Shortcut to StorageBy Frank Ohlhorst | Posted 2008-11-05 Email Print
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Iomega's latest NAS unit, the StorCenter ix2, brings Gigabit Ethernet speed and 2TB of storage to small networks relatively cheaply.
It's obvious that Iomega had to cut a few corners to be able to offer 2TB for just $479.99.
Don't expect to find any fancy LCD displays, blinking LEDs or hot-swappable drives here; all you are going to get is a small blackish-grey box with a Gigabit Ethernet port and two USB ports on the back.
Although the StorCenter tries to be the jack-of-all-trades in the NAS market, it really is only the master of one, and that is backup. With Gigabit Ethernet and a bundled copy of EMC's Retrospect software, the StorCenter proves to be well suited for performing backup duty for desktop PCs and small business servers.
Retrospect is one of the simplest backup utilities to use and lends itself well to small business environments. The combination of the StorCenter ix2 unit and Retrospect removes all excuses when it comes to backing up.
Interestingly, iomega plans to add a new backup capability to the ix2, creating what amounts to a managed service element. The device is designed to support a future ability, which will allow it to replicate all of its data with another ix2 over the Internet. In other words, a solution provider could install one unit in a customer's office and then another unit in the customer's home office and set those units up to synchronize over the Internet. Pretty much an instant way to bring off-site backup capability to any business—just don't expect to replicate 2GB of data over the Internet on the first day. Hopefully, iomega will launch this new feature in the near future.
For solution providers, the StorCenter ix2 promises a quick and easy way to bring backup and extended storage to a small business. The unit offers some integration opportunities that allow solution providers to upsell other devices and services, such as video security systems and additional USB storage devices.
While the StorCenter ix2 may fall a little short when compared with NAS units from competitors such as Buffalo Technology and Netgear, it covers the basics quite well and at a price that is hard to ignore.