IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Intel Launches Major New Wave of SSDs and Cloud-Optimized CPUs

The SSDs include Intel’s first products built on 3D NAND technology and first embedded models. By Rich Freeman

One day after keynotes at this year’s Intel Solutions Summit in Kissimmee, Fla., called out sold-state drives and data center technologies as key market opportunities for 2016, Intel has released a major wave of new high-speed and density SSDs, including the company’s first-ever embedded SSD products, as well as a new Xeon processor family tailored to the needs of cloud computing server rooms.

The slew of new SSDs launched today includes the Data Center S3100 Series, which is designed specifically to provide affordable high-performance storage options for SMB cloud and data center environments. The new products are Intel’s first three-level cell (TLC) SATA SSDs for the data center, and are optimized for applications requiring low latency and high availability, such as OS booting and search indexing.

Also introduced today were the Data Center P3320 and Data Center P3520 Series, the first Intel SSDs built on 3D NAND technology.

“3D NAND creates super-high density,” says Pat Perry, vice president of Intel’s Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group, making it a strong fit for solutions requiring cost-effective, read-intensive performance, including cloud computing and data analytics applications.

Equipped with a high-speed PCIe Gen 3x4 interface, the DC P3320 Series performs up to five times faster than comparable SATA SSDs, Intel claims, enabling customers to accelerate analytics systems up to 3.45 times. The DC P3520 Series delivers even stronger performance and lower latency, the company states.

Additional newcomers to Intel’s SSD lineup are:

  • The Data Center D3700 and D3600 Series. Optimized for cloud and enterprise storage solutions demanding 24/7 availability, they’re Intel’s first PCIe SSDs bearing redundant dual ports for rapid failover recovery. According to Intel, moreover, the D3700 Series in particular delivers up to six times better performance than similar dual-port SAS-based SSDs systems.
  • The 540S Series. Intended for consumer desktop and notebook PCs, they’re designed to reduce power consumption while meeting high performance and reliability expectations. 540S Series products are available in both 2.5-inch and gum stick-sized M.2 form factors in capacities up to one terabyte.
  • The Pro 5400S Series, business-oriented counterparts to the 540S Series offering similar performance, reliability, and capacity plus enhanced security and manageability.
  • The E 5400s and E5410s Series, the initial members of what Intel describes as a new family of SSDs targeted at embedded and Internet of Things applications. Available in multiple form factors and capacities ranging from 48GB to 180GB, the E 5400s Series is designed for use in digital signage, ATM, and point-of-sale solutions, among others. The E 5410s Series provides additional power loss protection via Power Loss Imminent technology, which essentially equips the devices with built-in backup batteries.

“The channel has been asking for this for a couple of years,” says Perry of Intel’s embedded SSDs. “They really wanted an assurance from someone like Intel that we were in this game,” and committed to it for the long term.

In parallel with today’s SSD product releases, Intel also unveiled the new Xeon E5-2600 v4 processor family. Built on 14nm process technology, the new chips contain over 20 percent more cores and cache than prior generation CPUs and support faster memory, delivering the speedy performance demanded by the software-defined infrastructures found in most cloud data centers. Security enhancements in the new processors include workload isolation, automated policy enforcement, and accelerated cryptography.

“Enterprises want to benefit from the efficiency and agility of cloud architecture and on their own terms—using the public cloud offerings, deploying their own private cloud, or both,” said Diane Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s Data Center Group, in a press statement. “Intel is investing to mature SDI solutions and provide a faster path for businesses of all sizes to reap the benefits of the cloud.”

In conjunction with today’s cloud SSD and processor launch, Intel also introduced a new cloud data center partner specialty. Like other Intel channel specialties, the new one offers extra benefits, such as access to pre-sales technical support, co-marketing opportunities, and “customer matchmaking” services, to qualifying partners.

Qualification criteria for the cloud data center specialty designation include earning Platinum membership status in the Intel Technology Provider program, selling at least $500,000 of data center portfolio products via Intel authorized distributors, and deploying at least one custom Intel-based cloud solution, among others.

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