- Simple, solid, strong
- Wide feature set
- Affordable diskless option
- Write speed could be higher
- Unit can get warm
Iomega's new StorCenter ix2 packs a lot of power into a little box - if you're willing to pay the price.
Iomega has a long and storied past in the computer industry. For years, they’ve provided storage solutions for both consumer and business users, stretching all the way back to the quirky portable drives of the late 90s to the huge rack-mounted data banks of today. We’re taking an in-depth look at one of their newest network attached storage, or NAS, devices, the Iomega StorCenter ix2.
This article about Iomega’s new StorCenter ix2 is part of our 2012 Special Storage Report. Be sure to check out the other stories here!
Build and Design
The StorCenter ix2 manages to pack a lot of punch into a pretty petite device. Measuring just 3.91 inches wide, 7.94 inches long, and 5.85 inches high, the new StorCenter takes up no more room than a couple of paperback novels. Empty, the unit weighs about five and a half pounds, and a bit more once you populate the dual slots with a couple of hard drives.
Four of the ix2’s six sides are clad with a matte black metal, while plastic adorns the front and rear faces. The front panel can be removed by pushing upwards and lifting it away. Inside, you can see two spots for hard drives (if the unit is empty), or one or two hard drives, if you buy the NAS that has been prepopulated with storage drives.
To install a hard drive, simply lift up – I know, I said that already, but it is completely not obvious that the front of the bay even moves – and remove the front cover. You can insert a standard 3.5-inch hard drive into a hard drive bay strap, then shove the whole thing down into one of the empty bays. The whole process takes maybe 30 seconds, so if you experience a drive failure sometime down the road, you won’t have to spend very long swapping things out.
I’ll inject my own personal moment of stupidity here and note that I had actually unscrewed part of the case before I realized that the front popped off. Sorry, Iomega – I promise that you can’t tell.
Inputs and Expansion
So, as noted, the ix2 comes with two storage bays. For most homes, home offices, and small businesses, that’s really more than enough. With that, you can get up to 6TB of storage if you just need some network-attached temporary scratch space, or 3TB if you want to add a bit of redundancy to your data (I really, really recommend that you do).
On the back, you’ll notice a single Gigabit Ethernet jack, as well as a USB 2.0 port. The USB port is handy for a couple of different reasons – you can pretty quickly dump off a lot of data from a computer that’s only connected via wireless, for example. Iomega also lets you add additional storage capacity through the port – so you can leave a high-density USB flash drive attached if you need a few more gigs, or attach a whole other drive or drive bay – it’s up to you. The USB port also works to share your non-networked printers.
One final note – you can use almost any storage file system you want – the ix2 can read and accept HFS+ (Mac), ext2/ext3 (Linux), and NTFS or Fat32 (Windows). It’s not stated in the system specs, but I’m betting that exFAT would work, too. Hurray, the power of Linux.