When you think of EMC, you probably think of a massive storage company that builds enterprise-grade storage arrays chock full of all kinds of storage features, such as thin provisioning, inline deduplication, seven hundred and thirty different connectivity ports of varying type for every need, and any kind of replication that you might desire.
We write a lot about the changing storage needs of modern organizations as it pertains to changing ways of doing business. It’s a sure thing that newer technologies, such as virtualization, have had a major impact on how storage systems are designed, sized, procured and configured.
But there’s another whole side to EMC that is often overlooked. EMC is also active in the lower end of the storage market where the “capacity beats all” crowd often lives. Sometimes, an organization just needs a ton of disk space at a reasonable cost and doesn’t need all of the bells and whistles that accompany the high end devices generally sold by EMC.
Enter Iomega. In June of 2008, EMC made a big splash in the SMB and lower end of the storage market by acquiring EMC. With a number of products in a portfolio with prices ranging from $299 to $13,000, the Iomega portfolio is often a great fit for organizations that:
- Don’t need the high-end features found in EMC’s traditional portfolio.
- Value capacity over performance. This shouldn’t be construed as meaning that Iomega products are terrible performers, but rather that EMC’s higher end products generally scale well beyond what can be had with an Iomega product.
- Require mass storage for archiving or other non-performant needs.
In order to get a good feel for where Iomega fits in EMC’s overall product mix, let’s consider the smallest array that the company sells under the EMC badge—the VNXe 3100. The 3100 carries an initial price tag of anywhere between $9,300 and $30,000 and carries a number of features, including:
- iSCSI or NAS connectivity.
- Thin provisioning.
- File level deduplication.
- Scalability from as few as 6 to as many as 96 drives.
- No single points of failure in the array.
It’s clear that the VNXe 3100 is a capable array, but don’t count the latest high-end device from Iomega out! At EMC World, the company announced their new flagship array. Dubbed the PX12-450r, it carries a starting price of $7,499 and sports a number of features found in the VNXe, but also has some surprises of its own. Here are a few items available in the PX12-450r:
- E3-1265Lv2 Quad Core 2.5GHz Intel Ivy Bridge Xeon processor. The Ivy Bridge processors will eventually make their way into EMC’s other products, too. The processor upgrade will help boost the product’s iSCSI capability, too.
- 8 GB of RAM.
- Support for 4 TB drives. This addresses all kinds of capacity needs!
- 10 GbE Ethernet, making throughput issues a thing of the past for iSCSI environments.
- In the box antivirus from McAfee.
- In the box backup and dedupe from Avamar.
- In the box encryption using LifeLine.
- Will support solid state drives.
The PX12-450r is Iomega’s flagship system, but there is clear differentiation between it and the lowest of the low end VNXe’s. For example, whereas the VNXe and other products from EMC are focused on robust availability and scalability, Iomega is focused squarely on the SMB space. For example, the 450r doesn’t support high availability mechanisms. Further, the 450r scales only to the number of drives supported by the chassis; you can’t scale beyond a single chassis in an integrated way. You would need to treat multiple chassis as separate units.
The inclusion of some enterprise grade features, such as dedupe and encryption, is great in a product in this class. However, if you just need massive storage and none of the enterprise-grade features, Iomega has you covered there, too. The PX12-350r supports up to 36 TB in a 2U chassis and costs around $11,500 from Iomega, but I’ve seen it for as little as $9,600 elsewhere. At an cost of just $267 per TB, the 350r is a value beast!
For some organizations, 36 TB is too much. For the smallest of the small, Iomega sells the StorCenter ix2, a two bay mirroring-capable array that supports iSCSI and a number of other network protocols, including NFS, CIFS, Bonjour and more. The ix2 supports drives of up to 3 TB in size, so it can meet the capacity needs for many SMBs. With a 6 TB unit costing only $670 from Iomega, the price is within reach for just about any business, too.
For the in-between SMB, check out Iomega’s complete line here.