Iomega StorCenter ix12-300r review

Price when reviewed

We were hoping for great things from Iomega’s network storage division after its acquisition by EMC, but its portfolio of appliances hasn’t grown as fast as we expected. The StorCenter ix12-300r is the fourth member of this exclusive club and is aimed at SMBs looking for a high-capacity NAS and IP SAN solution.

The 2U rack chassis has room for up to 12 hot-swap SATA hard disks. The system on review came equipped with a quartet of 2TB drives preconfigured in a RAID5 array, but you can opt for stripes, mirrors or RAID6 if you wish.

Hardware redundancy is plentiful, with a pair of hot-plug power supplies, plus three internal hot-swap cooling fans. Its quartet of Gigabit ports can also be bonded together into fault-tolerant or load-balanced teams.

There are three USB ports for adding external storage devices, but no eSATA ports. Unlike LaCie’s 12big Rack Network, you can’t add more external arrays to the main unit.

Iomega StorCenter ix12-300r

For installation, the Storage Manager utility locates the appliance on the network, sets up basic shares and maps them to local drive letters. You can view all shares and iSCSI targets and access a web management console quickly.

Client support includes Windows, Linux and Mac systems, and for security you can use workgroup mode or Active Directory integration. Shares are easy to create and you can decide who accesses them, but quotas aren’t supported.

Storage pools make it easy to expand capacity; you insert new drives and add them to existing pools to make the RAID array bigger. You can convert a RAID5 array to RAID6 or use new drives to create separate pools with their own array type and set of shared resources.

The price includes Retrospect Express, which EMC sold to Roxio. This can only be used for workstation backup and doesn’t support Windows Server systems. Iomega told us it’s currently working on integrating access to EMC’s MozyPro hosted backup service.

The ix12-300r is designed as a high-end Iomega storage product, but also as a low-end EMC solution for remote and branch office deployments. It runs EMC’s Avamar client, which deduplicates data at source and sends it to a central Avamar data store.


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