- Quick and easy to deploy
- Good cross-platform file sharing facilities
- Proven GuardianOS software
- Dual Ethernet ports
- Optional iSCSI and snapshot support
- Add-ons bump up the price
Recently acquired from Adaptec by Overland Storage, Snap Server was one of the pioneers of the NAS market and is still considered by many to be the brand to beat. We looked at the Snap Server 410 which comes in a range of fixed-capacity configurations up to a maximum of 4TB.
Our review system was a mid-range 2TB model fitted with four 500MB 7,200rpm Hitachi Deskstar drives. These 3Gbps SATA II disks are mounted in custom carriers designed to slot into four hot-swap bays at the front of the 1U rack-mount chassis. By default the disks are configured as a single RAID 5 array with no hot spares defined. However, it's easy enough to change this, although you lose capacity if a hot spare is configured. You can also switch to RAID 0 /1 or a basic JBOD configuration, and define multiple arrays should the need arise.
The Snap Server has two Gigabit Ethernet ports for LAN attachment that can be used standalone or bonded to provide automatic load-balancing and failover facilities. You also get four USB 2.0 ports. These can be used to attach a tape drive for backup, to share a printer or communicate with a UPS. You can also add a SCSI card and attach a backup tape drive that way. Backup software (BakBone NetVault) is included as standard, integrated into the host software.
On the software side, Snap Servers all run the same custom GuardianOS which comes preconfigured to allow file sharing across mixed Windows, Apple Mac, Linux and Unix networks. It can also function as an FTP server, and the supporting file-sharing protocols can be individually disabled if not required. Users can be locally defined, with support for NT Domains and Active Directory also available. Quotas can be applied on a per-volume or user basis.
A browser-based GUI is used for setup and management, and a Java-based console (Snap Server Manager) is included to manage multiple appliances from one location. The interface is easy to follow with most of the options preconfigured, making the Snap Server very quick and easy to deploy.
Note, however, that some work is likely to be needed to suit individual requirements. For example, unless otherwise configured 20 percent of the available disk space will be reserved for point-in-time snapshots. These are used to facilitate fast file system backup and recovery, but require an additional snapshot licence, so you may want to get rid of the reserved space if it's not needed. You can also protect the storage using CA eTrust antivirus software, which is another optional extra. Plus it's possible to add iSCSI support to enable the Snap Server to be used on an iSCSI SAN.
A data replication module (Snap EDR) is another optional add-on, enabling data to be replicated to other Snap Servers over the network. Plus you can add StorAssure Personal Edition to back up desktop and notebook data to the Overland Storage appliance.
Whether you need to buy any of the add-ons or not will depend on your network and your specific requirements. Either way, what you get is a proven cross-platform network storage appliance that can deliver the goods in a timely and reliable fashion.
|Device type||external, Hard disk|
|Number of drive bays||4|
|Maximum capacity||4 TB|
|Installed capacity||2 TB|
|Networking / connectivity|
|Network / host interface||Gigabit Ethernet|
|Network protocols||SMB/CIFS, AFP, NFS, FTP, HTTP, iSCSI (optional)|
|RAID levels||0, 1, 5, 01|
|System requirements / software|
|Operating system||Guardian OS|
|Software included||BakBone NetVault|
|Service & support|
|Standard warranty||3 years|
|Interface||Serial ATA, USB|
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