EMC/Iomega Marriage Produces Big NAS for Small Biz

By Lauren Simonds | Posted October 15, 2008

When a big fish eats a little fish, it's not generally a happy ending for the guppy. But the news coming out of Iomega, now part of EMC, the one of the largest storage tech companies in the world, looks promising. Today Iomega announced the StorCenter ix2, a two-terabyte network attached storage appliance that, the company says, integrates multiple high-end features in a box that takes four mouse-clicks to configure.


Iomega StorCenter ix2
The Iomega StorCenter ix2 NAS box features enterprise-level technology from storage giant, EMC.

The StorCenter ix2, available in a 1T capacity for $299.99 and a 2T model for $479.99, offer small businesses a way to centrally store and protect data over a network. The big difference between the ix2 and the StorCenter devices Iomega produced prior to its affiliation with EMC is, well, its affiliation with EMC.

"We now have access to EMC's treasure trove of technology," said John Huberman, president of Iomega. "That lets us bring new, advanced technology to small business owners in a way they can use and afford."

The ix2, which will be available starting October 30, consists of two SATA-II drives, a Gigabit Ethernet connection and two USB ports for adding devices such as printers to share over the network or external drives to increase capacity. The NAS box supports wireless transmission. You plug in a USB Bluetooth dongle, which lets you upload files, photos or address contacts from a Bluetooth cell phone or notebook.

The device also acts as a multi-media server and can store and play multimedia files from any compatible device on a network, such as PCs, Macs, laptops, home entertainment systems, and mobile devices.

Huberman went onto say that it's the software that differentiates the ix2. The NAS box is built around EMC's LifeLine software – a Linux-based operating system and suite of applications. The company, which employs thousands of software engineers, offers Iomega unprecedented resources.

"I've got 60 software engineers working on porting EMC technology into Iomega products. Before EMC, I had five. I believe we have the ability to dominate the small business space," he said.

The ix2 relies on RSA, EMC's security division that provides services to many of the worlds banks, to protect against viruses, malware and hackers. The NAS box also incorporates data backup and recovery in the form of EMC's Retrospect Express software.

One of the advantages of using the LifeLine platform, Huberman said, is that they can develop new storage management features down the road and make them available to customers via a simple, free download. Features Huberman hopes to roll out over the next few quarters: remote access and data de-duplication.

"We're also working on a project for next year to integrate EMC's Mozy to provide offsite, online back up for NAS," said Huberman. "Also for next year, we’re working on disc-to-disc replication. That would let you back up your ix2 to another ix2. And all of this is a result of EMV technology."

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com

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