By Kevin Komiega
—More than a year after Intel struck a deal with EMC to bring entry-level storage systems to the small and medium-sized business (SMB) market, the companies are back with a new platform, but this time the vendors are targeting the smallest of small customers—the small office, home office (SOHO) and digital home markets.
Intel's new Entry Storage System SS4200 comes in two flavors: A hardware-only version and a complete system loaded with a new EMC software application designed specifically for OEM partners.
The fully loaded Intel SS4200-E includes EMC's LifeLine software, which creates a NAS appliance for SOHO users. The SS4200-E offers data access, sharing, protection and backup features for small businesses, while features such as universal plug-and-play, media streaming, and support for consumer electronics devices are aimed at home users.
The hardware-only version of the appliance—the SS4200-EHW—is customizable with capacities ranging up to several terabytes. Seth Bobroff, director of marketing for Intel's storage division, says the hardware-only version allows system builders and integrators to customize the appliance with various third-party software applications.
Independent software vendors (ISVs) such as FalconStor, Open-E, and Wasabi Systems are in the process of validating their software on the SS4200-EHW.
Intel is also positioning the SS4200-EHW as a platform for Windows Home Server, Microsoft's platform for protecting, organizing, and sharing digital photos, music, videos, and documents.
Both models of the SS4200 are based on an Intel Celeron 400 series processor. The SS4200 also includes an external SATA port that allows for capacity expansion beyond the system's internal capacity of 1TB on four drives.
The SS4200-EHW and SS4200-E will be available in December at a starting price of $500.
The potential market for SOHO storage is not lost on EMC. The company is apparently building up a portfolio of products and services to address the space—first with its $76 million acquisition of Berkeley Data Systems and its Mozy online backup service for consumers and small businesses, and now with its LifeLine OEM software.