Snap Appliance Goes Enterprise With New NAS OS,29-Tbyte NAS Box

The San Jose, Calif.-based company enhanced its proprietary GuardianOS NAS operating software by allowing both file-level data and block-level data to be stored on its NAS appliances, said Jim Sherhart, product manager.

GuardianOS v3 now supports iSCSI connectivity, allowing it to be part of an IP network-based SAN, said Sherhart. ISCSI disks can be dynamically increased in size when additional storage capacity is required without the need to migrate data or move users during the expansion, he said.

Snap plans to add a Microsoft certification for its iSCSI initiators in the near future, Sherhart said. That will be closely followed by iSCSI certifications by Cisco Systems and Red Hat, with certifications on Solaris and HP-UX to follow, he said.

The OS also offers Instant Capacity Expansion, which allows capacity to be dynamically increased as needed and eliminate the risks of drive failures during RAID rebuilds, Sherhart said.

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Instant capacity expansion with no risk to existing data is key to storage growth, said Sherhart. "We feel customers are adding storage in much larger increments than in the past," he said.

Also new is Snap Server Manager, which brings the administration of multiple Snap Servers on a network into a single Web-based GUI.

To improve the protection of data on Snap Servers, GuardianOS v3 is now integrated with BakBone Software's NetVault 7, which offers snapshot technology for point-in-time incremental backups. It replaces the SyncSort backup software previously embedded in the OS, Sherhart said.

One of the first places GuardianOS v3 will show up is in the company's new Snap Server 15000 NAS appliance, which scales from 5 Tbytes to 29 Tbytes with the addition of up to seven expansion modules.

The 15000, Snap's first appliance to feature Serial ATA hard drives, is suitable for use as a nearline storage device for data that does not require instant access, and for use as an accelerated backup device, said Sherhart. "Even though we don't offer backup appliances, over half of our sales go to customers who use them for backup," he said.

The GuardianOS is included with Snap Server models 15000, 14000, 4500 and 4200 and can be downloaded to existing models 4200, 4400, 4500 and 14000 starting at $699 per unit.

The Snap Server 15000 is now available with list prices starting at $34,990.

Mark Pollard, vice president of marketing for Snap Appliance, said 100 percent of the company's sales go through indirect sales channels.

To support solution providers that sell the new enterprise-class appliances, the company is adding a direct assist program to help partners with their sales efforts, Pollard said. "As we move up, we realize the need to augment VARs with our help," he said. "We will target big deals with this program."