Adaptec Snap Server 1100 review

Price when reviewed

Costing £315 and providing 160GB of storage, some would argue that the Snap Server 1100 isn’t as affordable as Adaptec makes out. When you consider that LaCie’s Ethernet Disk mini costs only £127, yet is fitted with a 250GB disk, the Snap Server 1100 appears to offer poor value.

Adaptec Snap Server 1100 review

In fact, you have to dig deep before the Snap Server’s advantages become obvious. Take the wide client support, for example. Out of the box, the 1100 can serve files to Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix and NetWare clients too. Setup is simple too: on our XP test rig, the CD application auto-ran, discovered the appliance, offered the chance to set an IP address plus date-and-time settings, rebooted the appliance and launched a browser window for the web management interface. The only job it didn’t do was mount the Snap Server as a network drive.

Over the web interface, you can create users and groups of users and the Adaptec is the only one here that allows security on a per-file basis. It’s also possible to set a quota for each user, preventing them from using too much disk space. For Windows clients, you can even configure automatic backups to the appliance.

Via HTTP, you can browse files on the appliance remotely – they’re displayed in a Unix style with their attributes alongside. However, unlike others on test, there are no USB ports, so you can’t use the Adaptec as a print server, and you’re unable to back up the disk’s contents onto an external disk or add more capacity.

The front of the appliance offers four status LEDs, one of which is a handy link light – it will be obvious if the physical connection is working or not. A small fan is located at the base towards the front, and after 30 minutes of idling, we measured just 28dBA. A bonus is that you can’t hear the disk seeking either.

The proprietary SnapOS file system might provide that wide client support, but it does nothing for performance. Writing our test files to the Snap Server took two minutes, 45 seconds, which equates to 4.1MB/sec. Reading was 30 seconds quicker at 5.1MB/sec. Overall, this put the Adaptec near the bottom.

With good control over user access and file security, plus the ability to share those files over so many platforms, the Snap Server begins to justify its high price. However, it lacks a useful print server and expandable capacity – features you can have for considerably less money if you look elsewhere.

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