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With its latest rack mount NAS appliances, storage maestro Iomega focuses its not inconsiderable gaze on SMBs that want some decent backup and recovery tools as well as capacity. The StorCenter Pro NAS 450r series aims to deliver these features and more and consists of two offerings with the 1TB model on review here.
It's easy to look at the asking price and storage capacity and think this is a comparatively costly solution. However, there's a lot more to the 450r than meets the eye as for starters it's endowed with Microsoft's Windows Storage Server 2003 R2. This is so superior to most Linux powered appliances as it delivers far more features and those familiar with Windows Server 2003 will find it easier to manage. Backup and disaster recovery are high on Iomega's list and for workstation backup you get a five user copy of EMC's Retrospect Express 7.5. There's much more as the price includes a single server copy of Computer Associates ARCserve r11.5 for securing appliance data to an external backup device such as a tape drive or library.
ARCserve includes CA's disaster recovery add-on and Iomega also bundles a recovery DVD. If you need to restore the entire appliance you can connect a USB DVD drive, boot the server with the recovery disk and restore it to its factory defaults after which you use ARCserve to reinstate your user data. Iomega's generosity even extends to virus protection as the appliance has a preinstalled copy of CA's eTrust AntiVirus which offers a range of tools including automated signature updates, real-time monitoring and on-demand scanning.
The 450r looks good in the hardware department as there's a 1.86GHz dual-core Xeon 3040 at the helm partnered by 1GB of 667MHz DDR2 memory. A HighPoint RocketRAID 2310 PCI-Express card looks after a quad of 250GB Hitachi DeskStar SATA hard disks and supports mirrors, stripes, RAID-5, JBODs, hot-swap and hot-standby. The system is supplied with the drives in a three disk RAID-5 array with hot-standby. The motherboard incorporates an embedded LSI Ultra320 SCSI controller and this provides a port at the rear for connecting your backup device. The 450r will be a silent partner in the office as its cooling fans don't generate a lot of noise.
You can administer the appliance locally but it's tidier to leave it headless and access it remotely over RDP, which is the preferred and more secure method. A quick setup wizard helps you hit the ground running as it takes you through configuring network parameters, tightening up management access and setting up emails for alerting. General administrative access will be via the Storage Server Management (SSM) snap-in which keeps all the various storage features neatly organized. Wizards are provided throughout so it's easy enough to set up shares where you select a source folder, name it and decide on access privileges.
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