Intel launches SSD Pro 2500 family of hardware-based self-encrypting drives

The business-friendly solid-state-storage lineup comes in 2.5-inch and M.2 formats with capacities up to 480GB.


Rather than emphasize blazing-fast data-transfer speeds like the Solid-State Drive Data Center Family , Intel is playing the security card with its latest solid-state lineup.

The Solid-State Drive Pro 2500 family offers the performance of typical SATA-based SSDs, but hopes to stand out to business buyers with its encryption and management capabilities. Available in either 2.5-inch or M.2 formats (the latter a gumstick-shaped drive for ultra-thin laptops), the new drives come in modest capacities -- ranging from 120GB to 480GB for the 2.5-inch version and 180GB, 240GB, or 360GB for the M.2 format.

Like the Sandisk X300s , the SSD Pro 2500 drives offer 256-bit AES hardware encryption to reduce the performance hit software encryption can produce. To further secure data on corporate machines, they also support Trusted Computing Group's OPAL 2.0 standard and Microsoft's eDrive. The new drives also can be remotely managed by IT staff thanks to Intel's vPro technology as well as the Intel SSD Pro Administrator Tool, allowing monitoring of drive health and tracking of data.  

In terms of performance, Intel claims the SSD Pro 2500s will deliver sustained sequential read speeds of 540MB/s and writes of 490MB/s, with random 4K reads of up to 48,000 IOPS and 4K writes of up to 80,000 IOPS.  The drives are also expected to have a mean time between failures (MTBF) of 1.2 million hours and come with a five-year warranty.

Pricing for the new SSD Pro 2500 drives starts at $95 for the 120GB flavor, moves to $130 for the 180GB and $160 for the 240GB models, and peaks at $305 for the 480GB edition. (Pricing is currently unknown for the 360GB drive.)