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Snap Plans Poor Man's SAN

Snap Appliance Inc., the company formed last fall by the combination Quantum Corp.'s (NYSE: DSS) NAS division and startup Broadband Storage Inc., plans to expand beyond its NAS purview later this year with a SAN storage offering aimed at small and midsize businesses.

Eric Kelly, Snap's CEO and president, says the company will continue to be focused primarily on NAS. But he says the "SANs-for-the-masses" segment has been virtually untapped to date, ignored even by the likes of Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) and Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ).

"That's an open playing field right now," he says. "Customers are looking for enterprise features -- and not everyone can spend $30 million on a SAN... The NAS market is critical to us, but we want to expand beyond that."

Snap's SAN storage system, slated to ship in the second half of 2003, will be based on technology developed by Broadband Storage, which was developing a unified block and file storage system. The startup has worked closely with QLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QLGC), for its Fibre Channel switch.

In the meantime, Snap is going to punch up its NAS offerings. Next week, it plans to start shipping a 720-Gbyte version of its Guardian 4400 midrange NAS system. It will also announce enhancements to its Linux-based Guardian operating system. Guardian OS version 2.2 will provide better Network File System (NFS) performance, enhance snapshot data-replication features, and integrate Computer Associates International Inc. (CA)'s (NYSE: CA) antivirus software, the company says.

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