Iomega has extended its NAS family with a brand new storage device that will allow SMBs and remote offices to quickly and easily configure up to 4TB of networked storage.

Like the 2TB ix2 which Iomega announced in October, the Iomega StorCenter Pro ix4-100 once again incorporates EMC's Linux-based LifeLine software, which allows admins to configure up to 4 terabytes of storage with just four clicks.

The StorCenter Pro ix4-100 comes with four hot-swap SATA II hard drives, and can be configured with different levels of RAID support: RAID 5 (pre-configured) and RAID 10 (both with automatic RAID rebuild), as well as JBOD. The ix4 supports read and write on various formats, including Fat32, NTFS or ext2/ext3 formatted hard disks (read only on external HFS+ formatted drives).

The ix4 device itself is roughly the size of a compact desktop, and it has Gigabit Ethernet connectivity and a high-performance embedded architecture, as well as four USB 2.0 ports for adding printers or additional storage capacity with external USB drives. It also has Windows Active Directory Support, allowing the ix4 to function as a client member in an Active Directory domain, giving users and groups access to the ix4.

There are also a number of other useful features that come with the ix4, including UPS (uninterrupted power supply) support so that any ix4 that is left unattended, can power itself down in the event of power failure without data loss. It also provides alerts via email and SNMP notification for quick system status. Meanwhile, a system dashboard will help even novice users gather information on space utilisation, the device itself, as well as peripheral and backup status.

Iomega's ix4 device also supports the addition of three Axis network video cameras, a somewhat novel feature that allows for a simple, real-time video surveillance solution that captures images directly to the ix4 (depending upon system workload and network conditions).

The box can also be used as a print server, with up to four USB printers connected.

And in keeping with Iomega's consumer-related credentials, the ix4 also includes an impressive number of multimedia features. It can be used an UPnP AV media server to stream photos and music, as well as videos to other devices such as laptops, desktops, digital picture frames, games consoles (Sony PlayStation 3, Xbox 360), and even audio bridges. The Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP) also allows for the automatic transfer of photos from digital cameras via one of the four USB 2.0 ports on the ix4-100.

The box also has a bluetooth capability (although the USB adapter is sold separately) so users can typically upload contacts and photos from their mobile handsets.

"The new StorCenter Pro ix4-100 brings EMC's innovative world-class storage technologies to small businesses in an affordable and easily understandable way," said Jonathan Huberman, president of Iomega and the Consumer and Small Business Products Division of EMC, in a statement.

"The ix4 features the EMC LifeLine operating system and incorporates other EMC storage technologies used by the world's largest organisations," he added. "Add-in features such as a media server, hot-swappable drives, Bluetooth and video surveillance capabilities make the ix4 a versatile network storage solution for today's fast-moving small businesses and remote offices."

Besides using EMC's LifeLine software, the ix4 also has integrated EMC Retrospect backup software. During the set-up process, users can choose files and folders for scheduled automatic backups. After that, any changes or additions are updated and saved automatically.

MozyHome online backup service is also included (free for up to 2GB of data), giving small businesses a secure way to store, protect and access important files offsite. For an additional $4.95 (£3.38) per month per client computer, users can upgrade to unlimited online storage.

The ix4-100 also includes RSA BSAFE encryption security technology for protecting installs and upgrades from viruses or malware.

A UK spokesman confirmed that the 2TB version of the StorCenter Pro ix4-100 will cost £589 ($867) excluding VAT, while the 4TB NAS Server (available later this month) will cost £849 ($1,250) excluding VAT.