As I expected, EMC’s Iomega subsidiary today rolled out the StorCenter Pro ix4-100 a big brother to the popular but plain StorCenter ix2 NAS device. This new model add hot-swappable drives (there are four now), RAID-5, and a longer warranty to make it suitable for small office use. It uses a blacked-out version of the chassis from the non-LifeLine StorCenter Pro 150d.
Like the ix2, the Pro ix4 is certified for VMware ESX using NFS. iSCSI is still absent, though EMC folks have talked about adding this in short order.
This is the third member of the LifeLine-powered NAS family from Iomega: The confusingly-named single-drive Home Media Network Hard Disk Drive, the dual-drive StorCenter ix2, and this four-drive StorCenter Pro ix4-100. The “-100” nomenclature suggests that more 4-drive models might be on the way, perhaps a “-200” model sharing its rackmount chassis with the existing non-LifeLine StorCenterPro 200rl.
With NetApp exiting the small-business market by ending their StoreVault line, who would have thought big old EMC would be the one to step up? At $799 or $1,299 for the 2 and 4 TB versions, the ix4 is about the same price as a Drobo, which is $749 or $999 plus $199 for the DroboShare NAS.