Iomega readies removable storage NAS device

Appliance will be aimed at SMBs that do not have racks of servers

Iomega Corp. on Monday will unveil a new entry-level network attached storage (NAS) device designed to work with both conventional ATA (Advanced Technology Attachment) drives and the Rev removable hard drives that Iomega began shipping earlier this year.

Called the Iomega NAS 200d, the cube-shaped appliance will be priced starting at $1,399 and will give small businesses a way of adding a file server to their networks without having to pay the client licensing fees associated with a Windows Server 2003 system, said Wayne Arvidson, a director with Iomega's professional storage solutions group.

The NAS 200d uses the Windows Storage Server 2003 operating system, which does not require client licenses, Arvidson said. "You plug it into a network, and it publishes itself as a drive to everyone on the network," he said.

The 200d will come in two models: a 320GB model with two 160GB Serial ATA drives, and a 480GB model with three drives. Because they will be Iomega's first NAS devices that are not designed to be mounted on server racks, the storage servers will be more appropriate for small and medium-sized business customers that do not have racks of servers, said Brad Nisbet, program manager with IDC.

The 320GB 200d server connects to the network using a 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet interface. The 480GB server includes two such ports.

For adding additional storage or tape backup devices, the NAS appliances will have four USB (Universal Serial Bus) 2.0 ports. The 480GB model will also have an UltraSCSI 320 port, Iomega said.

By September, Iomega plans to begin selling a Rev drive kit that can be inserted directly into the 200d chassis. This will give users another way of creating removable backups of their data, Arvidson said.

The Rev drive kit is "probably going to be similarly priced" to Iomega's existing Rev drives, which cost approximately $350, Arvidson said.

The 200d will offer users a Windows-based alternative to Linux-powered NAS devices such as those sold by Snap Appliance Inc., Arvidson said. "Having a Microsoft-based solution makes it very easy for small and medium businesses," he said. "There is native support for Active Directory and the management screens are exactly like what you have with your Microsoft desktop," he said.

The NAS 200d with 320G-byte of storage will have a list price of $1,399. The 480GB model will be priced at $1,999. Both products will begin shipping in the U.S., Canada and Latin America in June. They will appear in other international markets by September, Iomega said.

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