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By Henry Baltazar  |  Posted 2004-09-13 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Combining iSCSI and NAS on a single box, the Snap Server 18000 brings IP storage consolidation to small and midsize businesses.
The addition of iSCSI gives the Snap Server 18000 from Snap Appliance, a division of Adaptec Inc., block-level support that will allow it to efficiently serve up storage for common corporate application servers, such as e-mail and database servers.

Click here to read more about how new iSCSI/NAS storage solutions are giving IT managers flexibility and storage consolidation. The Snap Server 18000, which began shipping last month, has a starting price of $14,995 for a 2TB version.

The storage in the Snap Server 18000 comes in the form of eight 250GB hot-swappable SATA (Serial ATA) drives, which can provide 1.62TB of usable capacity in a RAID 5 configuration.

eWEEK Labs tests show that the Snap Server 18000 is easy to set up and implement. The Snap Server 18000 runs Snap Appliances GuardianOS Version 3.1, which is based on Linux. GuardianOS is spread out over the devices drives and is hidden from users; this allows IT managers to reformat the RAID and disk volumes without accidentally erasing the operating system.

The Snap Server Managers browser-based interface eased Snap Server 18000 management chores. Using Snap Server Manager, we could easily monitor and configure Snap Server 18000s volumes and access controls.

iSCSI setup was extremely easy using Snap Server Manager, which allowed us to create iSCSI disk targets and present them to clients. For added security, CHAP (Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol) is also supported.

With just a couple of clicks, we were also able to set up NAS (network-attached storage) protocols; CIFS (Common Internet File System), NFS (Network File System) and AppleTalk are supported.

Data volumes were easy to create and share, but once a data volume is created, it can only increase in size. IT managers should therefore start out with relatively small volumes and add space when necessary.

Click here to find out how implementing iSCSI host bus adapters can improve performance and delay costly server upgrades. Using Snaps Instant Capacity Expansion tool, it was simple to increase the capacity of our data volumes on the fly.

Snap Disk 30SA expansion arrays are available for boosting overall storage capacity from 2TB to 30TB. Each array holds 4TB of data and costs $17,995. The arrays hook into the Snap Server 18000 via Fibre Channel and can add storage on the fly without forcing downtime.

The Snap Server 18000 features snapshot technology that allowed us to make point-in-time incremental backups on disks to facilitate rapid data restores. In addition, Fortuna Power Systems Ltd.s BakBone NetVault WorkGroup Edition, which allows IT managers to back up as many as five Snap Servers, comes bundled free of charge with the Snap Server 18000.

Hardware redundancy is a Snap Server 18000 strong point—the device features redundant power supplies and cooling systems, as well as hot-swap hard drive support.

The Snap Server 18000 has dual 3.06GHz Intel Corp. Xeon processors and 2GB of DDR (double-data-rate) system memory to provide quick processing power. It also includes 512MB of battery-backed NVRAM (non-volatile RAM) cache to ensure data reliability in the event of a power failure. For networking connectivity, there are dual Gigabit Ethernet ports with support for stand-alone, failover or load balancing modes.

Senior Analyst Henry Baltazar can be reached at henry_baltazar@ziffdavis.com.

Check out eWEEK.coms Storage Center at http://storage.eweek.com for the latest news, reviews and analysis on enterprise and business storage hardware and software.

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