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Snap Tackles Blocks

PHOENIX -- Snap Appliance Inc. is poking around that part of the low-end NAS market formerly reserved for its conceptual big brother Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP).

In an announcement at the Storage Networking World tradeshow here today, Snap unveiled iSCSI support that lets its storage systems move block data as well as file-level data over an IP network (see Snap Appliance Intros New Products). That's something NetApp began doing last spring and has continued to build on (see NetApp Squares Off With Redmond and NetApp Blitzes on iSCSI).

Until now, Snap has been content to sell high-volume, low-cost NAS systems, mostly to customers too small for NetApps radar screen. But the company that Quantum Corp. (NYSE: DSS) spun off in late 2002 is now tiptoing onto NetApp's turf (see Quantum Evicts NAS Unit).

The iSCSI support is part of an upgrade to Snap's GuardianOS operating system, along with an enterprise NAS controller that allows the addition of up to seven expansion arrays, expanding capacity on Snap systems from 5 Tbytes to 29 Tbytes. Snap’s previous systems scaled from 320 Gbytes to 3 Tbytes.

Snap's GuardianOS version 3 also includes NetVault backup-and-restore software from BakBone Software Inc. (Toronto: BKB) and eTrust Antivirus data protection software from Computer Associates International Inc. (CA) (NYSE: CA).

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