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As the 200d uses Windows Storage Server 2003 as its OS it needs a higher specification than most Linux based appliances. It does offer a reasonable specification though as an Intel Celeron 2GHz processor sits in the driving seat and this is partnered by 256MB of PC2100 SDRAM memory. The system is supplied with a pair of 160GB SATA drives mounted in removable carriers and configured as a RAID-1 mirror but these can only be cold-swapped as all RAID functions are managed by the OS.
Installation can take two paths as you can connect a monitor and USB keyboard and access the appliance locally. However, if you want to leave it headless then the bundled Iomega NAS Discovery utility takes care of this as it searches the network for appliances and displays them ready for administrative access. From here you can modify network parameters, access the Iomega support site for updates and fire up a remote browser management session. The WSS2003 interface is a tidy affair that’s easy enough to navigate with a neat row of tabbed folders providing swift access to each function.
The ARCserve software needs loading on the appliance first as this can be achieved easily by using its remote install routine run from another networked system. The main interface is very intuitive and the backup process is a simple three stage affair where you pick the source data, choose a target REV device and decide how often you want the job to be run. ARCserve supports disk spanning so, although not ideal, large amounts of data can be secured to multiple REV disks using just one backup job.
In terms of native capacity the REV drive compares well with DAT72 tape but it’s a lot faster. We tested this by securing a 1.8GB mix of local data to the REV drive which returned an average throughput of no less than 20.5MB/sec making the 3MB/sec transfer rate of DAT72 look positively pedestrian.
As a general NAS appliance the 200d offers a lot. Shares are simple to create and all client access is controlled with local or domain users and groups and Active Directory as well. Directory quotas limit the use of disk space and Iomega includes a number of other useful features including file screening which allows you to create policies that decide what file types can be stored on the appliance.
As a backup solution the NAS 200d, REV and ARCserve partnership works well enough although DR options could be slicker. We would also have liked to have seen more storage capacity for the price but otherwise this smart appliance offers a very good range of features, top backup performance and plenty of security options.