BY LISA COLEMAN
Quantum subsidiary Snap Appliances, the market leader in low-end network-attached storage (NAS) devices, is making the move into midrange NAS with its first product to offer near-terabyte capacity.
Its first foray into the midrange is based on the company's proprietary operating system kernel. Snap does not plan to release a Linux-based NAS device until sometime during the first half of 2002, even though Quantum acquired the assets of NAS manufacturer Connex, including its Linux development team, earlier this year.
Besides premiering its midrange device, Snap boosted the capacity of its product line and added another workgroup product. While the company is not aiming to compete with high-end NAS players such as Network Appliance and EMC, it is taking a shot at competitors that are using Microsoft's Server Appliance Kit (SAK) to quickly roll out NAS devices.
"We think we have a very good chance of establishing not only a foothold but a key position in the mid-tier," says Vicki Vollmer, director of product marketing for Snap. "Linux will be a big part of that. We think it will help us keep ahead of competitors that have gone with a Microsoft SAK implementation," she adds.
Snap claims its biggest competitor is Windows NT Server-a target that Maxtor recently went after with its NAS 6000 device that offers terabyte capacities and disk-to-disk backup.
The new Snap Server 12000 has 960GB with 12 hot-swappable ATA drives in a 3U rack-mountable configuration for $14,999. The server includes support for RAID 0, 1, and 5, redundant hot-swappable fans and power supplies, and cross-platform file-sharing support for Windows, Unix, Linux, Netware, and Macintosh. The unit includes 10/100/1000 copper Gigabit Ethernet connectivity.
The company plans to add clustering and snapshot capabilities, which are not currently in the product line because its traditional workgroup and desktop customers "are not as concerned about some of those high-availability features," Vollmer says. However, leveraging the "robust" Linux-based operating system acquired from Connex, Snap is confident it can quickly deliver more features. "Linux is extremely reliable, and there's a lot of open source code that can be very easily integrated into our operating system," she adds.
The new Snap server also has optional Server-to-Server Synchronization Snap Extension software to copy data directly from one or more primary Snap servers to backup Snap servers on the network. Also, the new server runs with OTG Software's DiskExtender 2000.
The company also upgraded capacities on its Snap Server 1000. The portable single drive is now boosted beyond its original 20GB, to 40GB and 80GB at $499 and $799, respectively. The Snap Server 4100 with RAID 0, 1, and 5 has increased from 160GB to 240GB at $2,999 and to 400GB at $4,799.
The 2200, another new Snap server with support for RAID 0 and 1, offers 160GB at $1,499.