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Then there's Iomega's Personal Cloud feature, which we see as a major advance in simplified, cross-platform file sharing.
In just a few minutes, any or all folders on the PX Series box can be shared with machines running Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. The two-part process involves a few clicks of the admin tool to create a shared folder, and a few more to invite people to share it. Invitees receive an e-mail with a security code and link to download the Storage Manager software for their platform.
On Windows, the client automatically maps drive letters in Windows Explorer to all the folders you've shared (the default is six). A bit sloppy, perhaps, but we admire Iomega's pragmatic approach over Windows File Sharing, which can be a complicated and circular maze of settings, windows and control panels. On Mac OS X, the folders are mounted in the Finder. We didn't test the Linux client.
Iomega's latest line is certified for VMware vSphere 4.0 and Citrix XenServer, as well as Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008. It also supports Active Directory, can join multiple domains and can communicate with UPSes for automatic shutdown.
From a physical perspective, the unit measures about 10 x 10 x 7 inches and gets power from a DC converter brick and small canon connector and C5 ("Mickey Mouse") AC cord. We would have preferred an integrated power supply and C13 cord. A non-locking door swings open to expose six drive bays, each of which can accept 3.5- or 2.5-inch drives in the included locking carriers. It supports a mixture of drive types including SSDs.