Adaptec adds SAS to NAS

By Ann Silverthorn

—Adaptec expanded its SnapServer NAS appliance line this week with the 500 series, targeting small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The company also added StorAssure Personal Edition, which is "continuous-protection" software for client file data.

The current SnapServer product line ranges from model 1100 with 80GB of capacity to model 18000, which can scale up to 30TB. Adaptec replaced the 4500 with the new 510 and 520 and also added the SnapServer 550 to the line of NAS appliances.

Brad Nisbet, program manager of storage systems at International Data Corp. (IDC), says, "SnapServer addresses NAS [file] and block-level services under the same platform, which is good for users that need that type of flexibility. The SANBloc expansion units allow users to scale and still maintain simplicity."

The 510 and 520 models use Serial ATA (SATA) disk drives, while the 550 is based on Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) drives. But with the SANBloc expansion unit, introduced last fall, users have the option of using both high-capacity SATA and high-performance SAS drives in the 520 and 550.

Adaptec's Guardian OS software enables capacity expansion with the SANBloc devices. Users connect the expansion unit, and with a system reboot, capacity expansion takes place in the background.

"NetApp's success has been because of the [ability to] leverage a single platform, and Adaptec with its SnapServer and Guardian OS is following suit," says IDC's Nisbet. "The lower-end Snap products are still on a legacy OS and are not ported to Linux. The sooner Adaptec can do this, the better."

Adaptec's StorAssure "continuous-protection" software allows as many versions saved as often as users require, but the more versions the more capacity is required. According to Julie Herd Goodman, Adaptec's network storage product manager, "The typical setting saves three versions with 12 hours between each version. Once you install the software, it runs in the background and always protects your data. As soon as you save and close a file, StorAssure automatically sends that file to your SnapServer for backup. It's designed for desktops and laptops. If a laptop is not on the network, StorAssure automatically starts logging and backs up the system when the laptop is back online."

StorAssure will be available later this month and is priced at $35 per Windows client.

The SnapServer 500 line ranges in capacity from 640GB to 43.2 TB. The 550, which will be available next month, is priced from $9,995. The 510 and 520 are priced from $3,595 and $4,595, respectively.

This article was originally published on February 21, 2006