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NAS Reviews

Introduction

StorCenter Network Storage
At a glance
ProductIomega ix2-dl StorCenter Network Storage   [Website]
SummaryTwo drive RAID 1 Marvell Kirkwood NAS with iSCSI, backup to/from rsync targets and CIFS shares, secure remote access and media services.
Pros• Lots of features
• Supports backup to cloud, rsync and SMB targets
• Supports Apple Time Machine
Cons• Remote access requires port forwarding

Typical Price: $298  Compare Prices  Check Amazon

Iomega has been slowly improving its consumer NAS offerings, adding features and boosting performance. This time, it's the dual-drive ix2 that gets a facelift.

The last time, remote access "cloud" features were added to the ix2-200 [reviewed], resulting in the ix2-200 "Cloud Edition" (CE). The ix2-200 CE didn't have any hardware changes, so we didn't review it. But we took at look at the CE features when Craig reviewed the single-drive Home Media Network Hard Drive - Cloud Edition over on SmallCloudBuilder.

This latest change drops both the "Cloud Edition" and "-200" from the ix2's moniker, leaving it as just the plain ol' StorCenter ix2. This new beastie comes in 2, 4 and 6 TB versions populated with two 1, 2 and 3 TB drives, respectively. There is also a diskless version—the ix2-dl (model # 35887)—that Iomega sent for review, so that we could get the whole experience of installing drives from scratch.

The ix2 has all-metal construction except for the slip-off front and screwed-on rear covers and no-fasteners-required hard drive frames. Front panel indicators are minimal as shown in Figure 1.

Iomega ix2-dl front panel callouts

Figure 1: Iomega ix2-dl front panel callouts

The rear panel (Figure 2) is similarly sparse. For those who care, the 10/100/1000 Ethernet port supports 4,000 and 9,000 Byte jumbo frames. (I stopped caring awhile ago since the performance current-day Ethernet interfaces have outpaced the need for jumbo frames.)

Iomega ix2-dl rear panel callouts

Figure 2: Iomega ix2-dl rear panel callouts

Inside

You can see the small main board when you install the drives. But for a good look, I had to disassemble the ix2 to take the photo below.

ix2-dl board

Figure 3: ix2-dl board

Table 1 summarizes the key component information and compares it to previous-generation ix2's. RAM and flash sizes remain unchanged from the -200. The main change is a somewhat beefier processor. I'm told the new processor is the same as a Marvell 88F6282 Kirkwood. It seems that Marvell is playing around with part numbers to help keep product teardown fans guessing.

  Iomega ix2 (new) Iomega ix2-200 Iomega ix2 (original)
CPU Marvell 88F62E2A1C160
Kirkwood @ 1.6 GHz
Marvell 88F6281
Kirkwood @ 1 GHz
Marvell 88F5182
"Orion"
Ethernet Marvell 88E81318 Marvell 88E81116R Marvell 88E1118
RAM 256 MB 256 MB 128 MB
Flash 128 MB 128 MB 4 MB
Table 1: Component summary and comparison

Iomega supplied two Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 2 TB (ST2000DM001) drives for installation and test with the ix2-dl. With the drives installed and spun up, I measured 20W of power draw. This dropped to only 7W when the drive spindown power save kicked in. I rated noise level as medium-high, with drive motor hum and head thunks echoing around and seemingly amplified by the aluminum enclosure. I could definitely hear the ix2-dl running in my quiet home office.

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