Adaptec Snap Server 210 review
After months of wrangling, Adaptec has decided not to sell off its Snap Server systems division, as there wasn’t enough cash being put on the table by interested parties. It advised us it’s now fully committed to promoting the range, and true to its word it gets the ball rolling by replacing the elderly 1100 and 2200 desktop appliances.
These Snap Server stalwarts are looking decidedly ancient, and in this exclusive review we take a look at the new 210, which takes over from the bulky and cumbersome 2200. SATA replaces IDE and processing power gets beefed up, but the most significant change is the OS. While the larger Snap Servers enjoy the benefits of Adaptec’s GuardianOS, the smaller boxes have only ever run a scaled-down version. Not any more, though, as the 220 is endowed with the same OS as its bigger brethren.
The 220 is up against some serious competition that makes it look a more costly option, but its feature list shows it could be money well spent. The new web interface is virtually identical to that offered by the larger Snap Server 520 and is just as easy to navigate. Client security includes a local user database and group membership, plus Windows domain and AD authentication. Disk quotas can be set at the user level, and snapshots of selected volumes can be run on demand or scheduled at regular intervals.
Most of Adaptec’s SnapExtensions upgrades and options are available to the 210. The appliance can offer iSCSI targets to the network and creation is simple. You select a volume, enter a capacity and activate CHAP authentication. CA’s eTrust is provided for local anti-virus scanning, although note that only on-demand scans can be scheduled. BakBone’s NetVault also comes into the frame, as the appliance can run the client utility. NAS performance is good too. The Iometer benchmarking application (www.iometer.org) reported a speedy 75MB/sec raw read throughput for a single mapped drive. iSCSI speeds are nothing to sniff at either, with one target over Gigabit Ethernet returning a reasonable 72MB/sec.
One big differentiator of the Snap Servers is the Snap EDR (enterprise data replicator) tools. Adaptec is also promoting the 110 and 210 appliances as branch office storage servers, and this software allows devices in remote places to have selected shares synchronised with other systems. It uses a separate interface, which can run on any Snap appliance and is fired up from its main web console. You can aggregate files from multiple appliances to one location, distribute files from one location and replicate selected files and folders between one source and one target. We found it easy enough to set up scheduled jobs. All systems running the client are displayed as sources and targets, and you can browse their contents to select files and folders. Another bonus is that Adaptec also provides agents for both Windows and Linux systems.
Integrating the full GuardianOS kernel onto these entry-level NAS appliances is a smart move, as it delivers a range of features and options nothing else can touch at this end of the market. The Adaptec isn’t the cheapest, but it’s well worth investigating.