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Iomega launches SMB multiprotocol storage with SSD support, dedupe

Iomega’s StorCenter px12-350r SMB multiprotocol storage has SSD support, as well as EMC’s Avamar data deduplication.

EMC’s Iomega Corp. today launched the StorCenter px12-350r, a 12-bay rackmount small- to medium-sized business (SMB) multiprotocol storage array with solid-state drive (SSD) support and built-in data deduplication for backup. The 2U system comes a day after rival Drobo officially launched a similar 12-bay rackmount system with SSD support for SMBs.

The px12-350r replaces the ix12-300r as Iomega’s flagship network storage system. Along with SSD support, Iomega doubled the px12-350r’s memory to 4 GB and added support for 3 TB 7200 RPM SATA drives. Px12-350r includes EMC’s Avamar sub-file dedupe backup software and Iomega’s Personal Cloud replication technology.

According to Liz Conner, a senior research analyst for storage systems and personal storage with IDC, Iomega and Drobo are targeting the same market. "With these two announcements, these guys are literally going after the same space," she said.

The px12-350r comes preconfigured with either four 2 TB drives for $5,999.99, or four 3 TB drives for $6,999.99, with a three-year limited warranty and phone support. Current ix12-300r owners can upgrade to 4 GB memory and SSD support. The Drobo B1200i launched Monday costs $9,999 for 12 TB of SAS drives.

Iomega senior director of network storage products Jay Krone touted the px12-350r’s support for 128 GB SSDs as the wave of the future. “We have what EMC is talking about as the logical destination for the storage industry,” Krone said. “In the long run we’ll have SATA drives for high capacity and low price, and solid-state drives for high performance, and that’s where we’ll end up. We’re there today with the px12.”

This isn’t the first Iomega PX system with SSDs. Iomega began supporting the Micron multi-level cell (MLC) SSDs in its four-bay and six-bay desktop models and four-bay rackmount enclosures in May.

Iomega does not ship the px12 with SSDs installed. Customers need to buy the SSDs and add them. Conner said that’s because Iomega needs to stay price competitive to compete with Drobo, LaCie Ltd., NetGear Inc., and D-Link Corp. “It’s definitely a price point play,” Conner explained, because [SSDs would] jack it up.”

Iomega also lets customers buy their own hard drives and install them, which can lower cost.

Iomega’s Personal Cloud lets replicate data to other devices across the Internet for free. Iomega coordinates the data transfers after registration. Conner sees cloud technology as an important factor in the SMB market someday, but not yet. SMBs may not have second business locations as replication targets, and having a home as a data protection strategy isn’t as appealing. However, she said the personal cloud idea might be better suited for prosumers.

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