Iomega StorCenter px6-300d review
The px6-300d is Iomega’s first six-bay desktop NAS box, and one of two new StorCenter appliances to use an Atom processor. It introduces new business backup tools, and in this review we also get our hands on an early firmware update designed to remedy the poor CIFS/SMB write speeds we’ve complained about in the past.
The px6-300d’s chassis is solidly built, with two large fans at the rear that run very quietly. However, the flimsy front door and hot-swap carriers can’t be locked, and we’d prefer an internal power supply rather than the bulky external power block, with its very small connector plug.
The price includes six 2TB SATA III drives, but the mainboard only has 3Gbits/sec SATA II interfaces. You can buy the appliance diskless, but do check the certified drive list as there are only six models shown.
Iomega’s Storage Manager discovers the appliance, maps all predefined shares for you and provides quick access to the web console. The drives can be used for multiple storage pools and RAID-protected volumes, but for testing we used the single default RAID6 array.
The firmware upgrade showed marked improvements. Copies of a 2.52GB video clip between the appliance and a Broadberry Windows Server 2008 R2 system returned read and write speeds of 92MB/sec and 86MB/sec. Copying a 17.4GB test folder of 10,500 files to the appliance averaged 52MB/sec. Prior to the upgrade, CIFS/SMB write performance had been only 45MB/sec for the video clip and 21MB/sec for the folder.
The px6-300d offers plenty of backup choices, and supports the Amazon S3 and EMC MozyPro hosted backup services. It also includes EMC’s Avamar client, which deduplicates data at source when backing up to a central Avamar data store. Iomega’s Personal Cloud provides secure data backup and file sharing to remote users as though they were on the same LAN. We first looked at it in our review of Iomega’s px4-300r and found it very easy to use.
Axis’s video-hosting service is now supported, and offers off-site recording and viewing facilities for IP camera surveillance. The appliance supports up to ten UPnP IP cameras and provides live views and scheduled recordings.
A front USB 3 port links up with a QuikTransfer button, and runs copies of device contents to a predefined folder. Using a Super Talent Express Duo USB 3 stick, we copied our video clip to the appliance at 46MB/sec – over twice the speed of a USB 2 stick.
To make up for the lack of bundled backup software, the Copy Job feature runs scheduled copies of folders from one network device to another, and neither the source nor the destination has to be the appliance itself. Copy Jobs can be linked to the QuikTransfer button. The appliance also supports the OS X Time Machine service and can be replicated to another remote unit using rsync.
The px6-300d offers an impressive range of network storage features and cloud services. It’s good value, and new firmware sorts out the poor write speeds that have plagued StorCenter products, thus earning it a Recommended award.
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|