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Iomega sees silver lining in cloud storage for SMBs

Storage maker launches three tiers of cloud-enabled network-attached storage devices to target small and midsize businesses not confident yet of utilizing public cloud services, exec says.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor on

SINGAPORE--EMC-owned Iomega has launched three cloud-enabled NAS (network-attached storage) devices in Singapore aimed at small and midsize businesses (SMBs), which it says will help boost company coffers by contributing almost 50 percent of overall revenue within a year of its launch.

Rajeev Mukul, vice president of Asia-Pacific and Japan for EMC's consumer and small business division, said the new suite of cloud-ready storage devices, or Personal Cloud, is "more relevant" in Asia-Pacific compared to United States or Europe as there are many more SMBs--about 29 million according to IDC figures--in this part of the world.

Among this segment, many are "hesitant" to use the public cloud because security and availability issues related to critical customer data have yet to be eradicated, Mukul said in a phone interview Tuesday.

To address the needs of this business segment, he pointed to Iomega's three tiers of cloud-enabled NAS devices which range from home edition for SOHOs (small offices/ home offices), to heavy SMB users and enterprise customers. These devices were launched last week in India, followed by Singapore's launch today and will roll out in all Asia-Pacific markets by the end of the month, he added.

With regard to remote access, Mukul said device-to-device connections--which would allow for content to be uploaded and edited--is limited for 256 devices for each NAS device, regardless of the product tier. That said, there is no limit to users' access to data stored in the device, he said.

He added that such cloud storage devices will "significantly increase" the company's business and expects revenue from the new cloud NAS devices to contribute almost 50 percent of Iomega's overall revenue within a year of the initial launch in North America at the start of second quarter 2011.

Existing non-cloud NAS products will have their shelf-lives terminated by the end of the month, Mukul said.

In an earlier interview, Iomega President Jonathan Huberman described storage as a tough business where profit margins are low, which was why the company looked to software as a competitive differentiator to help the SMB storage vendor grow its revenues. Iomega was acquired by software and storage vendor EMC in 2008 for US$213 million.

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