Intel Adds New NAS Platform To Custom-Build Family

Forum NAS

The vendor's new Intel Entry Storage System SS4000-E is aimed at small-business users and the branch offices of midsize businesses, said Seth Bobroff, marketing director of Intel's Storage Group. It also can be used by sophisticated home users, he said.

The SS4000-E is based on an Intel motherboard with a 400MHz Intel 80219 processor. It includes a Linux-based operating system installed on flash memory that allows file sharing between Windows, Linux and Macintosh users.

The appliance can be configured with one to four 250-Gbyte or 500-Gbyte SATA hard drives, giving it a total raw capacity of up to 2 Tbytes, which can be configured for RAID levels 1, 5 and 10.

The NAS platform comes with a license for backup and recovery software for a single user, with additional licenses available from Intel, Bobroff said.

Sponsored post

The SS4000-E is only available through Intel-authorized distributors, he said. The configuration of the appliances can be done by the distributors or can easily be done by solution providers, he said.

Andy Kretzer, director of sales and marketing at Bold Data, a Fremont, Calif.-based custom-system builder, said barebones NAS appliances from companies such as Intel offer a way for channel partners to add value to what is otherwise a standard piece of storage hardware.

"The problem with pre-built NAS appliances is there is no flexibility," Kretzer said. "It's like the choice between getting TiVo and being stuck with an 80-Gbyte hard drive. A lot of integrators like the flexibility to configure their own NAS and add their own warranties."

Anyone who builds Intel-based servers can put together an SS4000-E, Bobroff said. "From the opening of the box until it's configured takes about 10 minutes," he said.

Intel estimates street prices for fully-configured units to range from $700 to $2,000, depending on the number and capacity of the included drives.

The SS4000-E is the latest move by Intel to play an increasing role in the custom-build storage industry. Last November, the company introduced an iSCSI array chassis with room for up to 12 SATA hard drives. Intel said more offerings for the fast-growing storage market are on the way.