Iomega External SSD Flash Drive, VM users rejoice!

Iomega recently announced their new line of external SSD drives with some interesting specs, namely:

  • USB 3.0/2.0 / ExpressCard /PCIe
  • 191MB/s max read speed
  • 130MB/s max write speed
  • 256 bit AES hardware encryption
  • 1.2 million hour life-span
They will be available in 64/128/256 GB versions, costing $229/$399/$749 respectively.

I've been looking forward to something like this for running my portable virtual machines from. Typical Flash USB sticks suffer from slow write speeds, making them non-suitable for running VMs from. 

The fastest USB stick around at the moment is the Corsair GTR with a maximum write-speed of 28MB/s. The current market price for the 64GB version of this is around $159. An external 5400rpm USB2.0 HD has similar or better read/write speeds though, so there's really not much point in going for something like the GTR, except for faster seek times and lower latency. I currently run my VMs from a $68 StoreJet 320GB, which offers much better value for money.

$229 for a 64GB Iomega SSD is a lot to pay, but if the read/write speeds hold up in real-usage scenarios, this may be money well spent for virtual machine enthusiasts. Of course, you'll only get these speeds when connecting via USB 3.0, ExpressCard port or PCIe. The drive is said to be backwards compatible with USB 2.0, but that has a maximum theoretical transfer rate of about 60MB/s.


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