Iomega Targets Small Biz with Multi-Mode NAS Appliance

By Jamie Bsales | Posted September 01, 2009

Network storage maker Iomega targets small businesses with its latest offering, the StorCenter ix4-200d, a four-drive NAS (network attached storage) appliance that can house up to 8TB of data. The first product designed from the ground up specifically for small businesses since Iomega was purchased by enterprise storage giant EMC, the StorCenter ix4-200d combines Iomega’s NAS know-how with EMC’s embedded software capabilities.

The StorCenter ix4-200d supports Windows, Mac and Linux client PCs. It features a wizard-driven installation routine and is intended to be set up and configured by business owners, not networking experts.

Iomega StorCenter ix4-200d
The Iomega StorCenter ix4-200d NAS appliance.
(Click for larger image)
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Iomega claims the device can be running with just four mouse clicks. “You don’t need to be an IT administrator or even very technically savvy to set it up,” said Marc Tanguay, general manager of worldwide network storage solutions at Iomega. “Even things that sound complicated—like connecting to an Active Directory server to add users—can be accomplished with a few mouse clicks.”

The appliance can run in three modes simultaneously. It can serve as a traditional NAS device to share and backup files on a network; as a Time Machine target for the incremental on-the-fly backup and restore features supported by Apple’s latest operating systems.

You can also use it as an iSCSI device for applications such as QuickBooks and Microsoft Exchange that are optimized for block-level storage. Advanced RAID 5 and RAID 10 configuration options ensure business-critical data is secure and accessible even if one of the drives should fail, and Iomega has built in print-sharing and media-sharing capabilities.

One particularly noteworthy new feature for small businesses is built-in IP camera support (up to five), which lets the StorCenter ix4-200d serve as a surveillance platform. Video is encoded to MPEG-4 format on the fly, and business owners can use the included software to set how long video will be saved before being overwritten.

The StorCenter ix4-200d also delivers Iomega’s QuikTransfer feature: Simply press the QuikTransfer button on the front of the appliance to transfer data to or from an attached USB drive. The appliance also features a device-to-device replication feature to replicate data easily from one StorCenter to another StorCenter, to an external USB drive, or to another network target using the software wizard.

Two Gigabit Ethernet ports on the back of the unit let the StorCenter ix4-200d support link aggregation, network failover or separate subnets. There are also two USB ports for adding external drives. The LCD readout on the front of the unit shows remaining capacity, network information, QuikTransfer job information and more.

The software bundle includes EMC LifeLine software for managing the various storage options, as well as integrated EMC Retrospect Express backup software and the Iomega QuikProtect utility for simple file-level backup needs. The StorCenter ix4-200d also offers Windows Active Directory support, plus support for remote access. It’s also VMware-certified for Virtual Environment support.

The StorCenter ix4-200d comes in three configurations: a 2TB version priced at $699, a 4TB version ($899) and an 8TB version ($1,899). All models are backed by a three-year parts-and-labor warranty with 24/7 tech support available via phone, chat or e-mail.

Jamie Bsales is an award-winning technology writer and editor with nearly 14 years of experience covering the latest hardware, software and Internet products and services.

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