Storage new-product news usually involves items that are bigger, faster and cheaper, as disk drives themselves become more capacious and cutthroat competition lowers pricing.
However, EMC's Iomega, well-known for personal disk storage products such as the Zip and Jaz drives, is coming out with new products that are smaller-yet "bigger" in capacity-and cheaper.
Iomega on Oct. 15 introduced the StorCenter ix2, a 1TB-capacity network storage drive with a desktop footprint that the company describes as "smaller than a large dictionary." The price: $300.
The StorCenter ix2 is the first co-produced storage drive Iomega has a launched since the company's acquisition by storage giant EMC last August.
"When we were acquired by EMC, we talked a lot about taking advantage of EMC's technologies to differentiate ourselves in the consumer and small-business space," Iomega division President Jonathan Huberman told me. "Here is the first substantial example of where that's happening."
The StorCenter ix2 comes in 1TB and 2TB ($479) versions and provides a centralized network storage repository that can be used in the home to share, secure and protect data and files-including databases, photos, MP3 files, videos and financial records.
"These are market-based prices," Huberman said. "It's ridiculous how cheap these things are, but it is what it is. A great value for the consumer."
The ix2 includes built-in support for Bluetooth, UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) and DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) certified devices; it even sports an integrated iTunes server.
The ix2 includes security software from RSA, also owned by EMC.
"My perspective on this is that you're getting an enterprise-quality set of functionality at a price point and ease of use that a small business or consumer can afford," Huberman said.
StorCenter ix2 uses EMC's LifeLine software, a fully developed Linux operating environment and a suite of applications that can be used to add new storage management features in the future.
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