Intel Intros Cloud Data Center SSDs

The chipmaker floats new enterprise flash-based drives aimed at helping cloud service providers deliver blazing application speeds.

Intel is solidifying its foothold on the storage market with a new range of enterprise-grade solid-state drives (SSDs). And the Santa Clara, Calif.-based chipmaker isn't targeting just any old data center.

Intel has its sights set on cloud computing facilities.

Asserting that its latest SSDs "enable transformational improvements in cloud infrastructure, fostering new and enriching Web experiences," Intel debuted the SSD DC S3500 series for read-intensive applications like Web hosting and virtualization.

DC S3500 SSDs are based on Intel's 20 nm NAND flash chip technology. The drives are available in capacities starting at 80 GB and topping out at a whopping 800 GB. Both 2.5- and 1.8-inch models will be offered.

The SATA-based (6 Gbps) SSDs deliver sequential read speeds and write speeds of up to 500 and 450 MB per second, respectively. Random read performance is rated at 75,000 input-output operations per second (IOPS), according to Intel's estimates.

On the data security front, 256-bit AES encryption keeps application data under wraps. In the event of a power outage -- something cloud computing providers are all too concerned about -- built-in capacitors can keep the drives powered long enough to complete drive operations, minimizing data loss.

The drives are part of Intel's strategy to grab a slice of the enterprise storage market. From advancing its multi-level cell (MLC) tech for data centers to launching PCIe flash cache add-on cards for servers, the company has been steadily pushing its high performance solid-state storage as an alternative to traditional hard drives.

Now, Intel is making a play for the scorching cloud services market.

Rob Crooke, head of Intel's flash storage division, said his company's DC S3500 series SSDs are the answer to pokey and non-responsive clouds. "Intel's data center family of SSDs helps make cloud computing faster and more reliable, enabling more transactions and richer experiences," he stated in company remarks.

According to CIO Kim Stevenson, when it comes to deploying SSDs, Intel is practicing what it preaches.

"Intel SSDs have enabled our chip designers to gain up to 27 percent performance throughput in our massive design distributed computing environment. In fact, we are increasing our deployment of Intel SSDs in our data centers from 10,000 units to 40,000 by the end of this year to enable our global design team to help bring products to market faster," informed Stevenson in a statement.

Intel DC S3500 series SSDs carry a five-year warranty. Prices start at $115 for the 1.8-inch 80 GB SSD. The 2.5-inch, 800GB model costs $979.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.




Tags: cloud computing, datacenter, SSD, flash drive


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