Iomega StorCenter px4-300r review

£1241
Price when reviewed

The StorCenter px4-300r also supports Amazon’s S3-hosted service, and you can configure shares as Facebook or Flickr Active Folders.

Then there’s Iomega’s Personal Cloud service, designed to provide secure data backup and file-sharing to remote users as though they were on the same LAN.

For setup, you’ll need to get dirty with your router, as Personal Cloud requires a port-forwarding rule to allow access from the internet. The web console provides the necessary port number and internal IP address.

We had no problems creating the rule, and were then able to send out email invitations for users to join our cloud. The emails contain a username and unique access code, plus a link to download a personalised version of the Storage Manager, which has those account details hard-wired in. As it loads, it looks for the cloud portion of the appliance, logs on and makes all shares the user has permission for available as mapped drives. It’s a easy system to use, and handy for giving remote users secure access to the appliance’s resources.

Iomega StorCenter px4-300r

Iomega doesn’t include any backup software, but you do have the Copy Job feature. This allows folders on selected workstations to be regularly copied to the appliance, or you can use it to copy data from the appliance to another rsync server. When the QuikTransfer button on the appliance is pressed, it will copy anything on a connected USB device to a folder on the appliance. You can also tie it in with the Copy Jobs feature, firing off preselected backups whenever the button is pressed.

The px4-300r fared reasonably well in our real-world performance tests. Drag-and-drop copies of a 2.52GB video clip using a Dell PowerEdge R515 with Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit returned read and write speeds of 103MB/sec and 47MB/sec.

Large collections of small files proved to be more challenging, with a 17.4GB collection of 10,500 files averaging only 20MB/sec. CIFS write performance seems to be a problem, since using FileZilla to FTP the video clip returned 83MB/sec write speeds. We saw precisely the same issue with Iomega’s ix12-300r.

Still, there’s no denying that the Iomega StorCenter px4-300r boasts an impressive range of storage-sharing features, with cloud-based services right at the top of the list. It’s also very easy to deploy. But despite all this, more than £1,000 for a diskless four-bay rack appliance is an awful lot to ask. We suggest checking out Synology’s equally well-specified RS411 instead, since it costs less than half as much.

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