Snap Takes On The Enterprise With New NAS Gear

Snap Appliance, best known as a developer of entry-level NAS appliances, this week signaled its intent to move into the enterprise with a new high-end NAS appliance and improvements to

April 9, 2004

6 Min Read
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Snap Appliance, best known as a developer of entry-level NAS appliances, this week signaled its intent to move into the enterprise with a new high-end NAS appliance and improvements to its NAS operating system and software bundles.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company enhanced its proprietary GuardianOS NAS operating software by allowing both file-level data and block-level data to be stored on its NAS appliances, said Jim Sherhart, product manager.

GuardianOS v3 now supports iSCSI connectivity, allowing it to be part of an IP network-based SAN, said Sherhart. ISCSI disks can be dynamically increased in size when additional storage capacity is required without the need to migrate data or move users during the expansion, he said.

Snap plans to add a Microsoft certification for its iSCSI initiators in the near future, Sherhart said. That will be closely followed by iSCSI certifications by Cisco Systems and Red Hat, with certifications on Solaris and HP-UX to follow, he said.

The OS also offers Instant Capacity Expansion, which allows capacity to be dynamically increased as needed and eliminate the risks of drive failures during RAID rebuilds, Sherhart said.Instant capacity expansion with no risk to existing data is key to storage growth, said Sherhart. "We feel customers are adding storage in much larger increments than in the past," he said.

Also new is Snap Server Manager, which brings the administration of multiple Snap Servers on a network into a single Web-based GUI.

To improve the protection of data on Snap Servers, GuardianOS v3 is now integrated with BakBone Software's NetVault 7, which offers snapshot technology for point-in-time incremental backups. It replaces the SyncSort backup software previously embedded in the OS, Sherhart said.

One of the first places GuardianOS v3 will show up is in the company's new Snap Server 15000 NAS appliance, which scales from 5 Tbytes to 29 Tbytes with the addition of up to seven expansion modules.

The 15000, Snap's first appliance to feature Serial ATA hard drives, is suitable for use as a nearline storage device for data that does not require instant access, and for use as an accelerated backup device, said Sherhart. "Even though we don't offer backup appliances, over half of our sales go to customers who use them for backup," he said.The GuardianOS is included with Snap Server models 15000, 14000, 4500 and 4200 and can be downloaded to existing models 4200, 4400, 4500 and 14000 starting at $699 per unit.

The Snap Server 15000 is now available with list prices starting at $34,990.

Mark Pollard, vice president of marketing for Snap Appliance, said 100 percent of the company's sales go through indirect sales channels.

To support solution providers that sell the new enterprise-class appliances, the company is adding a direct assist program to help partners with their sales efforts, Pollard said. "As we move up, we realize the need to augment VARs with our help," he said. "We will target big deals with this program."

Article appears courtesy of CRN.


18901395 Feature Gregg Keizer, TechWeb News

2004-04-09T15:00:00Z 2004-04-09T15:00:00Z 2004-04-09T15:00:00Z

Four Linux distributors, including Red Hat and SuSE, took issue this week with a recent report by Forrester Research that compared the security of Linux and Windows.

Network Computing Data Protection

Data Protection,Data Networking & Management,Other Four Linux distributors, including Red Hat and SuSE, took issue this week with a recent report by Forrester Research that compared the security of Linux and Windows.Last week, Forrester senior analyst Laura Koetzle released her year-long study of published security vulnerabilities and their fixes during the time span from June 1, 2002 to May 31, 2003.

Using metrics she and her colleagues devised, they measured the number of days customers of Windows and Linux were at risk from vulnerabilities, the percentage of security problems fixed, and how each operating system ranked in the severity of its uncovered flaws. Koetzle's report compared Windows with four distributions of Linux: those from Red Hat, SuSE, Debian, and Mandrakesoft.

Microsoft was the only vendor of the five studied which released a fix for every disclosed vulnerability, although none of the Linux makers were far behind. Red Hat, for instance, fixed 99.6 percent, while even last-place Debian patched 96.2 percent of its severe vulnerabilities.

The four Linux companies took issue with those conclusions.

In a joint statement, the four said: "Despite the report's claim to incorporate a qualitative assessment of vendor reactions to serious vulnerabilities, it treats all vulnerabilities as equal, regardless of their risk to users. As a result, the conclusions drawn by Forrester have extremely limited real-world value for customers assessing the practical issue of how quickly serious vulnerabilities get fixed."Koetzle defended the survey Friday, saying that she did rank the vulnerabilities by separating them into severe, medium, and low based on the same criteria applied by the U.S. government's National Institutes for Standards and Technology's (NIST) ICAT project.

"Essentially, the vendors don't like the [vulnerability] severity ranking that I used," she said. "You can argue about [which severity ranking system to use] all year and not get anywhere. Rather than come up my own, I used the ICAT project's. I didn't want to get into the business of deciding which vendor's rating system was more accurate."

The Linux vendors also knocked the Forrester report for what it saw as a slant toward Microsoft Windows. "The claim that one software vendor had fixed 100 percent of their flaws during the period of the report should be incentive for a closer investigation of the conclusions the report presents," the four said in the joint statement.

Koetzle reiterated her study's accuracy, claiming that well before the report went public, she checked every discrepancy brought up by any of the vendors. On the Microsoft issue, "I checked out every single thing that [the vendors] brought up, and couldn't find any instance of a recorded vulnerability in Windows that was never fixed."

Although some might read into the Linux vendors' comment that they're implying some impropriety on the part of Forrester, Koetzle doesn't see it that way."If they wanted to accuse me of kowtowing to Microsoft, they would have said so straight out," she noted. Her report, she said, was totally independent, and didn't rely on more than cooperation from any of the vendors. "We didn't take a dime for this from anyone."

While the four vendors said that open-source shouldn't be treated the same as Windows -- "We believe the report does not treat vendors of Free Software and the single closed source vendor in the same way," the quartet said in their statement -- that's exactly what Koetzle tried to do, she said.

"We wanted to provide data so enterprises could make rational decisions, not ones based on pre-conceived notions."

And she's happy with result. "Nobody disagrees with the facts in the report," she noted.

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