Iomega StorCenter ix12-300r review

£4015
Price when reviewed

The Copy Job option is more useful for SMBs. It schedules copies of folders from one network device to another, and neither the source nor the destination has to be the appliance itself. The ix12-300r also supports Mac OS X Time Machine and can be replicated using Rsync to another remote unit.

For surveillance duties, the Iomega supports up to five UPnP IP cameras and can record feeds directly to local storage. We tested this with a range of Axis cameras, but recommend checking the RackStation RS810RP+ from Synology as it has superior features, including motion detection.

For testing, we used a Broadberry rack server equipped with dual 2.8GHz Xeon X5560 processors and running Windows Server 2008 R2. With a share mapped on a four-drive RAID0 stripe, we saw drag-and-drop copies of a 2.52GB test file return reasonable read and write speeds of 86MB/sec and 71MB/sec.

FTP speeds were faster, with FileZilla reporting speeds of 99MB/sec for uploads and 91MB/sec for downloads. Large collections of small files were more challenging as running a Copy Job for a 28.1GB folder with 13,000 files to the striped array returned only 29MB/sec.

Iomega StorCenter ix12-300r

Moving to a four-drive RAID5 array saw write performance take a big hit, with our copies returning average write speeds of only 41MB/sec. The small file copy test also slowed to 20MB/sec, but overall read speeds weren’t affected as much, with copies at around 83MB/sec.

iSCSI target creation is simple and Iomega’s mapping tools avoid the need to configure the Windows iSCSI initiator manually. All targets are shown in the Storage Manager, where you select one, connect to it and provide a drive letter.

The utility handles all initiator configuration, where it adds the portal address, logs on to the target, formats the new drive and assigns the letter to it. Performance was below expectations, with Iometer reporting an 82MB/sec raw read throughput for our iSCSI target.

The ix12-300r is better value than LaCie’s 12big Rack Network. We found Iomega’s upgrade packs of four 2TB SATA drives at Insight for £824 exc VAT, so adding one to this system gives you 12TB for a little over four grand.

Netgear’s ReadyNAS 4200 is very similar for price, speed and capacity, and the 10-Gigabit version delivers a strong performance. Although it doesn’t have any surveillance options, it still packs in the features and its backup tools are better suited to SMBs, making it the better choice.

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