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EMC Iomega Unveils NAS Appeal For Enterprise Remote/Branch Offices

Iomega, EMC's SMB storage group, is claiming a couple of industry firsts with its latest product announcement, which is also targeted at enterprise remote and branch offices. The 12-bay, 2U StorCenter px12-450r network storage array is the first EMC storage device based on Intel's Xeon E3-1200 v2 (Ivy Bridge) processor, which was just announced on Monday, and the first to include free McAfee VirusScan Enterprise anti-virus protection, says Jay Krone, EMC's senior director consumer & small business products division, who heads up the Iomega group. The array is also Iomega's first use of an Xeon or server-class product, with big potential performance improvements, he says.

“Big companies need small storage too,” says Krone. We're the first to run McAfee virus scan technology natively, he says. “We were able to get together because our parents know each other.”

The real benefit for offering Intel's AV technology, particularly in larger environments where security is a major concern, is that you can put the px12-450r in a remote site and “sleep at night knowing its protected like everything else in their environment,” he says. “Also, we believe it is the first time anybody has taken a big anti-virus product and run it on a storage device.”

Initially, Krone expects the new arrays to do well in the performance segment of the sub-$10,000 NAS market, which accounts for approximately 20% of the market. It's a new segment for Iomega, and with the faster hardware, courtesy of Intel, he believes they will do well there. However, he says the McAfee AV should prove to be the most important element of the announcement, expanding the company's market, especially into the ROBO space.

Stuart Miniman, Wikibon senior analyst, tends to agree that the Ivy Bridge updates will draw the most interest. “Having just seen the server and connectivity vendors all go through the round of updates for this round of Intel updates, customers can expect to see a significant increase in bandwidth from this new generation of solutions and EMC Iomega is first to deliver this on the storage side. There's fast churn on the drives (spinning disk and flash) and the increase in bandwidth helps keep up with allowing for a balanced system architecture.”

As to the overall significance for Iomega and the potential overlap with EMC's entry-level enterprise storage products (VNXe), Miniman says EMC's strategy is to make sure that there are no air gaps in its portfolio that a competitor can wedge a solution in between. So while there may begin to be some overlap between VNXe and the newest member of the Iomega family, customers have options based on the feature, functionality and pricing that they require.

“EMC Iomega brings a robust set of features to a market that is more familiar with consumer technology. It's a good fit for the low-end of the server virtualization market.”

A complete redesign of the previous top-end px12-350r which debuted last August, the px12-450r comes with 8GB RAM, support for both 4TB hard disk drives and 10 gigabit Ethernet networks, and features the latest version the EMC LifeLine operating system. Expected to start shipping in early Q3, it will be available in a range of configurations, from a diskless HDD model up to a 48TB configuration when 4TB disk drives become available, with prices starting at $5,499.99.

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