Intel brings EMC to small-business storage

Intel has added processing brawn and big-name brains in its second shot at home and small-business storage.

On Tuesday, the company introduced two “white box” storage platforms for distributors, resellers and other channel partners to customize and sell. Using identical hardware, the Intel Entry Storage System SS4200-EHW and SS4200-E both are equipped with Intel’s Celeron 400 Series processor. That’s a step up from the XScale chip in the company’s first low-end NAS (network-attached storage) product, the SS4000, said Seth Bobroff, director of marketing programs for Intel Storage. The Celeron chips will allow more users to carry out more complex tasks simultaneously with the stored data, he said.

The devices can accommodate as many as four drives, so they could be configured with several terabytes of storage, Intel’s Bobroff said. External SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) interfaces let users plug more storage into the devices. Intel expects products to ship in December, priced at US$500 and up.

One thing that makes Intel’s new offerings stand out is the SS4200-E, which comes with software from large-enterprise storage giant EMC, according to Shulz. Most important is its Retrospect managed backup and recovery software, he said. The other new platform, the SS4200-EHW, is hardware only and designed so channel partners can package other software. This could be Windows Home Server, but vendors such as FalconStor and Wasabi Systems are also developing and validating software for it, Intel said.

With the option for more advanced software, these platforms could even work in mass deployments across branches of a large organization such as a retail chain, Schulz said.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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