Intel Debuts Entry-Level NAS To Custom System Builders

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

The SS4000-E is based on a 400MHz Intel 80219 processor, and comes with a Linux-based operating system installed on flash memory, which allows it to be used to share files between Windows, Linux and Macintosh users. It has two Gbit Ethernet ports and two USB 2.0 connectors.

The appliance can be configured with one to four 3.5-inch SATA hard drives, giving it a total capacity of up to 2 Tbytes, which can be configured for RAID levels 1, 5, and 10. It comes with a license for backup and recovery software for a single user, with additional licenses available from Intel, Bobroff said.

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

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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.

The NAS appliances are already available to the channel. They are shipped with no brand name. Intel estimates street prices to range from about $700 to about $2,000, depending on how many drives are included.

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.