By Patrick Avenell

The advent of the Ultrabook generation – with PC manufacturers looking to replicate the success of Apple’s MacBook Air – may appear to be a boon for external hard drive suppliers, but one-dimensional solutions will not suffice, according to Buffalo ANZ business manager Boris Shen.

Because superfast, superslim Ultrabooks and Airs are relatively light on on-board storage, users need dedicated storage solutions for all the music, videos and images they collect and hoard in their lives. Shen believes that a simple 1TB external hard drive – heretofore very popular with consumers – is no match for a networked device that allows access to data from multiple devices, such as PCs, smartphones and tablets, from anywhere in the world.

Shen and Aki Kondo, Buffalo’s Japan-based group manager of sales, spoke with this morning, with both enthusiastic about the new CloudStation device and Buffalo’s plans for the Australian market.

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CloudStation is Buffalo’s external hard drive/cloud/NAS unit, which gives consumers remote access to all their data across multiple devices without ongoing subscription costs. Once plugged into the home router via Ethernet, and set-up through Buffalo’s online portal, users can access whatever is stored on the hard disk via a login/password on their PC on through Pogoplug apps on their Android or iOS smartphone and tablet.

Capacity on CloudStation is limited by the size of the drive, with CloudStation available in 1TB and 2TB models for the consumer focused model and 2TB and 4TB models for the more business oriented CloudStation Pro Duo.

After being launched into retail locally in partnership with Uniden, for which Buffalo has a longstanding strategic partnership, 2012 is set to be a year of expansion, with Kondo saying the appointment of Shen three months ago to handle key accounts and oversee the retail and channel distribution demonstrating Buffalo’s commitment. Furthermore, Buffalo has appointed a service technician to handle warranty and technical enquiries.

To assist in Buffalo’s expansion into the B2B and channel market, Dicker Data has been brought on to complement Uniden’s retail focus. With this pair on board, Buffalo has two of the most established names is retail and channel representing them in wholesale.