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FirewireDirect Boosts RAID Performance with FireWire 800

Vanguard systems available in dual FireWire 800/USB 2.0 configuration By Dave Nagel
FirewireDirect has announced an upgrade to its Vanguard line of external FireWire RAID systems. The new Vanguard III, targeted toward video and audio professionals, as well as graphics users, offers dual FireWire 800/USB 2.0 connectivity. It's available for purchase now and will ship in the first week of November.

The Vanguard III is an external RAID with support for RAID-1 and RAID-0 on all platforms with USB and/or FireWire capabilities, including Mac OS 9, Mac OS X, Windows, Solaris and others. It uses an Oxford 922 bridge with a dedicated hardware controller to take the load off the CPU and offers sustained data transfer rates of 60 MB per second. Other features include:

  • Two FireWire 800 connectors and one USB 2.0 connector;
  • Backward compatibility with older connection types (separate cable required for connecting to FireWire 400 systems);
  • Automatic rebuilding in the event of drive failure in a RAID-1 configuration;
  • Plug and play and hot-swappable.

The Vanguard III is a two-drive system available in capacities up to 500 GB (in RAID-0 mode). All of the systems use 7,200 RPM mechanisms. They measure 6.9" W x 10.6" D x 5.6" H and weigh in at 9 pounds with drives installed.

The following configurations are available:

  • 500 GB (two 250 GB drives): $1,259.95;
  • 400 GB (two 200 GB drives): $939;
  • 240 GB (two 120 GB drives): $749.95;
  • 160 GB (two 80 GB drives): $689;
  • Enclosure only: $469.

Individual hot-swappable drives are also available as replacements of for extra backups. The Vanguard III systems are available now for purchase and will ship next week. For more information, visit

Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Apple DVD Studio Pro, Mac OS, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at

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