CRN Review - Iomega StorCenter PX Series -
Cloud Storage for SMB - px6-300d
Since EMC acquired Iomega in 2008, the company
has injected the junior company's products with a steady stream of high-end
features. The latest example is Iomega's
StorCenter PX Series, a brand new
line of desktop and rackmount network storage devices with capabilities akin
to EMC's high-end enterprise storage systems.
The company sent the CRN Test Center a
StorCenter px-6 300d, which out of the box was ready to serve in
about two minutes. It came populated with 8TB of Hitachi SATA III 6-Gbps storage
and pre-initialized with double parity (RAID 6) protection. Time-strapped
resellers and IT departments might enjoy the time savings of pre-initialization,
which does not add to the cost of the array.
The Iomega PX Series device can simultaneously perform as block-level SAN and
a file-level NAS. Administrators can create iSCSI storage pools for use as
direct server or client storage on one network while dedicating a the second
Gbit Ethernet port to file sharing over all major protocols, including CIFS,
SMB, AFP, NFS and FTP. Alternatively, the two ports can be trunked to enhance
performance or configured as redundant for improved availability.
The unit supports RAID 0, 1, 10, 5, 5+1 and 6 SSDs and drive-less
configuration. Support for Apple Time Machine is enabled by default, and worked out of the box. There's also
support for HTTP/S, WebDAV and others.
Set up was a breeze. After booting up, the unit gained an IP address from our
DHCP server and posted it on its display panel. That allowed testers to quickly
find the device using Iomega's Storage Manager utility, which immediately
prompts for the IP address of a device to configure. Versions are included for
Mac OS X and Windows. Once the initialized device was
discovered, the utility linked us to a Web browser, were all of the unit's
settings can be administered. Here, Iomega presents a simple and familiar
two-paned interface with device categories along the left and settings icons in
the larger right-hand pane. Forgot where that one seldom-used management feature
is? There's also a search bar, which delivered useful results every time we
In addition to Apple's Time Machine, backup options include integration with
Amazon S3 and Mozy Backup cloud services, and a copy job scripting interface
with automated scheduling that also can be kicked off by pressing the
"QuikTransfer" button on the front of the unit.
Then there's Iomegas Personal Cloud
feature, which we see as a major advance in simplified, cross-platform file
In just a few minutes, any or all folders on the PX Series box
can be shared with machines running Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. The two-part
process involves a few clicks of the admin tool to create a shared folder, and a
few more to invite people to share it. Invitees receive an e-mail with a
security code and link to download the Storage Manager software for their
On Windows, the client automatically maps drive letters in
Windows Explorer to all the folders you've shared (the default is six). A bit
sloppy, perhaps, but we admire Iomega's pragmatic approach over Windows File
Sharing, which can be a complicated and circular maze of settings, windows and
control panels. On Mac OS X, the folders are mounted in the Finder. We didn't
test the Linux client.
Iomega's latest line is certified for VMware vSphere 4.0 and
Citrix XenServer, as well as Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008. It
also supports Active Directory, can join multiple domains and can communicate
with UPSes for automatic shutdown.
From a physical perspective, the unit measures about 10 x 10 x
7 inches and gets power from a DC converter brick and small canon connector and
C5 AC cord. We would have preferred an integrated power supply and C13 cord. A
non-locking door swings open to expose six drive bays, each of which can accept
3.5- or 2.5-inch drives in the included locking carriers. It supports a mixture
of drive types including SSDs.
List pricing for the StorCenter PX-6 300d
ranges from $1,199 with no drives to $3,999 fully populated with 18TB.
This is a CRN Test Center recommended product.