Iomega this week introduced more channel-friendly versions of its SMB desktop and rack mount NAS appliances, including its first-ever products which can be ordered without hard drives to give solution providers and customers choice of storage media.
The company also enhanced the software for its SMB NAS appliances to allow them to back up servers in virtualized environments and to serve virtual desktop PCs, and included the ability to tie multiple units together over the Web as part of a private storage cloud.
Iomega unveiled two new desktop NAS appliances based on dual-core Intel Atom processors, and one rack mount unit based on Intel's dual-core Celeron processor, said Mark Tanguay, general manager for Iomega's network storage solutions.
"And for the first time, we're announcing diskless configurations," Tanguay said. "Before, Iomega only offered fully-configured appliances."
The new NAS appliances are also Iomega's first to include SSDs as an option, Tanguay said. Customers can mix and match SSDs and hard drives depending on budget and need for performance, he said.
"Customers can buy the SSDs or hard drives from anywhere," he said. "We'll have a hardware qualification list on our Web site."
Included in the launch is the Iomega StorCenter px4-300d, which can be configured with up to four drives, and the StorCenter px6-300d, which can be configured with up to six drives.
Also new is the StorCenter px4-300r, a 1U rack mount NAS appliance with room for up to four drives. It includes redundant power supplies.
All three models can be configured with a mix of hard drives of up to 3 TBs of capacity, or with SSDs. The include multiple RAID levels, hot swap drives, UPS support, and device-to-device replication capability.
They also include new storage software which allows customers to run them in VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, or Citrix XenServer virtualized environments, Tanguay said. VMware server and virtual desktop data can be backed up to or stored on the appliances, he said.
Iomega is also including its Personal Cloud technology, which ties multiple Iomega NAS appliances to others across the Internet, Tanguay said.
"Customers can us it to create their own cloud with multiple devices connected to multiple PCs and Macs," he said. "For small businesses, it makes it possible to copy and use files across multiple locations without the need for a VPN."
The Iomega Personal Cloud is free of charge, and can be connected to storage clouds from Amazon S3 and Mozy Connect.
The new NAS appliances from Iomega, which is owned by EMC, are not meant to compete with the VNXe small business appliances which EMC introduced in January, but instead fit in right below where the VNXe family starts, Tanguay.
Jerry Pape, principle at Excalibur, a Big Sky, Mont.-based solution provider which has used Iomega NAS appliances in the past for its business customers but has had issues with hard drives dead out of the box and with the company's user interface, said the new appliances sound good, but that Iomega still needs to prove itself in the small business market.
"Iomega's ability to become more sensitive to the business demands of small businesses for NAS storage will be critical to their success going forth," Pape said.
The new Iomega StorCenter appliances are initially available fully-configured with hard drives through CDW for the first 30 days, Tanguay said. Starting early next month, solution providers can access the appliances with our without hard drives.