FirewireDirect Now Shipping Vanguard II FireWire RAID Drives [Updated]

[Updated 3/17/2003: When originally published, our coverage of the announcement below did not properly include all of the features of updated Vanguard series from FirewireDirect. Accordingly, the story below has been updated to reflect this. - Editor]

FirewireDirect has released a new revision of its Vanguard Series of FireWire RAID solutions, dubbing it the FireWire Vanguard Series II RAID system. The Vanguard system is a hardware RAID system, meaning that the device itself handles reading, writing, and RAID management duties.

The new update offers adds support for RAID 0, or striping, in addition to the original RAID 1 (mirroring) support. Striping allows the unit to see both drives as one volume, while writing to both of the actual mechanisms at the same time. This differs from the JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks) way of combining two drives -- JBOD allows for volume spanning, but no striping -- the unit offered in the past. Also, Vanguard Series II includes support for the newest large capacity drives, and the company is offering a 500 GB unit with two 250 GB drives. From FirewireDirect:

The Vanguard Series II RAID systems were the first hardware controlled FireWire RAID product on the market and now include support for RAID Levels 0 (Striping) and 1 (Mirroring) and the latest large capacity hard drives.

The expansion and upsizing of the Vanguard line means FireWire users on Windows, Macintosh, Unix, Solaris and any other 1394 supporting system can get up to 500GB of high speed striped RAID, easily setup on any FireWire port, and running independently of their computeris CPU for consistent high performance. 

The Vanguard Series II RAID system is built with a rigid, metal casing and rugged design. It has a unique auto-rebuilding feature that in the event of a drive failure in RAID 1 will rebuild the lost data while allowing access to the other drive, a powerful way to protect critical data.

You can find more information about the Vanguard II release at the FirewireDirect Web site. Pricing for the Vanguard II starts at US$659.00 for 160GB. The 500 GB unit sells for US$1299.00.