Iomega introduces new NAS, the StorCenter ix2 with the ambition to integrate both at work and at home as a primary storage device.
Well as ultra compact, the Iomega StorCenter ix2 can accommodate up to two hard drives. Moreover, the proposed brand vacuum but with one or two storage media ranging from 1TB to 6TB.
It means perfectly as storage solution and backup through its advanced features, the
Pavilion DV4 can also be used as an NVR solution and thus control one or more IP cameras. Thus the new Iomega NAS provides access to video surveillance.
To secure the data, the StorCenter ix2 supports RAID and has many backup solutions including through its application Iomega Personal Cloud to access the camera from the Internet.
Like any NAS last generation, the StorCenter ix2 is heavily loaded with multimedia content with tools that simplify handling this type of files through compatibility with the most popular social networking sites and also video sharing online.
Iomega StorCenter ix2 then he will win against the best sellers Qnap and Synology as? Can represent a viable alternative with high performance, an intuitive management interface and easy to use? It is also quieter and more economical thanks to an advanced energy management better than its competitors?
That is to say, Iomega is 400 million devices sold worldwide to date. Thus, the subsidiary of EMC Corporation was able to convince users with Compaq Presario CQ60 of high quality, reliable and efficient.
The company based in San Diego, United States account for its catalog of many products such as media players, hard drives and laptops, SSDs and even smartphones without forgetting the NAS.
Range of NAS Iomega is more concentrated than the competition as eight devices are available. The first models were equipped with two bays and there are three four-bay NAS with one being dedicated to video surveillance. Finally there are three oriented professional equipment because they can be accommodate six hard drives or has the format rack.
The StorCenter ix2 is the smallest NAS Iomega but this did not prevent him to see a complete list of features.
It supports RAID 0 and 1 in order to secure the best data, or to offer the best rates. Hard drives that are hot swappable welcomes and has a network interface and a USB 2.0 connector. His power is provided through an external adapter.
The StorCenter ix2 has set mission to host and save user data through a storage Consequently, scalable and fast thanks to its processor clocked at 1.6GHz and its 256MB of RAM. It is equipped on this point as the Netgear Duo v2 and especially as the excellent LaCie 2big NAS Qnap TS-219P II which they are equipped with 512MB of RAM.
With its square shape, the StorCenter ix2 breaks with the ix2 Cloud Edition which had a more rounded case but some qualities. In fact, the chassis is brushed aluminum with black aesthetic more careful than plastic or steel used by many competitors. Ultra compact, the StorCenter ix2 is only 20 cm deep and 10 cm wide and 15 cm high.
Its footprint is reduced allowing it to take place while maintaining maximum protection. Start by finding its sleek façade plastic on which notice the total absence of buttons and switches Dell Latitude E6500. No connection is also provided. Only air vents can allow the air to escape.
On the right are two LEDs to indicate the position powering the device and the hard disk activity. Under the removable front, there are two bays for hosting both hard drives installed on plastic substrates with handles and simplifies their insertion and extraction.
Behind the StorCenter ix2, a fan takes place protected by a gate and on the left is all the connections of the NAS or a USB 2.0, Ethernet and external power outlet.
Iomega StorCenter ix2 NAS our test sail two default drives a Tera byte each. They are the Seagate Barracuda family and. They therefore operate at 7200 revolutions per minute and use a SATA 6Gbps interface. They also have a 32MB cache.
Their supports if not a real cart used on high-end models are a simple "U" plastic.
Once the StorCenter ix2 from his case, we find a unique design even if the organization is classic.
The motherboard of the Toshiba PA3465U-1BRS is located vertically on the right and does not have any insulation. She remains in direct contact with hard drives that emit some heat dissipation. The frame rests on a skeleton obviously missing rigidity, the fault incumbent in the absence of a support on the bottom.
It is also surprising that the entire top of the chassis is unused. Only connectors on hard drives and other LEDs are located here. We particularly regret that the StorCenter ix2 did not use a rigid backplate, ie a specially dedicated connectors to accommodate hard drives more reliable than plastic connectors connected by single SATA tablecloths.
Another detail improvable, cable sheathing used by LED. They are simply dressed in insulation tape. As a reminder, an ideal design is based on the almost total absence of electrical cables.
Even if Pavilion DV5 Battery connectors are attached to a plate extruded allowing the passage of air provided by the fan, we doubt the effectiveness of such an assembly. One can easily predict that the air will be severely disrupted the passage of the grid and it will rather rush on the walls rather than through the hard drives on the length.
Fortunately the motherboard very modest size has excellent build quality on which sits a single core processor clocked at 1.6GHz Marvell 6282 and with 256KB of L2 cache. This chip also supports two SATA 3Gbps ports, a USB 2.0 port, two Ethernet interfaces, and finally DDR2 1066MHz and 3. On the latter, it is a 256MB chip directly soldered to the PCB and Nanya brand.
Now all NAS moved in a similar way, an application included with the machine will detect the NAS on the network. In the case of Iomega StorCenter ix2, no need to install a firmware because it is already installed in the machine. We appreciate especially when it is automatically installed with hard disks, the StorCenter ix2 is immediately usable.
Found a management interface that is relatively close to the Iomega StorCenter px4 tested here and is graphically pleasant to use with dark colors and contrast. The Sony VGP-BPS8 are well worked readable and evocative. Iomega has therefore took care to provide users with an accessible interface and novice bit confusing.
The main menu is located on the left side of the interface. It has eight sections, but finally the Iomega could further simplify the category as "Common" pell mell takes a few options here and piochées and the latter contains all the features. "Cloud Services" could also be stored in the network.
The tab "Common" makes it possible to manage users, share folders, developing backup and finally monitor the health of the system. Some options are the same in menus storage and backup. Replications that will not be novices at first.
Service "Cloud" allows the StorCenter ix2 integrate many service providers allowing backup internet. But the most interesting option is the "Personal Cloud" because it allows to access the NAS from the Internet. In addition, this feature allows sharing with third parties without the need to create their account on the StorCenter ix2.
The "System" tab includes many tools related to power management (standby, hibernation hard drives or ventilation management). The StorCenter ix2 can also substitute as a print server where the printer is directly connected via USB.
NAS configuration can be saved and be restored in case of crash thus avoiding completely reconfigure the device. Finally there are the usual mechanisms of alerts to send email automatically in case of failure, exceeded the storage temperature increases and other events.
The backup includes the items already mentioned above in the "Cloud", namely the integration of various service-oriented backup internet. The backup tool specific StorCenter ix2 is perfect as accessible to the general public and particularly comprehensive. Simply specify the content to save the copy destination and planning.
The "Media" section is probably the most original StorCenter ix2 because it includes sites like Facebook, YouTube and Flickr. It is thus possible to automatically publish content once it is stored in the appropriate folders. And the StorCenter ix2 loads automatically distribute photos or videos online.
The two-bay Iomega also known stream video over the network using the Inspiron 1525 protocol, downloading files via the sharing protocol "Torrent" and manage IP cameras and thus give users a platform video surveillance.
The "Storage" section is also very important even if there are still shortcuts already present in other sections. We congratulate Iomega NAS integration in this allowing iSCSI virtualization of storage space.
Disk Management is also understandable through the illustration of the device well helping users first NAS.
Share folders can also be configured here. Simply create a folder then allow or deny access to user accounts you want.
The "Network" menu again once more the menu "Personal Cloud" but especially the network communication protocols.
The StorCenter ix2 is accessible via the protocol WinCF (Samba), FTP, WebDAV (HTTP), Apple AFS, NFS (Linux), and rsync (replication / backup).
Note that installing a Bluetooth USB dongle, the StorCenter ix2 will be accessible via this wireless technology, however, too slow for many applications.
In the end, even if the shortcuts are often replicated, the management interface of the StorCenter ix2 is fun to use even if it is less effective than that proposed by Synology, Qnap or LaCie. We especially appreciate the features related to shares as the most visited sites, but also the ability to share data with near by the "Personal Cloud".
To measure performance, we used our reference HP Pavilion DV6 with a network interface supports Intel 82579V Gigabit networks. To be sure not to hinder the transfer of data, we use a cluster of two SSD raid 0.
This will allow us to check the qualities and defects of these various configurations and especially to help you choose the most suitable to your needs.
We will use our traditional file 7769 MB as well as our entire 2414 files in 149 folders distributed to a volume of 3.08 GB (approx. 1.3 MB per file).
Measurements will be made via SMB transfer protocols in both reading and writing.
Large file performance
When using large files, the StorCenter ix2 comes out hard in writing or does not exceed 50MB / s, a value surprisingly low for a chip Marvell 6182. In reading, the flow is a bit better with 75MB / s, a relatively comfortable but well below 100MB / s held by competitors NAS carrying a CPU identical.
Small file performance
When transferring small files (1MB JPG picture), rates fall in the usual range of 30MB / s to 40MB / s write and about 35MB / s read. The StorCenter ix2 does it show some inconsistency in the results because the RAID 1 mode gives better performance than RAID 0. As a reminder, it emphasizes theory flows which is far from being the case for the StorCenter ix2.
By measuring the number of hits per second (IOPS), we get an excellent overview of the performance of NAS support. In random mode, it exceeds the 900 IOPS read and write is 350 IOPS values similar to those obtained on the DV7 Battery.
In random mode, the Iomega StorCenter ix2 in fact significantly worse than the two bays of LaCie. If reading the results are equivalent, we write IOPS is 35 when we expected a fifty. Although the difference is imperceptible practice but it reveals a lack of optimization in the device.
Finally we measure the flow records on the single USB 2.0 StorCenter ix2. Here again, writing small files disappoints with only 4MB / s while competing products are largely able to reach 15MB / s flow is almost four times faster!
Consumption and noise
Fortunately, even if the StorCenter ix2 is not a lightning war, it keeps the advantage of being quiet because with only 34.8 dB when hosts two hard drives, it remains almost inaudible.
Regarding power consumption, the StorCenter ix2 is an excellent position and is particularly efficient with only 16 watts when equipped with two hard Latitude E6410 drives and one with 8 watts.
Finally, the StorCenter ix2 standby consumes only 3 watts.
With the StorCenter ix2, Iomega NAS signs very interesting because even equipped with unique features never seen before. It therefore refers primarily to greedy people and other social networking sites to publish videos and photos. Thanks to its integration of Facebook, YouTube and Flickr, it is even easier and faster to publish such content by simply placing the desired file in the designated folder for this purpose.
More The StorCenter ix2 has a sleek brushed aluminum even more successful than some competitors opting for a more or less coarse plastic. Damage, however, it does not repeat if successful design of its big brother the StorCenter px4, probably one of the most successful NAS that we could test on this point.
The management interface is graphically successful and friendly but we find it hard to understand why Iomega wished multiply shortcuts in different section of the menu. Because in the end, a feeling of uncertainty can be established in the minds of users or in the field, it was shown that the structure and organization of the Dell Latitude E6510 was often the best.
Finally, if the StorCenter ix2 does not reach the best rates in the category of two-bay NAS equipped with a Marvell 6182, they are sufficient for most uses. We remain disappointed that the RAID 0 mode supposed to be the most powerful is finally the slowest without any explanation to this day.
But available from 120 euros, the StorCenter ix2 offers great value for money feature more interesting than Raidon SL3650. However, the D-Link DNS-325 on the reference line is available 10 euros cheaper but with a management interface aesthetically less worked and certainly not as developed as our features Iomega NAS.
Beyond to benefit from a more comprehensive NAS but also more expensive, it is the Synology DS212j NAS and LaCie 2big but quickly approaching 200 euros.
That is why if the performance is not the first priority but we are fans of social networks and that we have a very tight budget, the Iomega StorCenter ix2 is designated as the new benchmark in the small segment price.
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