Iomega Enters Unified Storage Market With NAS-SAN Appliance

EMC’s Iomega SMB storage subsidiary, has entered the unified storage business for the first time with a combination NAS-SAN rack mount storage appliance.

Iomega’s new StorCenter ix12-300r offers up to 24 TB of storage capacity in a 2U rack mount form factor, allowing it to support businesses or departments with up to 250 users, said Jay Krone, senior director of EMC’s Consumer and Small Products division.

EMC acquired Iomega nearly three years ago.

The product is EMC’s first Iomega-branded appliance to support both NAS and iSCSI SAN. It comes with disk-to-disk backup capability, and provides shared storage for virtualized environments using Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware vSphere, and Citrix XenServer, Krone said. It also includes application-specific management capabilities for applications such as Microsoft Exchange, he said.

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The ix12-300r fits a gap in EMC’s product line between its traditional Iomega entry-level product line, which supports a maximum of four hard drives, and its Clariion AX4, which has a capacity of up to 60 hard drives and Fibre Channel capability, he said.

The ix12-300r uses EMC’s LifeLine operating system, as does the smaller Iomega products, but with enhancements to support up to 250 users, Krone said. It is certified for use with the Symantec Backup Exec software for use as a disk-to-disk backup device for file and block data, he said.

Also included is V-LAN (virtual LAN) tagging for use in sophisticated networking environments, Krone said.

’Using V-LAN, customers can set certain people or departments up with their own virtual network, making networking resources more efficient,’ he said.

Because it is aimed at SMB data centers, it includes dual hot-swap power supplies, hot-swap fans, and hot-swap hard drives, and supports RAID 0, 1, 10, 5, and 6. It also supports multiple RAID groups, Krone said.

Iomega is moving up into a new part of the market to compete with established players such as Overland Storage, said Jerry Pape, principle of Excalibur, a Big Sky, Mont.-based solution provider and partner of both Iomega and Overland.

Next: Iomega Seeks Another Customer Set

Because of Iomega's move, it will need time to prove itself for a new customer set, Pape said.

’Anyone entering the midrange storage market, whether SAN or NAS, must be thoroughly vetted,’ he said.

With companies which have gone through multiple generations of its products, customers and solution providers have a good idea about whether anything will go wrong, and what happens if there is a problem, Pape said.

’Reliability of the RAID set matters,’ he said. ’If something does go wrong, it’s important that it goes wrong reliably. If a drive goes down, it has to go down in a certain way.’

The StorCenter ix12-300r is expected to be available via CDW starting the week of May 10, with availability for other channel partners starting in mid-June. Krone said that spare parts are available to partners who wish to provide basic warranty service.

Pricing starts at $4,999.99 for a 4-TB configuration. A 24-TB configuration is priced at about $10,000, Krone said.