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Intel self-encrypting SSDs for corporate and SMB customers

Andrew Unsworth
22 Jul 2014
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Intel launches new SSD range for business users, placing emphasis on reliability, security, low TCO and peace of mind as well as speed

The Intel Pro 2500 SSD is aimed at corporate users and small-to-medium businesses who need reliability, security and low total cost of ownership as much as high transfer speeds. Intel is also keen to promote the power efficiency of the Pro 2500, claiming that the Pro 2500 is extra efficient thanks to new power modes. Install an Intel Pro 2500 in a laptop and this extra power efficiency should have a beneficial effect on battery life.

The Intel Pro 2500 is available in a 2.5in, 7mm form factor with a range of capacities from 120GB to 480GB, as well as an 80mm M.2 SSD with capacities between 180GB and 360GB and a 60mm M.2 SSD with 180GB and 240GB capacities. Prices for the Pro 2500 SSDs are only available in US dollars at the time of writing, with Intel quoting a price of $305 for the 480GB model. As for performance, Intel claims sequential read/write speeds of 540/490MB/s respectively, which isn’t bad.

As the Pro 2500 is aimed at business users, all drives in the series are self-encrypting, with Microsoft eDrive and the Opal 2.0 encryption technologies supported. Opal 2.0 is activated by default, but you can use a free software utility to enable eDrive. 

Indeed, Intel is keen to promote its free suite of tools and utilities, with one highlight being the Setup and Configuration Software (SCS) 9.2 utility, which lets IT support staff check the health of a Pro 2500 drive remotely and run optimisation routines on it. Local users can use the Intel Solid State Drive Toolbox to check the health of their drives and maintain them.

The last Intel SSD we saw was an Intel SSD 730 Series 240GB model, which impressed us with its speed but which we felt was too expensive. The 730 series SSDs are aimed at consumers who would be better served by Crucial MX100 series SSDs, but the Intel Pro 2500, with its encryption and business-oriented tools, could be a great proposition for small-to-medium businesses and corporations who value peace of mind and security as much as speed reliability. 

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