storage portfolio from acquisition. In addition to merging with Overland Storage, Sphere 3D acquired desktop cloud storage specialist V3 Systems Inc. in February 2014.

Greg Schulz, a senior analyst with the Server and StorageIO Group, said the biggest challenge for Sphere 3D is name recognition.

"They have to cut through any confusion surrounding the company and product name," Schulz said. "They have to let users know their technology exists and who sells and supports it. Otherwise, they risk being mistakenly put on the 'where are they now?' list."

Patel said the merger will enable Sphere 3D to move up the stack into virtual desktop infrastructure by combining V3 hardware with its Glassware 2.0 "microvisor" software platform for containerized cloud storage.

Next Steps

Sphere 3D buys Overland Storage

Overland increases revenue, losses before Sphere 3D takes over

Overland closes the deal with Sphere 3D

Dig Deeper on Disk-based backup