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SMB-targeted NAS devices run Linux

Aug 31, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 5 views

Iomega has announced a four-drive, 2-8TB StorCenter ix4-200d network-attached storage (NAS) device that runs Linux, according to eWEEK. Meanwhile, NetGear announced that its ReadyNAS storage appliances now support the Remote Agent for Linux and UNIX Servers (RALUS) for Symantec Backup Exec, enabling faster backups.

The product announcements join a number of other networking-related announcements to emerge at this week's VMworld 2009 show in San Francisco. Iomega's StorCenter ix4-200d was considered notable enough to earn two stories in eWEEK — a product announcement on Friday by Nathan Eddy, followed by today's VMWorld show report by Chris Preimesberger.

Like the NetGear ReadyNAS devices (see farther below), Iomega's StorCenter NAS appliances are based on embedded Linux and are aimed at the small to medium business (SMB) market. StorCenter devices run LifeLine, developed by Iomega parent company EMC and billed as being a "fully-developed Linux operating environment and suite of information management, security, and sharing software applications." Other Iomega NAS devices based on LifeLine include the 1-2TB StorCenter ix2 (pictured at right).

The eWEEK stories report that the StorCenter ix4-200d comes in 2TB, 4TB, and 8TB versions. In addition to NAS mode, the ix4-200d can also run as an Apple Time Machine and as a iSCSI target for VMware vSphere simultaneously, says eWEEK. The Preimesberger story quotes Mark Tanguay, Iomega's worldwide manager of network solutions, as saying that in NAS mode, the device "can get up and running in less than five minutes."

Iomega ix4-200d

According to the original story by Eddy, the ix4-200d offers user-replaceable SATA II hard drives, dual gigabit Ethernet ports, and three USB 2.0 ports, for adding printers or additional storage. The 7.7 x 7.9 x 6.6-inch device can be configured with different levels of RAID support, including RAID 5 (pre-configured) and RAID 10, both with automatic RAID rebuild, as well as in "just a bunch of disks" (JBOD) mode, says eWEEK.

In addition, the StorCenter ix4-200d provides data backup and protection for any number of desktops and laptops using EMC's Retrospect backup software, says eWEEK. The ix4-200d also ships with Iomega QuikProtect backup software for scheduled file-level backup. The appliance is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux PCs, and the interface is said to be localized in 11 languages.

The ix4-200d offers user-replaceable drives

The device is also said to be compatible with UPnP and DLNA media discovery standards. This compatibility is said to enable streaming of photos, audio, and videos to a variety of PCs and media devices, including game consoles, audio bridges, iTunes players, and networked digital picture frames (DPFs).

Other ix4-200d features noted in the stories include:

  • RSA BSAFE encryption for protecting installs and upgrades from viruses or malware
  • iSCSI block-level access for efficient storage utilization
  • Device-to-device replication to network targets
  • Windows Active Directory support
  • Remote access and management
  • IP security camera support
  • New front panel LCD and QuikTransfer button for fast copying

NetGear enhances ReadyNAS backup and recovery

In other NAS-related news, NetGear announced that its Linux-based, SMB-targeted ReadyNAS devices now support the Remote Agent for Linux and UNIX Servers (RALUS) for Symantec Backup Exec for Windows Servers. ReadyNAS systems include the ReadyNAS Pro (pictured at right), which comes in 1.5TB, 3TB, and 6TB versions, and uses Intel Core 2 Duo processors.

The Backup Exec agent installs on the ReadyNAS appliances as a RAIDiator Add-On, communicating directly with Symantec's Backup Exec software to deliver "significant performance improvements for backup, restore, archive and disaster recovery solutions in Backup Exec environments," says NetGear. RALUS for Backup Exec extends Backup Exec "beyond Windows and NetWare to meet the needs of emerging business applications on Linux operating systems," says the company.

NetGear claims to be the first vendor to offer Backup Exec support on sub-$5,000 storage systems. RALUS is said to support 32-and 64-bit remote Linux and UNIX servers, including those based on Intel Xeon EMT64, Intel Pentium EMT64, AMD Athlon, and AMD Opteron processors.


The StorCenter ix4-200d is now available, with the 2TB version priced at $700, the 4TB model at $900, and the 8TB model at $1,900, says Iomega. More information may be found here.

Today's eWEEK story on the ix4-200d may be found here, and the earlier story should be here.

More information on NetGear's ReadyNAS and RALUS may be found at the company's website, here.

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