Intel unveils personal cloud platform for SMBs, consumers

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, Storage, SMBs

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  • Aren't both consumers and SMBs customers?

    Good luck with HIPAA, et al... there are doubtlessly SEVERAL violations currently being ignored...

    I am not knowledgeable of HIPAA except it is there to 'protect' my medical information.

    I do not understand your concerns about putting data into the cloud. I am assuming the data is a at least as secure as my doctor's, insurer's, clinic's security measures. (This may be a bad assumption, but...)
  • Data banks! Yeah, data banks, like regular banks, is what we need...

    Doctor and hospital records, and any other kind of patient record, starts with the patient, and that data should be the property of the patient, and accessible by the patient and by his/her doctors and clinics and hospitals, whenever needed.

    But, personal data is not just about medical records; it's about all kinds of data that a person generates throughout his lifetime, including birth records and school records, and work history and purchasing history (if a person wishes to maintain such records), usage history, photos, banking history, travel history, and many other such data.

    To manage that kind of data, perhaps what's needed is not a centralized data collection and data manipulation and data dispersing point, such as data warehouse. What is needed is a "data bank", where people can keep a device such as what Intel proposes above, which sits in a secure location, managed and secured by some "trustworthy" company or entity, with regulations that would insure the protection of that data from intrusion and theft.

    So, I can imagine a bank, a secure location, with hundreds and perhaps thousands of devices, each belonging to one person, and each with its own communications capability, waiting for the owner to access that data, and allowing permission to others for access.

    That would constitute the ultimate distributed data base, with millions, and perhaps billions of those devices coming into use. What would be needed is the mechanism and software to access the data in such devices. But, the control would belong with the consumer and creator of that data. Cross-referencing of such data would be permitted, by external entities, but only where the owners of the data permitted it.

    Anyhow, it can get complicated, but, I can see a huge benefit to such devices as Intel has developed.
    • The Cloud!

      Your concept already exists in different flavors for different folks. Dropbox is just one. A remote web server is another.

      Consider these...

      If you pay cash into your bank account it is not the same notes you get when you withdraw.
      := You don't take your own storage device to the "data bank"

      The government can freeze your bank account if they think you're crooked.
      := They can also force your storage host to reveal your data.

      The bank uses your money to trade while it sits with them.
      := That's the service charge, your data is mined for free, or you pay for the storage service.

      There you go! The "Data Bank" already exists!
  • Personal Cloud Storage

    Personal cloud storage means a storage option in the cloud for individuals (students, freelancers, home users, etc.) to store their valuable data including documents, media files & other materials wherever they want to. Cloud storage gives the privilege to the end-users to store their data in accordance with their ever-changing needs.