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Iomega StorCenter ix4-200d: One Snazzy NAS

Feature-rich SMB and home office multi-terabyte storage products are falling below $1000, and these NAS devices support a variety of file protocols, are easy to install and manage, and now, don't cost an arm and a leg to run. The ix4-200d, which ships with 2, 4 or 8 TBytes, stacks up against storage NAS products like the Seagate BlackArmor NAS 440 or the QNAP TS-439, though the TS-439 has some more advanced features such as front removable drives and more RAID levels. After several months of tes

The product ships with unlimited licenses for EMC's Retrospect backup software so that desktops can be backed-up to the ix4-200d as in as needed or scheduled basis. The ix4-200d also supports scheduled and on-demand back-up and synchronization using rsync, including one touch copying to a USB disk. The ix4-200d can also support up to five Axis security cameras and can act as a print server using USB connected printers, though we didn't test either feature.

The only downside is that you can't download files larger than 2GB using the Web interface. That's because Internet Explorer 6 limits HTTP downloads to 2GB, and EMC wrote the Web interface with that ancient browser in mind. We don't want to make a big deal out of this (how often do you download 2GB+ files through a browser, anyway?), but tailoring a web interface for a browser is pretty simple these days.

We would have really liked to have seen integration with EMC's Mozy Home either as a backup target for hosts or a built in Mozy home back-up client to Mozy home. Easy and cost effective off site back-up is becoming more critical for home users and SMBs alike. The ix4-200d is a solid SMB NAS for file and print serving. It is easy enough to use that once it is installed and set-up, you should rarely have to touch it. The advanced features like Active Directory integration and peripheral support—cameras and printers—make it a multi-function appliance.

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