CES 2015: 12 Scintillating Storage Solutions That Stand Out

Data Protection, Data Mobility At CES And Storage Visions

While CES is known primarily as a mecca for the latest HDTVs and mobile smart devices, visitors looking for new ways to store and protect data for a mobile devices could choose from a variety of new hardware and software solutions.

CES, along with the Storage Visions conference running simultaneously, gave attendees at this week's Las Vegas events a chance to look at new portable hard drive, NAS, and cloud storage solutions suitable for users and small businesses alike.

CRN helps make sure you didn't miss the latest in storage at CES and Storage Visions. Here's a look at the latest storage gear.

AsusStor Intros NAS Appliances, Applications

Taipei, Taiwan-based AsusStor used CES to unveil several families of NAS appliances, including its new 70 series based on Intel Core i3-4330 3.5GHz dual-core processors and 2-GB SO-DIMM DDR3 RAM. The three models in the family include two Gbit Ethernet ports, three USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports and two eSATA ports, as well as extra-large fans and dedicated heat pipes that work with the ingeniously designed disk tray vents to allow air to flow from the front to the back of the device. Two models also feature 10-Gbit Ethernet expansion slots for higher performance.

The 70 series come with AsusStor's new ADM 2.3 operating system. which allows customers to add their applications to create their own custom device.

G-Technology Goes Rugged With External Storage

G-Technology, part of WD's HGST business, used CES to unveil rugged storage solutions it said helps keep content safe in virtually all environments. The new G-Drive ev ATC with either Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 connectivity feature all-terrain cases that offer a watertight drive compartment that the company said can withstand a 2-meter drop. Inside is a 7,200-rpm external hard drive for Mac or PC operations.

The 1-TB G-Drive ev ATC with Thunderbolt is slated to ship in January with a list price of $229.95. The 1-TB G-Drive ev ATC with USB 3.0 should be available in February with a list of $179.95. The all-terrain cases are also expected to be available separately. The devices have a three-year limited warranty.

IDrive Pairs Encrypted Local Drive To Cloud Backup

Los Angeles-based IDrive Online Backup used CES to release its IDrive Wi-Fi, an encrypted external drive with wireless connectivity for fast local backup of up to 2 TB of data from computers and mobile devices over a secure local connection.

IDrive Wi-Fi offers includes 256-AES encryption with an optional private key, and works cross-platform to provide data protection for PC, Mac, Android and iOS devices. A single IDrive Wi-Fi can be used to back up an unlimited number of devices. They come with a one-year subscription to IDrive's cloud backup solution. The 1-TB version with a 1-TB cloud backup license lists for $99.99, while the 2-TB drive with 1-TB cloud backup license lists for $149.99.

LaCie Unveils Rugged Mobile Drives

LaCie, a Tigard, Ore.-based storage vendor acquired in 2012 by Seagate, unveiled a family of Rugged RAID mobile hard drives featuring 4 TB of capacity, a 240-MBps transfer speed, and options to configure for RAID 0 or RAID 1.

The Rugged RAID is designed to withstand drops of up to 5 feet or 1 ton of pressure, and is IP 54-rated for resistance to dust and water splashing. No external power is required, as it receives power via the Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 cable. It carries a suggested list price of $429.

Lite-On Intros TLC NAND-based SSD

Fremont, Calif.-based Lite-On Storage unveiled its CV2 family of SSDs, which combines Marvell’s four-channel 88SS1074 controller with triple-level-cell Toshiba A19 NAND. The new CV2 SSDs support 256-bit AES encryption, ultra-low-power DEVSLP state for extended battery life in mobile devices, and the latest flash memory interfaces. The company said endurance of the CV2's memory rivals that of more expensive MLC flash, giving the drives a 2,000-program-erase cycle rating.

The new SSDs will be targeted at desktop PCs and laptops with 128-GB, 256-GB and 512-TB capacity points. They feature sequential read performance of 500 MBps over 6-Gbps SATA, with random 4-KB throughput hitting the 100,000 IOPS mark. Lite-On is including a three-year warranty on the drives.

NetGear Unveils Home, Office NAS

Netgear, San Jose, Calif., this week showed off its ReadyNAS 200 series of NAS appliances for home and home office networks. ReadyNAS 200 is powered by a dual-core Cortex A15 1.4GHz processor, and includes 2 GB of RAM and dual Gigabit Ethernet ports. It offers a 200-MBps transfer speed.

The software allows automatic backup of PCs, and supports Apple's Time Machine backups. Customers can also take advantage of Netgear's ReadyCloud public cloud storage for automatic backing up, syncing and sharing of data across devices without ongoing subscription costs.

The ReadyNAS 200 series are slated to ship late this month, priced at $359.99 for a diskless two-bay model and $499.99 for a diskless four-bay model.

Qnap, AMD Partner On High-Performance NAS

A new line of NAS appliances from Qnap Systems, Taipei, Taiwan, features an AMD embedded G-Series quad-core 2.4GHz processor and a RAM module expandable to 16 GB. The family includes the eight-bay TVS-863+, with hardware AES-256 encryption, SSD cache acceleration, AMD Radeon graphics, and dual 10-Gbit Ethernet connectivity. Other models in four-, six- and eight-bay configurations include dual Gbit Ethernet LAN ports.

The TVS-x63+ family's QvPC technology allows them to be used as a PC when users add their own keyboard, mouse and HDMI monitor. The devices also take advantage of AMD-V virtualization technology for operating multiple virtual machines in VMware, Microsoft and Citrix environments. Shipment is slated for later this month.

SanDisk Shows Off SSD Plus

The new SanDisk SSD Plus from Milpitas, Calif.-based SanDisk is a 2.5-inch entry-level drive for laptop and desktop PCs. These SSDs, which include a 6-Gbps SATA interface, feature capacity points of 120 GB and 240 GB, and offer sequential read speeds of up to 520 MBps.

SanDisk claims a mean time between failure of 1.75 million hours, and provides a three-year limited warranty. The drives include a downloadable SanDisk SSD Dashboard application with management tools. Shipment is slated some time in the first quarter. They are expected to be priced at $69.99 for the 120-GB model and $109.99 for the 240-GB model.

Seagate Claims World's Slimmest Portable Hard Drive

Seagate used CES to launch the Seagate Seven, a slim external 2.5-inch hard drive built into an all-steel enclosure measuring only 7mm deep (hence the name "Seagate Seven).

The drive, which Seagate saidis the world's thinnest portable hard drive, features a 500-GB capacity. The company expects users to carry the drive in a briefcase or pocket for use with tablets or other mobile device. Shipments are slated to start this month, with a suggested retail price of $99.99.

Seagate also used CES to unveil two versions of its Seagate Personal Cloud line for streaming content to smartphones, set-top boxes, mobile PCs or gaming consoles. Users can automatically back content up to any of many popular cloud storage providers.

Synology: Integrated Bundles For Private Clouds

Synology, Bellevue, Wash., used CES to release its new BeyondCloud, a bundle consisting of the company's DiskStation storage devices with pre-configured operating systems and volumes and pre-installed and pre-allocated storage.The BeyondCloud solutions allow the quick building of private clouds for accessing and sharing data, and come with either a single 2-TB or 3-TB disk or two 3-TB disks in a mirrored configuration.

The pre-installed BeyondCloud software suite includes applications to play media files, collaborate and share, and remotely access information.

Prices for the BeyondCloud bundles, which are slated to be released in mid-January, range from $179.99 to $369.99.

Tuxera Releases Flash File System For Linux And Android

Tuxera, a Helsinki, Finland-based developer of file systems, streaming and network storage technologies, used CES to release its Tuxera Flash File System for Linux and Android, which is optimized to run on flash storage such as eMMC and SD. The Tuxera Flash File System, which is targeted at developers of devices featuring flash storage, provides smart mobile devices with power-efficient, high-capacity storage to support the increasing number of applications that are often run in parallel.

Optimized for flash memory durability, the Tuxera Flash File System helps prevent file system fragmentation on-the-fly without impacting performance, helping provide data and device integrity during storage removal and unexpected power-off. It is currently available for testing and integration.

WD Debuts Fast 4-TB Hybrid Drive

WD, aka Western Digital, demonstrated what it called the world's fastest 4-TB hybrid drive at Storage Visions. The drive, still in the prototype stage, features a 4-TB, 3.5-inch hard drive combined with up to 128 GB of solid state storage in a single device with a SATA PCIe interface.

The WD demonstration utilized commercially available motherboards from ASRock and Gigabyte to generate a PCMark8 benchmark score of 4,459, which the company said demonstrated "near-SSD performance."