EMC bought Iomega so that it could start easing its business-grade storage gear into homes and small offices, and the StorCenter ix2 is the first official combo of Iomega brand and EMC juice. Before I get into its LifeLine Linux environment, I wanted to point out that this thing is priced to move: A full two-disk 1TB NAS costs $300—and you can double it to 2TB for $480. I know HDD prices are dropping but that's a pretty good deal to me. Here's what you get with the storage:
The case itself has gigabit Ethernet and two USB ports for extended storage, and the Linux-based PC inside is running a 400MHz processor with 128MB of memory and an EnergyStar-compliant power adapter. The Linux "operating environment" is the LifeLine system developed by EMC. It supports UPnP and DLNA for talking to assorted other devices on your network—Wii, PS3, Xbox 360 and iTunes—and it has RSA security, no coincidence since EMC owns them too. The screenshots look a lot like other Linux home-servers, such as the most recent HP Media Vault. More on that when we see the set-up live. What's cool is that this "environment" expands with added accessories. You can buy a supported Axis surveillance cam and the server becomes a realtime and recording video server; with a Bluetooth dongle, you can transfer files directly from mobile products to the server (locally). Unlike other products in its class, it doesn't yet support remote access, which is a bummer, but Jonathan Huberman, head of Iomega, told me that they're planning to give customers free upgrades every quarter, adding new functionality. That means remote access is on its way (they're thinking end of this year), and next spring, the ix2 will acquire a cool trick: You buy two of them, set up one at your office and one at home, and they'll clone each other, keeping in sync over the net. We'll probably test this baby out when it ships next week, but if you get to it before us, let us know how it goes.
New Iomega StorCenter ix2 Brings Leading EMC Network Storage Technologies To Home and Small Business Users *** Compact $299.99 Appliance Delivers Highly Innovative Network Storage Capabilities in Just Four Clicks SAN DIEGO, October 15, 2008 – Iomega, an EMC company (NYSE: EMC) and a global leader in data protection, today announced the worldwide availability of the new Iomega® StorCenter™ ix2, the most advanced and easy-to-use network storage appliance for small businesses and the home. With just four mouse clicks, users can configure up to two terabytes of storage and advanced information management, protection and sharing software that can be connected to multiple devices, including wirelessly with Bluetooth, to manage their ever-increasing digital world. With a footprint smaller than a large dictionary and starting at just $299.99, the 1TB* and 2TB StorCenter ix2 provides centralized storage to users searching for the easiest and most technologically advanced way to share, secure and protect their most important data – including photos, mp3 files, videos and financial records. The ix2 boosts small office productivity by making data accessible yet secure over a local network. In the home setting, the ix2 allows family members of all ages to effortlessly enjoy their pictures, videos, music and other multimedia files from personal computers as well as all kinds of compatible consumer electronics and home entertainment products. "The new StorCenter ix2 is a powerful network storage appliance that brings EMC's world class storage technologies to consumers and small businesses in an easily understandable way and at a price they can afford," said Jonathan Huberman, president of Iomega and the Consumer and Small Business Products Division of EMC. "The ix2 puts even the most non-technical person at ease with its straightforward operation. But behind the scenes, the ix2 utilizes advanced data protection and data management programs that haven't been available to consumers and small businesses before. With the ix2, users are literally four clicks away from storage technologies built on the heritage of those that protect data at the world's largest organizations, all at a cost of less than $300." StorCenter ix2 in the Small Business The Iomega StorCenter ix2 operates EMC's LifeLine™ software, a fully-developed Linux operating environment and suite of applications that incorporate EMC storage technologies with the capability of adding new storage management features in the future. For business users, the StorCenter ix2 Network Storage appliance delivers new features and applications to boost office productivity. In addition to speed, centralized storage capacity and the onboard security to protect all the files on a network, the ix2 delivers optional Bluetooth connectivity, which allows users to send pictures, files and address book contacts directly from cell phones to the StorCenter ix2 for network sharing and data protection; as well as a unique digital video surveillance capability using a compatible Axis™ video surveillance camera for inexpensive real-time viewing and recording of activity inside or outside the office. The ix2 includes security technology from RSA, the security division of EMC that protects digital data at many of the world's largest banks and now shields the StorCenter ix2 from viruses or malware. StorCenter ix2 in the Digital Home For home users, built-in support for Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) and Digital Living Network Alliance™ (DLNA) certified devices means that the StorCenter ix2 can save, store, and play back all kinds of multimedia files – music, photos, videos and other digital content – using not only laptops and desktop computers but any compatible device on a home network, including: • consumer electronics and home entertainment products; • mobile devices such as cell phones, music players, and personal digital assistants. "Consumers want electronic devices that can easily plug into the home network and connect with each other reliably and simply," said Huberman. "With UPnP and DLNA support and an integrated iTunes™ server in the StorCenter ix2, families can easily set up a robust media server, making the most of all of the digital content they enjoy today and will add to tomorrow." StorCenter ix2 - General Capabilities Fast network performance at the office or in the home is delivered through a Gigabit Ethernet connection, and data is stored on two high-performance SATA-II drives. Up to two USB devices can be connected to the ix2's USB ports, including USB printers for network print sharing, a USB Bluetooth dongle for direct uploads, or external USB drives to add incremental storage capacity. The StorCenter ix2 provides data backup and protection with integrated EMC Retrospect® Express backup software. During the set-up process, users choose files and folders for scheduled automatic backups from all the PCs and Macs on their network. After that, any changes or additions are updated and saved automatically. Because the EMC Lifeline operating environment is continually being refined to integrate new and existing EMC technologies, users can expect upgraded features and improvements without having to purchase new hardware. New software features planned for the StorCenter ix2 include remote file access, online storage and data security enhancements – all taking advantage of world-class EMC storage technologies. Compatibility The StorCenter ix2 Network Storage appliance is compatible with Windows®, Mac OS®, and Linux® PCs and supports up to two printers or external hard drives. The interface is localized in 11 languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Traditional and Simple Chinese, German, and Russian). Other supported devices include uPnP AV devices, digital media adapters, iTunes™, and PTP (e.g., digital cameras and frames). BlueTooth compatibility requires an optional adapter. Price and Availability The StorCenter ix2 Network Storage appliance 1TB is now available worldwide for $299.99; the StorCenter ix2 Network Storage appliance 2TB is available now for $479.99 (EMEA version of release will note price in Euros). (All prices are U.S. suggested retail.)