Iomega first started life selling removable storage. The world marvelled at the might of the 200MB Zip drive, brought gifts of gold , frankincense and murr as offerings to the almighty Jazz drive and sacrificed livestock in awe of the the Ditto Drive (I exagerate.. but bear with me, I’m setting the scene). Then, as removable storage media started to give way to internet and USB drives became the standard for removable storage.. we started to see the likes of the zip and jazz drive fade away.
So.. out with the old, in with the new ? No.. Now Iomega have a massive play in the consumer space for External Hard drives and networked storage. The upper end of the networked storage range was the IX4 (now on its second generation). A nice tidy box which would hold up to 8TB of RAW capacity and fit well in a remote office environment, home office, even as a media server for your movies and music (all legitimately obtained of course). They even did a rackmount NAS device.. Brilliant !!
But what if you need a little more grunt… a bit more redundancy, scalability.. something more feature rich. Iomega/EMC are on the verge of releasing the IX12. This box fits nice and snug between the IX4-200R and EMC’s Celerra NX4; it supports up to 24TB of RAW capacity, supports all the RAID types you’d ever want to use and has 4 Gigabit ports which can support up to 256 iSCSI initiators (servers) or 256 LUN’s for block level access. All the other usual protocols still apply in the oh so familiar forms of CIFS, NFS, FTP, HTTP, etc and there are even a few nice bells and whistles such as port aggregation, DFS, array based replication, WebDav Support for online collaboration and it also sports drive spin down (very cool if its being used for a backup to disk or archive target).
The IX12 has also been certified by a number of other vendors; it is obviously certified and on VMwares Hardware compatibility List for shared storage (also supported by a number of other virtualization vendors). Microsoft have verified that it will support Exchange 2010 Mailstores for environments of up to 250 users.
Its being stated by Iomega that these boxes are sitting in at between $5,000 and $10,000 list, so will help EMC break even further into the lower SMB market. Personally, I think this box will play really well in spaces such as remote office, graphic design organisations, departmental dedicated storage, backup to disk targets (admittedly would be more compelling if it supported NDMP, but we’ll leave that to the big boys), archive storage for the likes of EMC’s SourceOne, EV, Commvault, etc…
I’ll put together a more clear and concise post after the announcements to come, but I think Iomega could be onto a winner on this one..