Tech 10: Crossing The Chasm From Consumer Storage To Business

Consumer Ease Enhances Business Storage, Business Capabilities Enhance Consumer Storage

The line between consumer and business data storage has never been well-defined, and is getting less so. And while consumers are not going to implement software-defined storage in conjunctions with VMware's software-defined data center push, and businesses are not going to adopt PlayStation 4s to manage cloud storage, in between these two extremes is a wide range of offerings that bring value to users from both sides of the issue.

2017 has seen an explosion of products that combine the ease of use expected in consumer storage devices with the robust reliability and functionality demanded of business-class storage devices.

CRN has found 10 such devices that cross the chasm from consumer storage to business storage. Just turn the page and see how storage vendors are bridging that chasm.

Fasetto Link Gets Samsung NVMe Storage

Fasetto, the Superior, Wis.-based provider of Link LTE hotspots for cloud storage, file sharing and messaging, introduced a new Link featuring Samsung's NVMe PCIe SSD for high-speed storage and sharing of up to 2 TB of data. The new Link also includes the Linux-driven Exynos 7 Octa 7420 processor, and the ability to share data across Link's own dedicated broadcast Wi-Fi, cellular, Bluetooth and USB-C connections.

Kingston Digital's 2-TB USB Flash Drive

Kingston Digital, the Fountain Valley, Calif.-based flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology, is shipping its new DataTraveler Ultimate Generation Terabyte (GT), which it bills as the world's highest-capacity USB flash drive with up to 2 TB of storage capacity and USB 3.0 performance. The DataTraveler Ultimate GT is built into a zinc-alloy metal casing for shock resistance, and includes a five-year warranty.

Netgear ReadyNAS Business-Class Storage

Netgear, San Jose, Calif., expanded its ReadyNAS business-class NAS solutions' performance and data security. The new ReadyNAS 620 series features dual 10GbE connectivity for 4K video multi-streaming and support for up to 120 users; the ReadyNAS 520 series features 10GbE connectivity and multiple 1K or single 4K streams for up to 80 users; and the ReadyNAS 420 series supports up to 40 users. All three include seamless file sharing and access to a secure private cloud.

OWC DEC Macbook Pro Expansion

The OWC DEC from Woodstock, Ill.-based OWC is a new expansion offering specifically targeting the 2016 Apple MacBook Pro. The latest in its long-running series of Apple Mac expansion offerings, the OWC DEC attaches flush to the bottom of the 2016 MacBook Pro to provide up to 4 TB of additional flash storage or SSD capacity, Gigabit Ethernet, SD card and multimedia card slots, and USB 3 ports.

Plextor's First 3K NAND SSDs

Fremont, Calif.-based Plextor has introduced its EX1 line of slim, lightweight external SSDs. The EX1 is small, measuring only 1 x 3 inches, and weighs only 30 grams, or just a hair more than 1 ounce. It is a shockproof, ultraportable device that supports USB OTG (On-the-Go) storage for Android devices. Its Type-C connector offers transmission speeds of up to 500 Mbits per second.

Promise Technology's Apollo Personal Cloud Appliance

Milpitas, Calif.-based Promise Technology is shipping its newest Apollo Cloud personal cloud storage appliance, which offers a low-cost, simple way to safely store and share data from any OS X, Windows, iOS, or Android device. Up to 10 users can access the Apollo Cloud's capacity, each with full sharing and privacy control over their own digital files. Data is protected with AES 256-bit encryption.

Qnap Thunderbolt 3 NAS

Qnap, the Pomona, Calif.-based developer of network-attached storage and network video recorder solutions, unveiled its new Thunderbolt 3 NAS appliances for professional video users.

The latest Thunderbolt NAS supports speed of up to 40 Gbits per second for 4K or 3-D workflows. A T2E Converter bridges Thunderbolt and Ethernet networks, making the Thunderbolt NAS a native Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter for wider application scenarios.

Sandisk High-Speed USB Flash

Milpitas, Calif.-baed SanDisk, owned by Western Digital, is shipping its 256-GB SanDisk Extreme Pro USB 3.1 flash drive, calling the device its fastest high-capacity USB flash drive to date. The drive features read speeds up to 420 MB per second and write speeds up to 380 MB per second. The new drive also features a durable aluminum metal casing and a retractable connector.

Synology FlashStation

Bellevue, Wash.-based Synology's new FlashStation FS3017 is a business-class, all-flash network-attached storage offering with up to 90 TB of raw SAS or SATA SSD capacity. A six-core Intel Xeon processor and up to 512 GB of DDR4 memory offer performance of up to 200,000 4-KB random write IOPS via the iSCSI interface. Synology's FlashStation FS3017 comes with two 10GBase-T ports, and two PCIe slots allow the addition of ports for 40-Gbit Ethernet. Data is protected with built-in snapshot replication.


Western Digital, based in Irvine, Calif., is readying new SSDs based on the PCIe standard. The new WD Black PCIe SSDs are built around a PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe-based SSD, and are slated to ship in the first half of this year in 256-GB and 512-GB versions. The WD Black PCIe SSDs are rated for 1.75 million hours mean time to failure, and include up to 2,050 MB-per-second sequential read and 800 MB-per-second sequential write speeds.