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Iomega’s PX Series SMB NAS devices support SSDs, 3 TB drives

Iomega released its PX Series of desktop and rackmount SMB NAS devices with SSD support, swappable drives, trusted domains, and server virtualization platform certification.

EMC Corp.’s Iomega today launched its StorCenter PX Series of network-attached storage (NAS) devices for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with solid-state drive (SSD) support, user-swappable 3 TB drives and dual-core processors.

The PX Series will be sold as either empty four-bay or six-bay desktop models, or a four-bay rackmount enclosure. The NAS devices support hot-swappable 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch SATA II 7,200 RPM drives with up to 3 TB of capacity per drive.

The dual-core Intel Atom processors will make the PX Series devices “far and away our fastest performing products,” said Marc Tanguay, Iomega’s general manager of network storage solutions.

Iomega has qualified the Micron C400 multi-level cell (MLC) NAND–based SSD for use in the PX Series but is not selling the devices with them installed. Tanguay said SSD prices are so disparate that the company would have to charge too much to include them. Customers can buy the 128 GB Micron drives from Iomega or other retailers, and install the drives themselves or have a value-added reseller (VAR) install them.

Iomega will also eventually sell Micron’s 256 GB SSDs. “[The PX Series is] designed specifically for small businesses that need performance and a lot of flexibility in the way they configure their systems and storage,” Tanguay said.

“I think it’s a good move by Iomega,” said Liz Conner, an IDC senior research analyst for storage systems and personal storage. She said the PX Series fills in a gap in Iomega’s SMB product line. Iomega’s IX series comes in a two-bay or four-bay desktop model, and a 12-bay 2U rackmount unit. The PX Series adds another four-bay desktop unit as well as the six-bay model.

Conner said Iomega is targeting more sophisticated SMBs with the performance enhancements and business-class software additions.

The PX Series will also support multiple RAID levels within each unit so users can set separate data protection schemes for devices with SSDs and SATA drives.

New NAS devices ready for the cloud

The new SMB NAS devices are certified for Citrix Systems Inc. XenServer, Microsoft’s Windows Server 2008 R2 edition and Hyper-V virtualization platforms, and VMware Inc. vSphere 4.0.

The new product line also now supports trusted domains so administrators can join a PX device to multiple domains, and import users and groups in more advanced business networks.

The PX Series is compatible with Iomega’s new Personal Cloud technology, which allows administrators to connect up to 250 IX series and PX Series NAS devices to each other over the Internet to copy, synchronize, and share files. Iomega announced the technology in January.

“Although a lot of people might not take advantage of it initially,” Conner said, “I think it’s something that you are going to see a lot of people start to use.”

An empty four-bay StorCenter px4-300d is priced at $799. A fully populated unit with 12 TB is $2,999. The six-bay StorCenter px6-300d is $1,199 empty and costs $3,999 fully populated with 18 TB. A diskless four-bay rackmount px4-300r costs $2,299, or $3,799 with a full 12 TB of capacity.

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