Iomega Intros Network Storage For SMBs - InformationWeek
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Iomega Intros Network Storage For SMBs

The StorCenter family of NAS devices represents a move-up market for Iomega, in part to round out parent company EMC's product portfolio.

Iomega StorCenter px4-300d NAS
(click image for larger view)
Iomega StorCenter px4-300d NAS
Iomega on Wednesday launched its StorCenter PX Series of network-attached storage (NAS) devices aimed at smaller businesses.

The new lineup, which features both four-bay and six-bay desktop devices and a four-bay rackmount model, is geared for companies with as many as 250 employees. That's a move up in the small and midsize business (SMB) segment for Iomega, which had in the past paid more attention to very small or home offices.

"Our product line on network storage has mostly been targeted more for a small office/home office environment, generally with 50 users and below," said Marc Tanguay, Iomega's general manager of network storage, in an interview. Even within that sub-50 segment, Tanguay said Iomega's storage products historically tended toward the smallest offices. "This is definitely an expansion upwards for us."

The six-bay px6-300d desktop model is expandable up to 18 TB, while both four-bay devices--the px4-300d desktop and px4-300r rackmount array--have 12-TB capacity. All three support optional solid-state disk (SSD) drives and feature multiple RAID levels with hot swap functionality. The StorCenter lineup is certified for VMWare, Citrix, and Windows Server, including full Hyper-V support.

As Iomega goes after a wider cut of the SMB segment, Tanguay said the virtualization trend among smaller companies was top of mind in terms of product development. "Virtualization has really been starting to come to the small business, not only for server virtualization backup but also for virtual desktop," Tanguay said. He cited a smaller call center operation running virtual desktops as an example: At each shift change, VMware servers could pull VDI images for the new staff logging in from Iomega's SSD drives, which Tanguay said can support a boot storm of "anywhere from 100 to several hundred users simultaneously." Tanguay added that cloud adoption among SMBs was another key product development driver behind the StorCenter line.

With smaller companies dealing with larger and larger amounts of data, their choice of vendors has grown accordingly. Dell recently refreshed its SMB storage products, for example, while Cisco earlier this year added online backup to its network storage devices for small businesses. Smaller firms like Drobo and Promise, meanwhile, have recently moved up from the consumer or "prosumer" market and launched purpose-built SMB devices.

Earlier in the year, EMC, Iomega's parent company, unveiled a slew of new storage devices. "We leverage and utilize that engineering pool from EMC, but we then try to right-size it, right-price it, and right-feature it for a small business environment," Tanguay said. While EMC has its own SMB storage devices, Tanguay said the StorCenter family helps round out its parent's lineup, both from a features and pricing standpoint. "This broadens EMC's product portfolio," said Tanguay. "With our focus on the 'small' part of [SMB], we slot in pretty nicely."

List pricing for StorCenter devices ranges from $799 for a diskless four-bay desktop to $3,999 for the six-bay, 18-TB configuration. Aside from pricing, Tanguay said Iomega's "right-size" approach--particularly as it keys in on the small in SMB--is tailored around simplicity. He said Iomega has tried to ensure that even companies without in-house storage expertise can still deploy its products, noting features like setup wizards for iSCSI functionality. "Sometimes a lot of the small businesses we work with don't have any dedicated IT," Tanguay said. "Having availability and reliability of your data is just as important to a small business as it is to an enterprise."

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