PetaPixel

Upcoming CompactFlash Card to Feature RAID-Like Mirroring for Instant Backup

raidcf

When it comes to data, redundancy is the best policy; backup, backup and backup again. This is doubly true where photos are involved, which is why professional photographers have gotten in the habit of keeping several external backups or using multiple cards for backup in DSLRs that support twin slots.

And now, Japanese company Amulet is hoping to add yet another layer of safety (and peace of mind) between you and the potential loss of your photos with its upcoming ‘Wise CF Card Duo.’

This CompactFlash card has the ability to act like a RAID (redundant array of independent disks) system if that’s how you choose to use it. RAID systems use multiple hard drives or partitions on a single hard drive to store your information in several locations, often ‘mirroring’ the same info in two or more places (depending on your configuration).

raid1

The Wise CF Card Duo will act as a RAID 1 configuration; that is, it will partition the card into two 32GB disks, and store your photos in both places simultaneously. In this way, if one file goes corrupt, you still have the same file on the same card.

The advantage of instant backup doesn’t come without pitfalls, of course. In addition to cutting your storage space in half, the Wise CF Card Duo will also have to store things twice, cutting speed in half. The card, which runs at 60/50MB/sec read/write in standard mode, will run at only 30/25MB/sec in mirroring mode. Switching between the two modes is as easy as flipping a switch, but it’s worth noting you’ll have to format the card each time you alternate back and forth.

Amulet is set to release a 64GB version of the card on June 14th. No news yet on where it will be available or how much it’ll cost you.

(via DPReview)


 
  • DumbFound

    What’s the point of a RAID 1 setup if I can’t swap out the faulty ‘drive’? Redunant backup yeah but what it if the interface is damaged (broken pin etc)…?

  • Doug

    I would also add that this can not act as a RAID, as a corrupt file on D0 will be a corrupt file on D1. RAID does not protect you against file corruption!

  • John Kantor

    I have been using memory cards professional for 12 years – and in that time I have never had a corrupted card or a card fail. I have had a couple of images get corrupted and stop me from accessing the rest of the card until they were deleted, but that’s it.

  • Renato Murakami

    Sounds a bit weird… has to be seen in which cases will this really protect a file.
    I mean, if you loose the card, you loose both files.
    If an image gets corrupted while the camera is storing it, both copies will be corrupted.
    Assuming all commands to be reproduced automatically, if you erase a file, won’t the copy also be erased?
    I’m having a hard time understanding when exactly this will be useful.

  • JonathonWatkins

    And I’ve had a CF and a SD card die on me in the last 6 years (Sandisk and Toshiba). There are 2 kinds of people in this world. Those that have lost data and those that are going to lose data. ;-) These days I shoot with dual card bodies. You never can tell.

  • Courtney Navey

    Don’t most professionals shoot Pro Body cameras that have 2 card slots for two actually independent locations for file storage? I’ve been shooting my 1D Mark III for years and later picked up a 1D Mark IV and have never had any issues with the dual card slot feature. My other shooter shoots 2 Nikon D3 cameras and also has dual card slots. While in theory this idea seems great, I feel like it’s mostly aimed at getting the “pro” photographer just starting their career, to spend a little extra cash on something they don’t really need. I can’t honestly see Joe McNally or David Hobby picking up one of these cards. Is it safe to hash tag this post with a “fail” ;)

  • Daniel Rutter

    There may be some obscure way in which this can actually protect your data from damage, presumably in how it deals with both filesystem problems and physical failure of Flash cells. But in general using RAID on two partitions on the same physical device is daft.

    Your eggs are still in one basket. You’ve just halved the number of eggs it can hold.

  • Shane Gramling

    This is simply a non-pro way to get redundancy – I would still rather have two cards (and two slots on-camera) so that I can store them in two different locations. If one gets wet, or stolen – you’re safe with a second card. If this raid card gets wet or stolen, smashed etc, you sir, are in deep, deep trouble.

  • solomonshv

    most people never had a memory card or a hard drive die on them and they like to gloat about it as if everyone has the same luck. when a card or a drive eventually DOES fail on you, i would LOVE to be there to see the expression on your face.

  • Ken Elliott

    This card in “mirror mode” does protect against the failure of a single cell. That is something of value – it prevents the loss of a single file, or – more important – the directory. But I use a D800 with a CF and SC card. Each card uses different controllers, so in theory it should be better than a dual-CF or dual-SD setup. Maybe.

  • Ken Elliott

    Here’s the failure mode. You insert the card, check for images, and the camera says the card needs to be formated. After you press the format buttons, you realize you might have put the card in backwards, and just wiped out anything on the card.