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Iomega launches StorCenter network-attached storage upgrade with Mac support and data replication

Todd Erickson
Iomega Corp. today expanded its line of desktop network-attached

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storage (NAS) devices with a four-drive version with support for iSCSI, Macintosh computers and data replication between devices.

The StorCenter ix4-200d supports up 8 TB of total capacity and can run simultaneously as a network-attached storage file share and data backup target. Iomega, a wholly owned subsidiary of EMC Corp., introduced its first desktop NAS device, the two-drive StorCenter ix2 last October.

The ix4 is available in 2 TB, 4 TB, and 8 TB configurations with 5900 RPM 500 GB SATA II drives from Seagate Technology and 5400 2 TB SATA II drives from Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. The ix4 also includes two 1 Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) interfaces for network connectivity, and three USB 2.0 ports for additional storage capacity or printers.

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The newest StorCenter product includes EMC's Lifeline Linux operating software that can work in Windows, Macintosh and Linux environments. It supports CIFS, NFS, AFP/Bonjour, HTTP, SNMP and FTP network protocols. After initial configuration, the ix4 shows up as a backup target for the Macintosh OS X Time Machine backup system. The ix4 is also VMware certified for virtualized servers.

According to Marc Tanguay, Iomega's global manager for network storage products, multiple network support is important because he sees more and more customers with mixed environments. "In small businesses, we are seeing a much higher adoption of Mac computers, certainly a mixed environment between PC and Mac," he said.

Like the ix2, the ix4's Lifeline software supports remote administration, Microsoft Active Directory support, and IP-camera support. The ix4 has Energy-Star-rated power supplies, adjustable cooling fans and user-adjustable disk-drive spin down.

Iomega introduced its device-to-device replication software as a new feature in the ix4. Customers can copy or back up files to other StorCenter devices, external USB devices or other network targets – including remote devices – using the built-in open-source rsync or Windows File Sharing protocols.

Michael Margossian, an IDC research analyst who covers the SMB market, said support for 2 TB drives and EMC's backing makes the Iomega system competitive among SMB and home users.

"The 8 TB systems can definitely get the geeky consumer especially with videos these days, and small businesses or larger businesses that don't have high data storage needs," Margossian said. "They can use it as a one-stop solution, as opposed to jumping to the next level with servers. It's a solid product, definitely comparable to the Seagate, Buffalo Technology and NetGear machines it terms of base functions, and it definitely touts a lot of additional functions with the EMC being behind them."

The 2 TB ix4 is priced at $699.99. The 4 TB model is $899.99, and the 8 TB unit costs $1,899.99.


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