RUGGEDrive™ Read-Only USB Drives -- A Better Restoration Solution for Tactical Computers
To ensure the integrity and consistency of computers used in military vehicles (ground, air or sea), a controlled, standard image of the hard drive is commonly used that contains the operating system, applications and baseline data. Often, this image is stored on multiple DVDs. In the event of corruption or suspected compromise of the computer, the "clean" image can be reloaded from the image DVD set.
The problem with this solution is that some ruggedized computers operating in tactical environments may not even have an optical drive. If they do, restoring from a set of DVDs still has many challenges:
The discs are FRAGILE and are easily scratched. A scratch to one disc can leave the entire set non-functional. Should a mission-critical computer depend upon an UNRELIABLE backup that can be made non-functional by a simple scratch?
The restoration process is SLOW. Not only is the data throughput of the DVD slower than that of a USB 2.0 Hi-Speed drive, the operator must be present to insert the next disc when prompted. Babysitting a restoration that could take over an hour is INCONVENIENT at best.
The size of the DVD set is BULKY when compared to USB drive solution.
So why not just use a standard USB flash drive instead? The answer comes by way of the DVD's one strength--it's read-only. Once the image is burned and the disc is closed, the data cannot by changed. Standard USB flash drives can be written to and re-written to at any time over-and-over again.
The ideal solution would combine the high-throughput, small size, and large memory capacities of a USB flash drive with the read-only nature of CD or DVD. And that's exactly what our RUGGEDrive™ Read-Only USB drives deliver in a rugged and reliable design.
Unlike our standard UFX RUGGEDrive™ token, that uses our proprietary SlimLine™ contact system, our Read-Only models will feature a "nose" that is compatible with traditional USB Type A ports. All RUGGEDrive™ models utilize our unique solid over-molded construction, making them ready to take on the most-challenging environments.
RUGGEDrive™ Read-Only (Permanent)
For applications where the contents of the flash drive must never change once the final "image" is written to the drive, we offer a "permanent" read-only solution. Initially the drive is fully read/write capable. It remains that way until an internal fuse is blown once the image on the drive is "golden". Once the fuse is blown, the drive is permanently read-only. This configuration is somewhat similar to a recordable DVD. With a DVD, the device is read/write-capable until the disc is closed, and then it is permanently read-only. The benefits that a RUGGEDrive™ solution brings are:
- No optical drive required
- No sets of DVDs required for sizes over 4.7GB
- More robust than fragile, scratch-prone DVDs
- Faster transfer speeds
- Much smaller size
- Easier to carry/transport
RUGGEDrive™ Read-Only (Erasable)
For applications where it would be desirable to have a flash drive be read-only in normal operation, but would be capable of being erased or modified with proper authentication (for re-use), we offer an "erasable" or "resettable" read-only solution. This drive actually has interfaces on both ends of the drive. The USB 2.0 end is always read-only. The other end utilizes our proprietary SlimLine™ contact system. Only when that end is plugged into its authenticating adapter can the device be written to or erased.
How to Get More Information
Do you have an application that could benefit from one of the two RUGGEDrive™ Read-Only drives mentioned above? Do you have questions about our RUGGEDrive™ product line that we did not answer here? If so, we would love to hear from you. Please contact us and we will connect you with one of our engineers.