Adaptec To Ship New Unified NAS/SAN Appliances

The three new Snap-brand storage appliances are the first aimed at the growing small business storage market to run on Adaptec's enterprise-class, Linux-based operating system, GuardianOS, said Ken Claffey, product manager for the Milpitas, Calif.-based company's Storage Solutions Group.

GuardianOS has higher performance than its main competitor, Microsoft's Windows Storage Server 2003, Claffey said. It also comes with built-in security features such as RAID data protection, access controls, eTrust antivirus software from Computer Associates, SSL (secure socket layer), and Kerberos network authentication.

"This is not Windows Storage Server 2003," he said. "It's our own Linux-based operating system, specifically designed for the small- and mid-size enterprise environment."

The new Snap appliances are the first to support both block (SAN) and file (NAS) transfers, as well as NFS (Network File System), CIFS (Common Internet File System), and AFP (Apple File Protocol) data management, in a single system, Claffey said. "It's an industry-first in this price range," he said.

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Adaptec is introducing three new Snap models next week. The Snap Server 110 comes with a single 160-Gbyte, 250-Gbyte or 500-Gbyte hard drive and a single Gigabit Ethernet port. The Snap Server 210 includes two 250-Gbyte or two 500-Gbyte hard drives, RAID 0 and 1 and a GbE port. The Snap Server 410 includes four drives with a total capacity of 640 Gbytes, 1 Tbyte or 2 Tbytes, as well as dual GbE ports and RAID 0, 1 and 5.

Jerry Pape, a principle at Excalibur, a Big Sky, Mont.-based solution provider, said he has been testing the Snap Server 210 for some time and is impressed with what he sees coming from Adaptec.

"I see a lot of vendors taking less-complex products and moving them into more complex storage environments," Pape said. "It's not always easy to do. Snap takes a proven, top-level technology and scales it down without sacrificing anything. Dollar for dollar, it's the best in the market."

From what Pape has seen, the 210 is on par with the rest of Adaptec's Snap line. "The 210 builds on a history of legendary performance under adverse conditions," he said.

It also has a potential to become a major part of the small business and remote office business, Pape said. At a list price of $1,899 with two 500-Gbyte hard drives, it can be configured for 1 Tbyte of capacity at RAID 0 or 500 Gbytes at RAID 1 at a significantly lower cost than other appliances in its class, he said. That is especially true given that the 210 has a GbE port, something not always found at this level. "A 10/100 interface in a GbE world is absolutely ridiculous," he said.

The Snap appliances, which are sold exclusively through indirect sales channels, offer solution providers a number of ways to work with small and midsize businesses and with the remote or branch offices of larger customers, Claffey said.

For instance, a solution provider can put a larger Snap appliance in a corporate headquarters, with smaller appliances in home or remote offices, with software to automate the backing of data from the smaller appliances to the central data center.

Adaptec also has a Snap Enterprise Data Replication software to allow data to be remotely replicated to other Snap devices. "You can take the data most at risk, at the edge on a notebook PC, and back it up to a Snap server, and then replicate to a central location," he said. "Once the data is in the data center, it can be replicated to a virtual library and then copied to tape. This solves a real-world problem for small and midsize enterprises."

The Snap Server 110 in 160-Gbyte, 250-Gbyte and 500-Gbyte configurations, along with the 500-Gbyte and 1-Tbyte versions of the 210 and the 640-Gbyte version of the 410, are expected to be available to the channel starting next week. The 1-Tbyte and 2-Tbyte versions of the 410 are expected to ship next month, Claffey said.

Entry-level list price for the 110 is $549, compared to $1,149 for the 210 and $1,995 for the 410.

Solution providers can also provide such options to the appliances as iSCSI, data snapshot, replication and antivirus capabilities.

Going forward, the move by Adaptec to ship the new Snap Servers with the GuardianOS operating system means the end of the line for the company's SnapOS operating system, Claffey said. "Now there's one management tool for the entire Snap line," he said.