Iomega Unified Storage Array Gives EMC Low-cost NAS

Iomega has unveiled a new unified data storage array that moves the EMC (NYSE: EMC) division further up market, but one analyst thinks the new offering still leaves a sweet spot of the network-attached storage (NAS) market to rival NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP).

The new Iomega StorCenter ix12-300r Network Storage array combines NAS and iSCSI connectivity for small and medium businesses (SMBs) and enterprise workgroups, departments and branch offices. Pricing starts at $4,999 for 4TB, while a 24TB 2U version sells for $10,000.

The arrays can support groups of up to 250 users and can also be used for backup to disk, shared storage for virtual environments such as Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere, and application-specific storage such as Microsoft Exchange 2010, according to Iomega.

“It’s an extremely capable device,” said Iomega StorCenter product manager Jay Krone. “These products, at this price level, are extremely functional.”

It’s also the first Iomega product to be EMC E-Lab tested.

But it still leaves EMC without a direct competitor to the NetApp FAS2000, said Benjamin Woo, program vice president of IDC’s Worldwide Storage Systems Research.

“I think it is important to distinguish between what Iomega is offering and what NetApp sells,” Woo told Enterprise Storage Forum. “The Iomega ix12 is designed for those small businesses that are looking for enterprise features but do not necessarily require the enterprise integration. One cannot confuse these issues. NetApp, and frankly, EMC, both offer solutions that are designed for a distributed enterprise in mind. I would not consider that the ix12 plays in the NetApp FAS2000 space, or vice versa.”

NetApp FAS2000 pricing starts at $7,920 for NAS, iSCSI and Fibre Channel connectivity and a number of Data ONTAP management features, while EMC’s unified Celerra arrays start at $20,000. But EMC has been talking about merging its Celerra and Clariion SAN arrays, which could give the storage networking giant a cheaper unified storage offering. EMC might say more about those plans at EMC World next week.

The new Iomega StorCenter ix12-300r use EMC LifeLine software, a Linux operating environment and suite of applications that supports Windows, Mac, Linux, UNIX and virtual environments. LifeLine gives the array provisioning, storage management and data protection features such as RAID 5, 6, 1 and 10, all with automatic RAID rebuild. Other features include Virtual LAN capability, link aggregation and Windows Distributed File System and WebDAV support.

The arrays offer four Gigabit Ethernet connections, a high-performance Intel Core2Duo CPU, three USB 2.0 ports, 2GB of main memory and redundant hot-swap fans and power supplies.

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Paul Shread
Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.
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