Intel’s New Atom Storage Platform, not for WHS v2/ Vail?


As many have saw, Intel Corporation unvieled its new Atom platform for small business and home storage/ NAS products at CeBIT. It seems like this is not a Windows Home Server V2 (WHS V2) or Vail solution.

Highlights from the press release linked above are:

•Intel releases its first storage-optimized Intel® Atom™ processor-based platform for the growing home and small office/home office storage markets.
•New single- and dual-core chip options provide performance scalability and flexibility and run on Microsoft Windows Home Server* and Linux operating systems.
•Leading storage vendors LaCie*, LG Electronics*, QNAP*, Synology* and Thecus* plan products based on the new Intel Atom processor-based platform.
•Intel Atom processors also introduced for embedded applications are ideal for multiple market segments including print imaging, digital security surveillance and industrial.

Intel noted a few partners such as: Lacie, LG Electronics, QNAP, Synology and Thecus as being launch partners. Interestingly enough, larger OEM’s such as HP, Acer, Dell, and etc did not sign up as launch partners, yet are the companies that one would expect to see release Vail WHS V2 boxes later this year.

From my own testing, Windows Server 2008 R2 (the basis of WHS V2) does not perform well on the Atom N330/ ION platform which is performance wise similar to the Intel Atom platform being announced today.

It seems like Intel is positioning this platform as an ultra low cost, low port count option for the lower volume Linux based NAS players. For the DIY builders out there, I would highly reccomend using a Clarkdale based Core i3 or i5 solution instead of an Atom based solution. While the new Atom D510 may run WHS V2/ Vail, the performance is very poor, and the power savings, especially at idle, of the Atom platform are not that great.



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