Intel Pushes Atom to the Storage and NAS World

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by Andy Patrizio

The explosion of data in need of central management and storage isn’t just an issue for big business. Small and medium-sized businesses and even home users are finding another technology they need to incorporate in their lives; network-attached storage, or NAS.

To serve these markets, Intel has introduced a new Atom processor, the Atom D2500 and D2550 processors. These are some peppy little chips, running at 1.86GHz with 1MB of L2 cache and a power draw of just 10W. The only difference between the two is the D2550 supports HyperThreading while the D2500 does not.

Too boost its claims on the storage market, Intel noted that a 2012 report by the Aberdeen Group found SMB storage volumes are increasing by 30% annually and a Gartner report that predicts the average household will require at least 3.3TB of storage capacity to hold their content by 2016, compared with 464GB in 2011.

The company went with Atom instead of Xeon, it usual server-side product, because that was all it needed. “These Atom CPUs, together with our chipset, enable our customers to build scalable products that support anywhere from 4 to 6 SATA drives at an attractive price point,” said Rajgopal Ramamoorthy, product marketing for small business storage at Intel.

Atom is really for the four- to six-drive plug and play NAS market, Ramamoorthy added. Above that is the 12-drive is the SMB with more than 100 employees and that market uses Core brand CPUs going to Xeon.

Asustor, QNAP, and Thecus are the first out the gate to offer NAS devices based on Milstead. They can support up to six hot-plug Serial ATA devices and 4GB of RAM. RAID is handled in software and the platform supports both Windows and Linux. For home users who wish to use Milstead devices as media servers, Milstead can do 1080p video playback in hardware.

Both home and SMB users will be able to use Milstead devices for centralized backup of all connected devices and remote replication can provide additional copies of data for seamless data recovery.

The NAS device can be used as a personal cloud so employees can access files from anywhere on any device. The device is secured through McAfee AV SDK and VirusScan Enterprise software from McAfee.

Thanks to the integrated GPU on the Milstead processor, it can be used for video surveillance systems, with two monitors and up to four IP camera feeds attached to a single storage device. It can also be used for high definition video playback.

Asustor’s AS-608T, QNAP’s TS-869 series and Thecus’s N5550 and N4800 NAS servers are all available now from their authorized resellers.

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