Adaptec Decides To Keep Snap NAS Line, Brand

Milpitas, Calif.-based Adaptec, which two years ago this month purchased NAS vendor Snap Appliance for $100 million, had been saying since October that it plans to divest itself of the line.

Adaptec in January sold its RAID storage line to Newisys, the system builder subsidiary of OEM contract manufacturer Sanmina-SCI.

Jerry Pape, principal of Excalibur, a Big Sky, Mont.-based solution provider, said Adaptec's decision to keep Snap was the right one. "I'm enthusiastic their direction has been chosen," he said.

Pape said that Adaptec can only benefit by retaining Snap. "Snap is the most innovative, most reliable product in the medium-size NAS arena," he said. "If you look at what other suppliers are doing, they try to target valuable markets with lower-cost solutions."

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The pending sale of the Snap Server line, which is sold exclusively through the channel, had caused concern among solution providers and their customers because of the uncertainty surrounding the possible deal.

Marc Lowe, vice president and general manager of Adaptec's emerging business units, said that his company's Snap NAS appliances continued to sell well despite the pending sale of the Snap business, but was unable to discuss how sales were affected as Adaptec is in its quiet period before announcing its latest quarterly financial results early next month.

"There was a level of uncertainty out there," Lowe said. "But sales were strong. And we continued to develop new products."

Pape said that his customers were not too concerned about the pending divestiture of Snap mainly because they depend on him to make sure they have well-supported storage products.

Snap in February released its Snap Server 550, its first to feature SATA and SAS (serial-attached SCSI) hard drives. That line competes against such products as Dell's PowerVault 745N and Hewlett-Packard's DL100G2.

Channel sources said that Snap is currently looking to bring a new lower-cost line of appliances to market, but Lowe said he could not comment on unannounced products.

The Snap NAS line, based on the Linux operating system, has historically been one of the best-selling NAS lines in terms of volume. However, NAS appliances based on Microsoft's Windows Storage Server operating system now account for moe than half of the market's NAS volume. The only other major NAS vendor to not use the Windows OS is Network Appliance, which has its own proprietary operating system.

As a result of its decision to keep Snap, Adaptec will set Snap up as a separate business unit under its Storage Solutions Group, which for now consists only of the Snap NAS line, said Lowe. "Over time, we will extend the Snap brand over other products," he said.