Technology Positioning Statement Report

4.1.5 Removable Storage Media for Desktops and Notebooks

Description: Removable storage media for desktop computers.

Category: 4 - Client Platforms   Subcategory: 1 - General Purpose Client Platforms
Old Category: none


  Zip 100MB


Industry UsageSC Usage

Performance Metrics

Platform compatibility; transfer speed; capacity; interoperability; wide availability.

Usage and Dependencies

Industry Usage: This category is for removable storage media for desktops; such a technology has two primary uses: a) fast backup of large files (but not the complete disk); b) transfer of large files between machines that may not be connected over a network, the network is slow or not secure (e.g. between office and home, or between office desktop and a portable machine). In both of these applications, the 100 MB Iomega Zip drive is the leading product.

Iomega Zip drives are not the most portable or elegant storage solutions for mobile professionals, but they are among the easiest to use, provide enough storage for the average user (100Mb) and do offer write/rewrite capabilities at a low price point $120 buys the Zip drive and two 100Mb Zip disks. Solutions like Iomega's ZipCD or Freecom Traveller provide small form factor CD read/write devices capable of 700Mb of storage, but the price jumps to $350. For the same form factor, and reasonable storage needs, the Zip disk drive still holds its place as the personal storage device for the average user.

Why, though, should I even pay $120 for a Zip drive when I can get incremental Internet storage at a fraction of the price? The answer is time. A mobile professional may have between 8Mb and 12Mb of basic file data, and the initial backup does require full data transfer. Under the best conditions, 10Mb could take six hours. Under more realistic conditions (data transfer efficiency, lost connectivity, etc.), this could take days to complete. The end user would have to be quite motivated to persist.

SC Usage: SC desktops are backed up to networked drives routinely, so removable storage is not needed for this purpose. However, many users need to transfer files between machines such as portables or home computers. For this purpose, the Iomega Zip drive (with over 90 MB of capacity) serves well. There does not appear to be an immediate need to expand to larger capacity, since most files are not larger than 90MB.

SC Application Impacts: The Flexiplace initiative may require users to transfer files between home and office computers; a Zip drive on both machines fulfils this need.

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