So much of what we do around storage here at EMC is at significant scale: big, fast, distributed, etc.
People tend to forget that EMC is also very active at the low end of the storage marketplace: you'll find many interesting use cases where even modest products like the VNXe can be too much for the requirements at hand.
That's where Iomega competes and thrives.
I've got a number of good acquaintances in EMC's Iomega group. They're always up to something interesting, and -- of course! -- we all appreciate the "extended evaluation" units they occasionally hand out.
As part of the run up to EMC World 2012, they've got a few significant announcements of their own.
Iomega Looks At Storage Differently
Diversity is a good thing in any large corporate environment, and that's true for a large company like EMC.
The Iomega guys target a different class of customers than mainline EMC storage devisions -- they care about different things, focus on different features, and draw in different flavors of technology.
But there are some advantages to being part of the EMC family as well: things like excellent VMware and hypervisor support, the ability to interact with other relevant EMC products like Avamar and Atmos, and so on.
So, What's New?
It's the new px12-450r, the follow on to the very successful 350r. The big story here is a real-deal decently powerful quad-core Ivy Bridge Intel processor (the Xeon E3-122 v2) with a healthy 8GB of RAM to work with.
Power is good. It makes things go fast.
For example, encryption gets a reported 60% performance boost. Not bad.
Not only is their storage speedier, there's now enough horsepower to run real storage applications within the array itself. EMC LifeLine -- the storage operating system used by Iomega -- is built on top of a Linux kernel.
Coupled with a new SDK for application developers, there's now all sorts of interesting possibilities for storage that comes in an efficient small package.
I can't wait to see what people come up with.
All that new capability would be somewhat less exciting -- unless there was a very useful app that had already been ported. The Iomega team doesn't disappoint: every PX series array can now support McAfee VirusScan Enterprise for Linux without the need for add-on hardware, right in the array itself.
Other applications are becoming available, you can find out more here.
Easier Access From Mobile Clients
The Iomega team has done a lot of work around their "personal cloud" concept -- transparent and convenient access to your information, using your own storage device as the platform: be that for media streaming, convenient file access, whatever.
New in this release is direct access support from iOS and Android clients -- something I'm going to have to try for myself.
In my world, a modest PX device sitting at home on my Verizon FIOS link might be a wonderful alternative to some sort of external cloud service.
Especially given all the errr -- media -- I have in my collection.
The PX series also has considerable data protection capabilities, including support for external storage clouds (including Atmos), dedupe backup via Avamar or MozyPro, as well as its own native replication capabilities.
That's a ton of features in a small, very cost-effective array.
And There's More
Not new -- but definitely still appreciated -- are the PX's VMware integrations, the great support for media devices, integration with popular video surveillance solutions
Of course, there's a full selection of traditional and SSD drive types, including support for the soon-to-be-here 4TB drives. There's also provisions to move to 10Gb ethernet support down the road.
What I Like
Iomega makes a great set of products in an incredibly competitive part of the storage market -- the SOHO / SMB NAS/iSCSI world. Last time I looked, there were dozens of cute little NAS thingies out there to go choose from. Plenty of choices.
But Iomega is thriving and evolving nicely in this world -- and do a handful of things much better than their competition.
As an EMC employee, I like the fact that we didn't define ourselves solely as "enterprise storage players" -- we were willing to invest in exploring market segments far below what we were typically comfortable with. Not everyone needs -- or wants -- a data-center class storage array.
And that willingness to experiment is working out pretty well, thank you.