ioSafe unveils new disaster-proof NAS cloud appliance

The NAS box can withstand heat up to 1550 degrees Fahrenheit

ioSafe, the storage company that has gained some Internet notoriety by challenging users to try to destroy its encased hard drives and arrays, today released a new disaster-proof cloud NAS appliance.

ioSafe's new N2 is a dare waiting to be taken. The storage array can withstand fire and heat up to 1550 degrees Fahrenheit and submersion in 10 feet of fresh or salt water for up to three days. The N2 uses a 2GHz Marvel CPU and has up to 512MB memory. The N2 uses ioSafe's patented DataCast, HydroSafe and FloSafe technology.

The two-bay NAS appliance can hold up to 8TB on two disks configured as a RAID 0 or 1. The box uses Synology's DiskStation Manager as its OS to offer a multitasking user interface. The appliance is aimed at the small office, home office and remote branch office user.

The NAS has one gigabit Ethernet port, with additional ports for USB 3.0 (5Gbps) connectivity and a memory card.

The ioSafe N2 NAS box.

The N2 offers local and remote file sharing as well as file synchronization between N2 devices and multiple computers.

"The 2-bay personal storage NAS market has experienced significant growth from 2009 to 2011, with shipment [compound annual growth rate of] just over 128%, almost [eight times] that of the total personal and entry level storage market" Liz Conner, an analyst with market research firm IDC said.

The N2's steel outer casing is held together with steel screws. At 1550 degrees F, the steel parts will be glowing red hot but the hot air does not come in contact with the internal disk drives. The N2's fan draws air in through the front and it passes around the outside of what ioSafe calls its HydroSafe barrier. Heated air is exhausted out the back of the box.

The box is also sports chemically-bound water molecules in the outer insulation that will never dry out during normal use. The water vaporizes during a fire, helping to cool the internal drives. "Like a pot of water on the stove, as long as there is liquid water present, it's impossible to melt the pot," ioSafe states in its marketing material.

ioSafe is a small, 25-person company, so it used crowdsourcing via Indiegogo Inc. to help fund the costs of bringing the product to market. The N2 was launched on the Indiegogo site today. General availability is expected in January.

"We're excited about the partnership with ioSafe," Vic Hsu, CEO of Synology, said in a statement. "The collaboration will set new standards for reliability in NAS servers. Protected by ioSafe's technology, the award-winning Synology DiskStation Manager builds secure private clouds for users, allowing them to share and synchronize data around the world"

The N2 is not ioSafe's first disaster-proof NAS backup appliance. Previously, the company sold the ioSafe R4, which weighted more than 120 lbs. and cost about $10,000.

The N2, which is is 5.9-in wide by 9-in high by 11.5-in long, brings the weight down to 28 lbs. and offers hot swappable drives. A diskless unit starts at $599.

A cutaway diagram of the ioSafe N2

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is

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Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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