NAS shoot-out: Iomega StorCenter px6-300d

Iomega's free and easy replication and remote access services put a shine on the StorCenter

The six-bay Iomega StorCenter px6-300d is the largest array you can get from Iomega before you venture into rack-mount servers, and it's just the kind of box you'd expect to see in a remote office or small to medium-sized business. Considering Iomega's parent EMC is a leader in the enterprise storage market, I had high expectations for this solution.

As it turns out, Iomega's hardware and performance are merely average. However, the Iomega Personal Cloud, which combines easy NAS-to-NAS replication and Web-based file access at no additional charge, distinguishes the Iomega StorCenter NAS. If Iomega keeps the pricing reasonable and works on increasing the performance numbers, it could give Netgear and QNAP a run for their money.

The unit I received for testing has six Hitachi 2TB drives (Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 HDS723020BLA642), but Seagate and Western Digital 1TB and 2TB drives are supported as well. If you want to splurge for 3TB drives, the only choice is the Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 HDS723030ALA640.

Iomega StorCenter px6-300d: Hardware considerations
The Iomega hardware seems rather cheap in comparison to the Netgear ReadyNAS and other NAS boxes I tested. The front cover of the unit is flimsy plastic, and the six hot-swappable hard drive trays are a low-grade plastic. Apart from the build quality, the biggest issue I see with the front cover and drive trays is that there's no way to lock them. If I were putting this unit in a branch office, I'd want at least a modicum of protection against someone opening up the unit and taking out a drive.

The other major criticism is the external power brick. In smaller companies that comprise the Iomega StorCenter's target audience, an external power brick seems like another item that could get lost or damaged.

The rear of the unit is simple: power connector, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, and two USB 2.0 ports. The front of the unit has a single USB 3.0 port. Most of the competitors also have an eSATA port, but I won't knock Iomega for the omission because I don't see the need in a business NAS. The StorCenter's most interesting hardware feature is the card slot on the top of the unit. I asked Iomega about this and was told the company is looking at using this slot in the future for a 10GbE networking card and another add-on card to do compression, deduplication, and encryption. Sadly, that's for the future, and I had to focus on the present for this review.

Test Center Scorecard
  30% 30% 20% 10% 10%  
Iomega StorCenter px6-300d Network Storage 8 7 5 7 9



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