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SoHo NAS devices run EMC Linux

Oct 15, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 37 views

Iomega is shipping a new home-oriented “StorCenter” network-attached storage (NAS) system. The Iomega StorCenter ix2 comes in 1TB ($300) and 2TB ($480) versions, with gigabit Ethernet, dual USB ports, optional Bluetooth, and a new homegrown Linux implementation that incorporates RSA security and file-sharing software.

(Click for larger view of the StorCenter ix2)

Iomega StorCenter 1TB
(Click for details)

Iomega, which was recently acquired by storage giant EMC, switched from Windows to Linux for its StorCenter line back in 2006 with its Iomega StorCenter 1TB (pictured). Iomega did not list the processor or memory for the new ix2 device, but back in 2006, an ExtremeTech review stated that the StorCenter 1TB used a 2.21GHz AMD Athlon64 CPU. Earlier this year, however, Marvell included the StorCenter 1TB on a long list of NAS devices the company released that run on its “Orion” system-on-chips (SoCs), which use Marvell's ARM9-based Feroceon micro-architecture. That explains the switch from Windows Server, which currently only supports x86 architectures.

Still aimed at the small business, home office, and home markets, the StorCenter ix2 has trimmed down to only 3.2 x 7.9 x 4.9 inches (80 x 200 x 125mm) and a svelte 4.9 lbs (2.2 kg). Still, Iomega has managed to squeeze in two SATA-II drives for 1TB or 2TB of storage, with RAID 1 and JBOD (“just a bunch of disks”) support. Additional storage can be added via the two USB ports.

The StorCenter ix2 lacks WiFi, but offers gigabit Ethernet, and with its optional new Bluetooth connectivity, users can send pictures, files, and address book contacts directly from mobile handsets to the StorCenter ix2, says the company.

StorCenter ix2, front and back

The major new feature is the addition of EMC's LifeLine, which is said to be a “fully-developed Linux operating environment and suite of information management, security, and sharing software applications.” LifeLine supports Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) and Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA), enabling StorCenter ix2 users to save, store, and play back music, photos, videos, and other digital content. UPnP and DLNA are widely supported by desktop applications, as well as by consumer electronics devices, home entertainment systems, cell phones, music players, and personal digital assistants (PDAs). The device is also said to offer an integrated iTunes server, as well as the unusual feature of supporting an optional attached digital video surveillance camera from Axis.

StorCenter ix2 in typical use

Additional touted software features include EMC Retrospect Express backup software, which enables scheduled automatic backups from attached Linux, Windows, or OS X Mac-based PCs. The software also incorporates “BSAFE” malware and virus protection from RSA, another company that has been consumed by EMC.

Key omissions in the feature line-up include remote file backup and online storage, but Iomega says it plans to add these and other features with future software updates.


The StorCenter ix2 Network Storage appliance 1TB and 2TB models are now available for $300 and $480 respectively, says Iomega. More information may be found here.

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