Hard Drive Overdrive
For the home user, success and failure for an external hard drive is not a fuzzy line—if the hard drive overheats, you can lose all of your pictures, movies, music, and other data. For business users, that line is razor thin—and it can shred your company. Businesses need a secure data hub with add-on capacity as their company grows, but the heat generated by stacking hard drives is a prime cause of data failure.
Our design reduces heat in the Central Axis Business Edition hard drive, allowing people to stack drives and create efficient data hubs without worrying that their files will fry.
Limiting heat generation and increasing security is the challenge that frog took on when it was asked to design Maxtor's Central Axis Business Edition hard drive, a dual-drive, network attached storage (NAS) solution. Translation: This is an external hard drive that can be networked with up to 20 computers and accessible through the Internet.
The Business Edition is essentially two separate one-terabyte hard drives built into a single case. But instead of stacking the drives “one on top of another”—which has been the conventional style for most high-capacity storage units—frog designers placed the two drives within the Business Edition side-by-side. “That created more surface area to dissipate the heat,” says Cormac Eubanks, principal engineer at frog's San Francisco studio. The sleek case is made out of anodized aluminum, which further helps keep the drives cool.
The primary advantage of frog's design is flexibility. Consumers can link together and stack the Business Editions on top of each other to create a data hub without fear of overheating. They can also easily open the outer
body to replace or upgrade the hard drives and essentially future-proof their investment.
The Quiet, Good-Looking Type
Also, the Maxtor drive is quiet. External hard drives are notorious for the incessant buzzing hum of their cooling fans. A stack of them would typically sound like a swarm of bees. “The efficient airflow path of the design allows the fans to run slower and quieter,” says Eubanks. “[It's] so quiet we thought we broke it,” wrote Joe Brown in a review for Wired.com.
The focus of the design isn't all on the inside. With its monolith black-brushed rectangular sides and Maxtor's trademark trapezoidal profile, the Business Edition design evokes the safety and security consumers want in a backup system. “We wanted to evoke the solidity of a vault,” says Eubanks. For Maxtor, a company who promises to “Save Your Life,” that's an important look.