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EMC strengthens Iomega NAS

EMC adds remote-access capabilities, direct torrent downloading, folder quotas, and support for jumbo frames and Apple File Protocol to its Iomega StorCenter ix2 NAS device.

EMC Corp. is upgrading the StorCenter ix2 network-attached storage (NAS) system from its Iomega Corp. subsidiary, adding remote-access capabilities, direct torrent downloading, folder quotas, and support for jumbo-frames and Apple File Protocol (AFP).

EMC acquired Iomega last year, then launched the StorCenter ix2 last October.

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"The announcement shows that Iomega is serious about the SMB market, and they are very well positioned with EMC's technologies behind them," said Wolfgang Schlichting, IDC's removable storage manager.

Iomega COO Tom Kampfer said the company is taking some EMC technologies, and scaling them down to fit the prosumer and SMB market. Kampfer said Iomega will continue to "use EMC technologies that make sense" for the smaller markets throughout 2009, although no upcoming announcements are planned.

"Being part of EMC really gives Iomega a lot of leverage without having to purchase additional software and technologies," Schlichting said.

The addition of remote-access support also lets users manage the appliance. Customers can upload and download files to the ix2 through the Web, as well as add users and folders remotely. IDC's Schlichting says remote access was the most obvious feature missing from the original launch.

"Remote access is a powerful feature for a NAS-type of product for the home and small business," he said, and adding remote-access support brings the StorCenter ix2 in line with similar offerings from Buffalo Technology Inc., LaCie Ltd., and Western Digital Corp.

Torrent downloading lets users download large media files directly to the unit, bypassing the PC and the wait times that sometimes come with large transfers. Kampfer said the addition of direct torrent downloading is more of "a consumer play," but believes there are business applications such as establishing company peer-to-peer networks and file FTP sharing.

Jumbo frame support was added to increase data flow for larger files when network traffic rises. The addition of folder quotas allows administrators to set maximum capacities for StorCenter ix2 folders to keep individual folders from consuming too much disk space. The inclusion of AFP support will facilitate users' Macintosh computers networking and storage with the ix2.

Iomega ix2 customers can download the firmware update with the new features from the Iomega website. No price changes were announced with the firmware update. The suggested retail price of the 1 TB unit is $299.95, and the 4 TB unit is $479.95.

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