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Iomega launches ix2-200 NAS desktop backup appliance with replication and iSCSI support

Iomega releases the StorCenter ix2-200 NAS desktop storage and backup appliance for SMBs. It includes one-button data transfer, iSCSI, replication, and Mac backup support.

Iomega Corp., a subsidiary of EMC Corp., today released an upgrade to its StorCenter ix2 network-attached storage (NAS) appliance, adding iSCSi support, Mac backup, device-to-device replication, and replaceable hard drives to the ix2 system first introduced last October.

The StorCenter ix-200 runs on CIFS and offers iSCSI support for block-level data backup and storage. Users can set-up both CIFS and iSCSI LUNs and volumes in the management interface.

Iomega aims ix2-200 at enterprise remote and branch offices, SMBs and home offices

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Iomega introduced support for Apple's Time Machine backup to keep pace with the increased use of Macs by SMBs and home offices. Iomega's global product manager for network storage products Bill Hansen said the ix-200 "can work automatically as a time machine target."

Hansen said the addition of device-to-device replication lets organizations copy data to other onsite devices or remote devices for disaster recovery (DR) protection or cloud computing. "You can set up a replication job to copy the data from [the ix-200] to any other network target, be it another ix2 or another NAS or a network computer," he said.

IDC research analyst Liz Conner said the device-to-device replication feature will help small businesses because users can set up multiple replication targets across a network.

The new Quick Transfer button on the front of the device also lets users start backup or replication jobs instantly, instead of waiting for a pre-defined schedule. It also does scheduled backup and replication, but "it's really nice in case something new, very important gets put on the network and on the ix2 and you want to make sure it gets replicated," Hansen said. "You can push the Quick Transfer button and not have to wait for the schedule to fire it off."

The ix-200 is available in 1 TB, 2 TB and 4 TB configurations, and also includes a print server for USB-attached printers, a DLNA certified Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) AV media server, Windows Active Directory (AD) support, IP-camera support, RAID 1 data protection, remote management, and is VMware Inc. ESX Server 3.5 and 4.0 certified.

The original StorCenter ix2 was a sealed device. The ix-200 can be opened to repair, remove and replace failed drives. Iomega also upgraded the processor from 400 GHz to 1 GHz and added power conservation features to the new ix-200. The drives now require less power to operate and can be spun down when not in use. Hansen said the spindle motors will automatically spin down after one hour without use, but the drive remains alert for new jobs. The built-in fan has variable speeds for quieter operation and less use when not required.

The suggested retail price for the 1 TB model is $269.99, the 2 TB model is $369.99 and the 4 TB model is $699.99. Iomega sells through channel agreements, retail outlets and online electronics outlets.

While Conner is impressed with the ix2-200's features and pricing, she's not convinced the market is large enough to support it. "Whether there is a huge market for it right now remains to be seen," she said. "But the fact that they have this huge [feature] list and the price point is under $700 is pretty amazing.

"If you take a look at some of the other competition that's out there, nobody else has really got the same characteristics all in one box. You might look at some of the others, like Buffalo Technology's TeraStation, Seagate's BlackArmor or Western Digital's My Book, it's kind of spread out across a couple different [products]."

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