Intel announces reference platform for storage servers

Intel's new network-attached storage reference platform emphasizes security, multimedia capabilities

Intel on Thursday announced a storage server reference platform that third-party vendors can use to make servers for home entertainment or centralized backup on a network.

Servers built using the new reference design could be used to back up files, emails and multimedia content on a server or appliances with low-power Atom processors, which are typically used in low-power desktops, netbooks and tablets. Some media and backup servers used in homes and small businesses have also used Atom processors that usually go into low-power desktops.

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The storage platform is targeted at small businesses and consumers that want data to be shared across devices such as PCs and tablets on a network, while providing a high level of data security via tools from McAfee, which is an Intel subsidiary.

A network-attached storage device can be used as a primary or secondary storage device, Intel said. A new twist to this reference platform is high-definition multimedia support, while earlier Atom-based storage servers and appliances were mainly to backup data. For example, the new reference platform can be used with video surveillance systems, Intel said. Two monitors can be attached on the network, and feeds from four surveillance cameras can be watched simultaneously.

A company that has built a storage appliance is QNAP Systems, whose HD Station uses the dual-core Atom D2550 processor, which has a clock speed of 1.86GHz. The graphics capabilities inside the chip helps stream high-definition movies to other devices on a network, and to also TV screens via an HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) port from a device.

Multiple data transfer protocols will be supported, so data can be shared across network devices running multiple operating systems, Intel said. A Web-based interface helps manage storage on a network.

The reference platform allows a server to support multiple SATA drives, and up to 14 USB ports for external storage. The platform allows up to 4GB of memory support.

Products based on the new reference platform are also being launched by Asustor and Thecus, Intel said.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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