There's nothing new about Iomega offering affordable networked storage to small businesses. And it might be easy to dismiss the latest members of the StorCenter Network Hard Drive line as same-old, same-old; new capacity, different day. But Iomega begs to differ. The company says its fourth generation StorCenter drives provide proven reliability, improved performance over the previous generation and enterprise-level features not available at this price two years ago.
The Windows/Mac and Linux-compatible StorCenter Network Hard Drive comes in three different capacities: 500GB, 750GB and 1T. Both the 500GB and 750GB models have a single, 7,200 RPM SATA drive while the 1T version has two, which means it supports both RAID 0 (for fast performance) and RAID 1 (for better data protection). The StorCenter connects to your network via Gigabit Ethernet and also provides two external USB 2.0 ports that can be used to attach printers or other external storage drives.
|Iomega's StorCenter Network Hard Drives come in 500GB, 750GB and 1T capacities.|
In addition to the hardware performance, Wells said the other main improvements lie in what they added to the drive's internal software. "We've included support for advanced network features more commonly found in big businesses, such as a journaling file system that helps prevent data loss if there's a power failure. The drives also support Microsoft's Active Directory, which makes it easier for small businesses to manage which users and user groups can access the storage drive."
Feedback from Iomega's customers indicated an increase in the number of small businesses using Active Directory. "The number of small businesses using Active Directory was more than we expected," said Wells. "It's a feature you could not have found in a product at this price even two years ago."
Another point he made concerns StorCenter's compatibility within a small business network, which typically consist of a variety of different servers and platforms. "The StorCenter works well in real-world, mixed-server environment where you can easily have a combination UNIX, Windows 2000 or Windows 2003 servers." It also supports Bonjour, Apple's equivalent to UPnP (Universal Plug and Play).
Wells' third point addressed the StorCenter's capability regarding data backup. "Small businesses don't just want a device they can use to backup data, they want a complete solution that let's them start performing backups right out of the box." To that end, Iomega includes two client licenses of EMC Retrospect backup software. You can also purchase additional licenses on Iomega's Web site.
The StorCenter Network Hard Drive sells for, in ascending order of capacity: $269, $359 and $389.
Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com
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