Intel unveils personal cloud platform for SMBs, consumers

Summary:Intel is diving into the personal cloud storage space with a new Atom-based platform targeted towards both consumers and small businesses.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Intel is getting into the personal cloud storage game with the introduction of its own Atom processor-based storage solutions aimed towards both consumers and small businesses.

Essentially, these are network-attached storage appliances powered by either the Intel Atom D2550 or D2500 processors for securing, backing up and sharing content through the cloud. The cloud technology comes in through an exposed HTML IP address (with a secure login), and the end user can access that IP address either through a regular desktop browser or it can look like a drive.

Intel said it has been focused on developing reference architectures to meet the costs and performance points they need on both personal and public clouds on systems running on Atom chips.

"Ballooning data is a fact of life," according to David Tuhy, general manager of Intel's Storage Group, while presenting the processor giant's new cloud storage platform during a media briefing on Thursday morning.

While this might seem like a bit of an understatement, managing data (whether it be personal data, big data, or any other kind), presents a both major opportunity and challenge for every arm of technology.

Citing recent research from the Aberdeen Group, Intel reports that SMB storage volumes are increasing by 30 percent annually, while consumer digital storage needs will grow from 329 exabytes to 4.1 zettabytes.

One of the things challenging for small businesses are growing requirements and policy driven on them by data retention. Tuhy cited HIPAA, in particular, which has rules that vary by state by state but does require healthcare organizations to retain up to five years worth of data to the life of the patient.

"Data loss is far too common," Tuhy asserted, citing more research from the University of North Carolina that 2,000 laptops are stolen or lost every day while 32 percent of data loss is caused by human error.

He argued that all of this speaks to fact that both consumers and businesses need a better way to maintain their data integrity.

Tuhy listed what Intel believes SMBs and consumers want most, citing protection and privacy as the two foremost concerns. That includes automated backup functionality but also sharing files across connected devices while being able to selectively grant remote access.

Thus, key capabilities include sharing devices on the local area network with HTTP extensions, RAID data protection, integrated support for digital displays, built-in hardware acceleration, scalable I/O connectivity, up to 4GB of main memory, and support for multiple operating systems. It also has integrated USB 3.0 connectivity, but not Thunderbolt.

Intel has already lined up three product launches with OEM partners: Asustor, QNAP, and Thecus. Pricing starts at approximately $299. All three are shipping these systems already, and Tuhy added that Intel does expect to see more customers launching before the end of the year.

Topics: Intel, Cloud, Consumerization, SMBs, Storage

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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