Iomega StorCenter px4-300r review

Reviews 13 Jul, 2011

Iomega claims its latest rack mount NAS appliance claims an improved performance and introduces SMBs to its Personal Cloud feature. Dave Mitchell thinks it's expensive though and in this review finds out whether Iomega can justify its high price tag.

3
Price: 
£1,041
ex VAT
Verdict: 
The StorCenter px4-300r has plenty of storage features with cloud-based backup and file sharing a highlight. Providing you don’t mind adding a port forwarding rule to your router, Iomega’s Personal Cloud will also prove very useful for sharing data securely with remote users. However, performance is disappointing and it is comparatively expensive making rival products such as Synology’s RS411 far better value.

Iomega has always had a relatively modest range of NAS appliances, but since its acquisition by EMC it has started to push more into SMB territory. This is a very crowded market with a huge range of choices, but Iomega’s new StorCenter px4-300r aims to stand out with its cloud backup and file sharing features.

This 1U rack system is well-built with the four bays using solid metal disk carriers although they aren’t lockable. Status LEDs for each drive are located in a strip just above the carriers and to one side is a tiny LCD providing basic system information and details on available disk and used storage.

The Storage Manager utility makes light work of installation.

Redundancy is good as there’s room at the back for a pair of 170W hot-plug power supplies. Only one is included in the price we’ve shown and a second will set you back around £240 ex VAT.

The appliance supports mirrors, stripes and RAID 5 arrays and the two Gigabit Ethernet ports can be bonded together into fault tolerant, load balanced or 802.3ad aggregated teams. There are three USB2 ports for adding external storage devices, but expansion using extra disk shelves is not an option.

Iomega supplied our review unit with a quartet of 2TB SATA drives preconfigured in a RAID 5 array so we were ready to go. The Storage Manager utility makes light work of installation as it locates the appliance on the network and maps all the predefined shares to drive letters for you.

All available shares can be viewed from the interface along with iSCSI targets and the Storage Manager handles IP SAN creation very niftily. Just select an iSCSI target, choose connect from its drop down menu, pick a drive letter and leave it to handle initiator configuration and target logon.

Specifications: 

Chassis: 1U rack chassis

CPU: 2.2GHz Intel Celeron E1500

Memory: 2GB DDR2

Storage: 4 x hot-swap SATA drive bays

Array support: RAID0, 1, 10, 5, JBOD, hot spare

Network: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet

Other ports: 3 x USB2

Management: Web browser

Software: Iomega Storage Manager

Warranty: 3 years RTB

Options: Second power supply, £240 ex VAT