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Data Storage Technology

Snap Appliance Snap Server 1100 NAS Device 238

~*77*~ writes "While taking up considerably less space than a shoebox, this little device seamlessly allows users to add additional storage to any network in less than five minutes. Today we review the Snap Appliance 80GB Snap Server 1100. This compact NAS (network attached storage) device has many great features including: 5 minute installation, a compact web and ftp server, or simply a network share. Most importantly it works in a network mixed with Windows, Netware, UNIX, Linux, and Macintosh machines... "
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Snap Appliance Snap Server 1100 NAS Device

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  • SNAP (Score:2, Informative)

    by jmays ( 450770 ) *
    I work with a 1.2T SNAP daily ... these things are great. Reliable, scalable and robust.
    • Reliable, scalable and robust.

      Robust? Robust? Something tells me you're spending too much time reading their marketing literature. Reliable...ok. Scalable...sure. But robust? This isn't coffeee you're talking about.
    • Oh HOW I second that. I used to work for a place that used the 40GB models, which primarily stored image files used to image PCs on the field, and download client files to transport between sites. Being relatively entry level to the IT field, I was VERY thankful that I could use one of these instead of having to carry around various Image CD's or *gasp* having to download client files on floppies X(

      On that note, I want one of my own! :P
  • For one thing, you can add network storage without having to dismantle a fileserver or purchase a new one. Also, setup is a breeze, and it looks seamless to the end user.

    Being able to swap it out is also helpful should problems arise.

  • 80 GB (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wpiman ( 739077 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @11:22AM (#9051604)
    80 GB doesn't seem like very much today.

    I have a Ximeta [ximeta.com] 250GB Netdisk and it works great for me. Sure it is not NFS and requires its own drivers- but it works for me.

    • Re:80 GB (Score:2, Interesting)

      by k2dbk ( 724898 )
      You're right, 80GB isn't that much, but this kind of device actually works pretty well for internal software distribution with corporations. The firm that I work for has around 30,000 employees, and we use a whole bucketload of these dispersed in various locations. Since the type of information we keep on them is primarily run-of-the-mill corporate applications (both commercially developed and internally developed), the size works out to be a non-issue, and they have the advantage that we can configure them

    • I have a Ximeta 250GB Netdisk and it works great for me.

      Details, please!

      What OS ( I assume some Un*x variant, since you mention NFS), any problems with setup? Any issues in daily operation?

      I am asking because I've been thinking about getting one of these things, mainly for backup of my home fileserver. I have noticed that they had a RH9 RPM for their software, but there seems to be very little info on the net about people using it with Linux.


  • by Squeezer ( 132342 ) <awilliam&mdah,state,ms,us> on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @11:22AM (#9051614) Homepage
    we use a snap server at my work (sorry I don't remember which model off hand) but it was very easy to setup. It runs a custom version of liunx, and you can ssh to it. We already have a samba server but needed more space for a few people. So I edited the snap's smb.conf and added passwd server = archives1 and used the snap server's adduser script to create the users we needed, and the users use \\snapserver\username in windows to access their home directories to store more files. They use their username and passwd from archives1, so I didn't have to add them to samba on the snap server. very cool
    • Must be a newer model. We have a 2000 running 3.4.772 (US) and it does not have SSH capabilities.
  • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @11:23AM (#9051622) Homepage Journal
    Their older produdcts didnt do this.. and made it a royal pain to manage.
    • by pbranes ( 565105 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @01:23PM (#9053322)
      We have 2 new snap servers here at work. They STILL do not support SMB ACL's except through the web interface (!!!), also they do not have full NFS support - no hard links (!!!), so we had to use the servers for less important tasks due to their lack of functionality. So, on paper, the snap server looks great, but when we tried to use it, we were quickly disillusioned with it.
  • by AKnightCowboy ( 608632 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @11:23AM (#9051625)
    This Slashvertisement brought to you by Snap Appliance, makers of fine SOHO NAS devices. When you are ready to deplot a SOHO NAS solution, Snap your fingers and head on over to one of our quality resellers for information about how you could own your very own Snap NAS Appliance. For a limited time, buy 4 NAS appliances and get the fifth one for just one penny!
    • Don't worry, the user that submitted this has just slashdotted their own server. You have to love poetic justice >:-)
    • This Slashvertisement brought to you by Snap Appliance...

      Well what I find funny about all this is on most occations there are comments (which get modded up) that contradict most of the statements made in the 'article', with suggestions for better alternative routes.

      So unless they (Snap in this case) make a bunch of /. accounts and post comments and mod them up, this would actually be a negative advertising campaign.
  • by holzp ( 87423 )
    Note to BigBruin: review a Snap Webserver next. Thanks Slashdot!
  • rtfa... (Score:5, Funny)

    by sevensharpnine ( 231974 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @11:24AM (#9051631)
    from the ask-me-again-when-you-have-a-250-gig-version dept.

    From the article:

    Key Features:

    250GB, 160GB, or 80GB Capacities (reviewed item has 80GB capacity)

    I guess I shouldn't fault Taco here. I'm sure he's busy fending off job offers from the Times, Post, WSJ, etc.
  • excellent (Score:4, Informative)

    by spune ( 715782 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @11:24AM (#9051633)
    I think we need to see more of this sort of thing. Not only do network drives allow for easy transferring of data, but having a drive that can be easily moved from network to network has vast possibilities. Albeit, many of those possibilities lie in the realm of warez...

    http://www.snapappliance.com/ is the company's website -- one might get more info out of it than the listed source. I visited as soon as the link went up and it was a slow load.
  • Yeah, that sure is a great review. Maybe you should look into reviewing web servers next...

    Anyone get a copy before the server imploded?

  • by calix ( 73098 )
    The SnapServer is a pretty cool concept - we use several here at the office for NAS-only, and they work quite well and are a, well, snap to set up. For the home user? You might think so... or not. You can get an open-source server on a nice PC platform running Linux for under $200. Don't believe me? Check out Rob's column [computerpoweruser.com] in Computer Power User (CPU). No intentional karma whoring going on here. I'm getting underway in doing my own little X-Box/NAS/Media Server project [spacemakeovers.biz] as soon as the parts come in...
  • Please.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fizzlewhiff ( 256410 ) <jeffshannon@h o t m a i l . c om> on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @11:25AM (#9051651) Homepage
    Why do so many reviewers feel the need to photograph shipping boxes and packaging materials? Are you reviewing the product or the shipping department?
    • Re:Please.... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by imidazole2 ( 776413 )
      Short answer - yes. The shipping department is sometimes almost as important as the product. It lets you know if you're likely to get the product in one piece. it lets you know if you'll end up with moving parts that... arent supposed to be moving. Apple's laptops, for example. Check out the packaging on those. My guess is the boxes and all will withstand a 20ft drop and the laptop will still arrive in pristine working appearance.
  • In 5 minutes, I can add an 80GB HDD into a server. and power it up.
    • Can you add it while the server is on? Can you remove it again, while the server is on?

      This is supposed to make it easier to install a drive, not replace internal storage. It's machine-independent, so you don't have to worry about putting it on a slow machine that's processing paycheques or anything.

      It's like people who argue against bluetooth because we have WLAN - they're both for different purposes, and those not appreciating those differences slam the supposedly-weaker technology into the ground.

  • How much does this cost? The site is loading very slowly. According to snaps website, you can get 80, 160, or 250 gigs of storage, for as little as 4/gig. Even assuming you can that price for the 80, that's $320 bucks for that. Why would you do that? 80 gigs isn't much, when most dells are coming with at least 40 gigs by default now. So to any people who've used this, or will use this, can you tell me why?
    • by tuffy ( 10202 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @11:36AM (#9051772) Homepage Journal
      Even assuming you can that price for the 80, that's $320 bucks for that. Why would you do that? 80 gigs isn't much, when most dells are coming with at least 40 gigs by default now. So to any people who've used this, or will use this, can you tell me why?

      You're paying for a preconfigured, RAID-capable, networked storage device that requires one switch to turn on and is fully administered from a webpage. That means convenience, low power consuption and a small footprint. For some people, those factors are more important than pure size.

    • by bhima ( 46039 )
      Exactly for that price I want a 4 or 5 place Raid enclosure with a 250 gig SATA drive intslled. Like someone else said "If I only wanted 80 gigs I just add another drive"
  • Dear Small Time Reviewer,

    As you get too big for your britches and feel the need to post your 2-bit "review" (read: advertisement) on slashdot so you can get click-throughs and display money, please, for the love of God and all the 1s and 0s, use a reliable hosting company, and not your own l33t site off of your cable modem. When a story doesn't even have a post yet, and you are slashdotted, its time to seriously re-evaluate your how large you thought you were.

    (on behalf of the slashdot community)
  • A NAS device like this is made to work with any type of network protocols... but how could it work with a network that has a windows, mac, netware, and linux stuff all happening at once? I mean is this even possible? Aside from acting as a web/ftp server? I don't know why anyone would ever want to have all those things mixed into one network anyway, but what if?
    • Well Snap 2200s and 1100s (only ones I have experience with) support SMB network shares, which Linux/Mac/Windows can connect to, as well as exporting the filesystem as an NFS share (Linux/UNIX/Mac), as well as supporting the AppleTalk network protocol (God knows why) and the list goes on... Oh, it also can support NetWare clients by using a Novell server to handle security. Or an NT or Active Directory domain, for that matter.
      And there still is that whole web/FTP server thing as well...
    • SMB, my friend :)

      With the latest versions of Samba and OSX, you can get practically anything talking to anything. Samba 3 even supports becoming an active directory controller (as well as logging on to one, and sharing file permissions).

      It's reeeally easy to get linux/windows/osx on a network talking to each other easily. It's when you want macs with OS9 on the network that things go horribly wrong very fast. Everyone else plays together nicely :)

      If the snap server runs linux, which I believe it does,

  • SNAP Experiences (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Chibi Merrow ( 226057 ) <mrmerrow AT monkeyinfinity DOT net> on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @11:28AM (#9051690) Homepage Journal
    We've been using SNAP servers for a while now at work... Mostly pretty good experiences to report. The little boxes run some BSD derivative, support SMB/NFS/FTP/WWW/etc access to the files stored on them, and some can even run Java Servlets. They can even use a NetWare or Win NT/2K Domain to handle logins and security. We normally use them for small remote offices that don't justify a full server or for storing large rarely accessed files like aerials of the parish. Much better than storing them on a few hundred CDs that have to be tracked and stored properly.
    My only real complaint is backup can be annoying due to a lack of tape drive or any real backup feature on the device itself. You'll have to write some scripts or make use of an external package on another machine to get some sort of backup procedure going.
    They seem to use normal IDE drives, so they WILL eventually fail. However, Snap Appliance went ahead and replaced one of our 1100s free of charge when the drive developed errors and the software update applied incorrectly while trying to fix it. This was despite the fact that the server was no longer under warranty.
    All in all, beautiful little boxen.
    • Re:SNAP Experiences (Score:3, Informative)

      by Otterley ( 29945 )
      They seem to use normal IDE drives, so they WILL eventually fail.

      All disk drives will eventually fail, whether they're IDE/ATA, SCSI or Fibre Channel. With IDE, you lose tagged command queueing, seek performance generally isn't as good (8-9ms vs 4-5ms for the latter disks), and you don't get 15k RPM spindle speeds (7200-10k is the maximum for IDE).

      But, for a single-disk unit such as the SNAP server, those factors aren't all that important.
  • by conway ( 536486 )
    Quick search [google.com] on google shows its above $500 for the 80GB version, and much more for the 120GB.
    Why so much? I can get a small 80GB headless desktop from parts, and install linux to give all the filesharing / print / web / ftp server for about $200. Charging an extra $300 basically for a cute case is not my idea of a breakthrough product.
    • Remember, you're buying a whole computer in a box, not just a network adapter and a hard disk. It's not an ethernet->IDE bridge.

      You're paying that $300 for a motherboard, PSU, memory, NIC, CPU, R&D and labour. It's actually a great deal.

    • by chill ( 34294 )
      And can you install the distro, configure Samba to authenticate off of the existing Windows Domain and have everything up and running in under 10 minutes?

      I've yet to meet a sysadmin (with a job) that has enough spare time to do what you describe. Your time is worth (or should be) more than the $300.

      I've installed four of these units for consulting clients and they are quite happy. Most of their happieness comes from everything being up and running in 10 minutes and they now have more storage space witho
  • They work out (Score:5, Informative)

    by MC68040 ( 462186 ) <[henric] [at] [digital-bless.com]> on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @11:29AM (#9051698) Homepage
    I work with several NAS appliances daily and the easiest to administrate is clearly the SNAP servers. Although we use Dell branded ones that work just as well with unix/novell/linux/mac/windows so the product discussed isn't very "unique" so to say. And it's been in the market for quite some time...

    But I guess it's good for those that havn't discovered the advantages with snap's yet.
  • Sales sthick? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @11:29AM (#9051699)
    Does this look like a cut and paste from a sales brochure to anyone else? Any particular reason this non-revolutonary product is getting a free ad?
  • Man (Score:5, Funny)

    by Aggrazel ( 13616 ) <aggrazel@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @11:36AM (#9051768) Journal
    Need spam filtering software for /. now ... :(
  • I loved the concept so I convinced my coworkers to get a 60MB number. It was cake to setup and worked well until a few days later the disk failed. Talking with tech support, they couldn't believe it but determined it was definately DEAD. No refund available, just a replacement unit. The new one has worked well since so it may have been a fluke but it doesn't matter now since nobody in the office will trust it for more than an mp3 server. Kind of dissapointing really.
  • What's the point? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by streak ( 23336 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @11:39AM (#9051799) Journal
    I'm wondering what's the point of such a small drive as NAS? Is it when all your machines are filled up with HDs and you can't add any more? I mean, 80GB? There are firewire drives that are more than double that size.

    Am I missing some crucial point here?
    I understand that to add more storage you might have to take a server down, etc.. But I guess when I see how much my company uses disk space, a 80GB anything would be filled probably within a month - seems like you would have money better spent on bigger drives.
    • Re:What's the point? (Score:2, Informative)

      by streak ( 23336 )
      I guess it does provide a ftp/web server, but I think I could get a suitable box set up in an hour with all those things with at least triple the disk space.
    • by rimmon ( 608966 )
      Maybe you're don't belong to the target group? This is great for small offices with no admin: They just connect the box to their switch and that's it.
      You know, there are offices that don't have a server and don't need one. They just need a small box which is easy to setup, easy to use and does everything they need: store some files.
      Can you run a multinational cooperation with thousands of user of theses things? no. A company with ca. 10 persons that is not in the IT business? sure.
  • by unfortunateson ( 527551 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @11:41AM (#9051821) Journal
    For over $500, and $800+ for the 160GB, it seems overpriced.

    For me to reach out and buy a server device like that, it's missing one thing: backup. If they included, say a DVD+/-R/RW drive, the price is still high. Is there something special about this drive? A RAID-5 hidden in that little box? Somehow, I doubt it.
    • by Chibi Merrow ( 226057 ) <mrmerrow AT monkeyinfinity DOT net> on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @12:06PM (#9052134) Homepage Journal
      Actually the 2200s and up do support RAID-5. As well as plain striping or mirroring. What's special about it is that it's a fire and forget zero administration solution for a small workgroup scenario. They also come with a great warranty, wherein I had a server replaced free of charge even though its warrant was expired (as mentioned in above post).
      The whole idea is you're paying for a solution you can install and forget about. Can't say the same about full blown fileservers.
    • It's not overpriced when you consider the total package: buy it and plug it in. We're not just talking hardware and software costs, we're talking cost of warranty, convenience and everything else. It's not aimed at home/consumer use either.

      Certainly I'd like one of these in my house, but cannot justify cost.

      In fact, I am in the process of converting an old 150mhz notebook into network storage server. If you're wanting to do something at home inexpensively and gain hacker-enjoyment, this is the solution: n
  • by franknagy ( 56133 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @11:42AM (#9051834) Homepage
    I have 34 at work (2x4100s and 1 4200 plus a 2000 which has been upgraded to 240GB) plus I have bought 3 for my home (2x2000s with 240GB each plus an 1100 with a 120GB disk). They are great. Robust, reliable and easy to use from either Windows, Linux or Macintosh (either OS9 or OS X).
  • how do I do an offsite backup of the data that I have on it.
    Really, I love the idea of plugging in the device and BooMfile sharing actioning is going on. But when you need to back up the data... what do you do? Buy another one? Hope nothing bad happens to the building it's in or the device itself?
    something like a usb 2.0 / firewire / scsi connection for an external tape drive or even an external HD to back it up to would be ideal. Otherwise you've got all your data in one spot, which is fine until shit happ
    • Well they can mirror to other SNAP servers... But you could also write a backup script to mount it, tar+bzip the contents, then store that to a tape, couldn't you?
      • Stupid keyboard switched back to DVORAK while I was responding... As I was saying, the more expensive models support you SSHing in to install some backup software, but otherwise you can use ArcServe or Veritas or any other software package to go ahead and just mount the network share and backup the contents to whatever sort of archive you use. Or you could, as I said before, write a little cron job that grabs the data and stores it on a tape for you. Whatever works for you.
      • Yes, but the point being is you then have to setup a tape server.
        This would, I'm sure, fit well into existing infrastructure.
        i.e. you've got a MS domain, or Active Directory, an existing Fileserver/tape backup unit.
        But if you don't have existing infrastruture, and you want reliable backup, you need to purchase a second unit to mirror to, or a system with a tape drive.

  • Cobalt Qube? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by StupaflyD ( 729788 )
    This sounds exactly the Cobalt Qube [discontinued] device from ages ago. The company was eventually purchased by Sun. This device had __ GB storage, a web server, email, FTP, etc... All in a cube about 8"x8"x8"
    [link to user manual]
    http://www.sun.com/hardware/serverappliances/pdfs/ manuals/manual.qube3.pdf
    • They also had the NASRaQ appliance, which was similar to this.

      I wish Sun didn't kill off the Cobalt stuff. I wish Sun never bought them *sigh*
  • Empty NAS? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Erwos ( 553607 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @11:48AM (#9051887)
    I was wondering if anyone knew of any (relatively) cheap NAS solutions which came _without_ an IDE hard drive? That is to say, so I could install a hard drive of my choosing. No need for features except for SMB and NFS support, either.

    My fiance and I are getting married in Feb, and I'm trying my best to hunt down print servers and network storage so we can combine our network in a sane fashion. The print server is already taken care of for the LaserJet 6L, but we have no decent network storage solution for my external hard drive. (also have no solution for her crappy HP color inkjet, but it'll probably break before we get hitched anyways *grabs a hammer*).

    • Whatever happenend to wedding registries being the hot topic?? Print servers??? :-P


      You're probably better off just biting the bullet on that one, and getting the best deal on a cheap NAS you can find :)

  • by amix ( 226257 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @11:48AM (#9051893) Journal

    To me this seems like the ideal candidate for a community-built project. More and more of us utilize servers at home and sometimes it might be just better to attach external storage-subsystems than building newer and bigger computers.

    When I built my HomeServer the first option I was investigating was to modularize everything. However I had to discover, that this is not a good position: The stuff on the market just did not fit my needs: To expensive. Too "smallish". Too "touch-the-market" of AOL users. So I ended up with a ATX VIA board and a C3 Nehemiah CPU with a 3ch ICP Vortex S-ATA controller, a 2nd NIC and WLAN card.

    However, I wonder, why the community does not create some own inventions, custom-tailored for private users and, most importantly, not limited in possibilites, due to fear of support-problems with AOL users.

    A community built NAS could consits of a small embedded computer, with onboard hardware RAID own cache (min. 4ch S-ATA) and come with a good case. Cases have been built by the community. Embedded systerms also. So, why not ? :-)

    Best would be to offer the board and driver/software and let customers build their own beast. Maybe with syste-boards, that can be combined to offer more power.

    Anyone ? :-D

    • This brings up a good point. Are there open source hardware projects out there?

      There are lots of software engineers working on free (as in speech) software projects. Are also computer engineers working on free (as in speech) hardware projects?

  • Snap 80 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HancockDC ( 148897 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @11:52AM (#9051930) Homepage
    I have used these for a few years with very few problems. A couple caveats:
    • They are a single drive. If your are storing really important data, spend twice as much and get a 4 drive system configured as RAID 5.
    • You are paying extra for ftp, httpd, netbios, etcetera. If you are just mounting it on a local computer, then get yourself and external drive such as a 160 GB Western Digital and save about 66%.

    • Don't forget you're also paying for the memory, cpu, NIC, motherboard, etc. This is a whole computer in a box, remember. Comparing it to an external drive is like comparing a RAID-5 fileserver to a USB keychain :-P
  • Backup anyone? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tliet ( 167733 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @11:55AM (#9051966)
    It's all fine and well, a closed box that can be tucked away to forget about it. But how about backup of these things? When it goes poof, it can take up to 250 gigabytes of data into it's grave.

    I've never understood these things. Buy a FireWire or USB disk, but don't connect one of these things to the network.
    • You don't understand because you're not in the target market. A firewire or USB disk isn't too useful if you need to let a couple dozen people access the data all at once, is it? If you want to back it up, either have itself mirror to a duplicate server or use (insert favorite backup package) to mount the share and back the data up.
  • New slogan.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by schon ( 31600 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @11:57AM (#9051998)
    My only experience with this is bad - SNAP uses two regular IDE drives, in RAID-0... A customer bought one, and one of the drives died.. I suggest a new slogan:

    "Twice the storage, half the reliability!"
    • All two drive Snaps allow for RAID-1, RAID-0 or individual drives configurations. If you choose to configure it as RAID-0, total data loss happens if a single drive fails and the manual states as much.
    • Re:New slogan.. (Score:2, Interesting)

      by crap_on_you ( 708493 )
      In what situation would a Raid-0 drive failure be recoverable? Raid-0 isn't the only possible configuration. Why the hell would you bother with raid-0 over then network, anyway?
      I bought one of these for a client that required push-button simplicity and data redundancy. Although expensive and a little slow on writes, this thing does the job well.

  • They suck (Score:2, Informative)

    by narve ( 574341 )
    We've bought a 1TB SnapApplicance and it sucks. UPS doesn't work, our backup system doesn't work (absolutely no logs or error messages, impossible to debug), and we've had a total of 3 hard drive failures so far _this_ year. We don't dare to use it, so we keep using our p-pro no-brand home-built server, which have been working for 3 years... and are taking the necessary steps to get our money back. Oh, and by the way, the support people suck too: Quite friendly, nice to talk to, and they know slightly more
  • We use a couple of these, and they are not anything like what the reviewer described.

    Reliable? IBM DeskStar IDE drives in a RAID configuration is reliable? Right...

    Frequent weird permissions problems, connectivity issues, etc etc. Not just on an older model, but also a new one we recently purchased as well....

  • I have one (Score:4, Informative)

    by Remlik ( 654872 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @12:17PM (#9052270) Homepage
    I have the Snap 2200 model running on my Windows network at work.

    It is more or less a pair of IDE hard drives with a hardware RAID. You can run them mirrored for half the space (aka 240G becomes a mirrored 120G) or as a single drive for full space.

    The SNAPs can interface directly to a windows domain controller for user login security. Very slick, took about 20 minutes to get it up and running from zero knowledge.

    This is the second SNAP device we have had, the first was a 40gig model a few years back. THis is also the second SNAP i've had fail. The first lasted two years before the cooling fan on the CPU inside failed and caused the device to lock up under any kind of normal load. Since the unit was out of warranty and the fan was too small to find a "home brew" solution we opted to upgrade. I have since removed the drives from the old device and passed them down to desktop machines.

    My current SNAP (the 2200) just this week lost the secondary mirror disk. The unit has only been in use for 5 months and has seen very little usage day to day. Thankfully I was running in mirror mode (and had tape backups) so no data was lost. The unit locked up when the drive failed but after a reboot discovered its error and reported the failed disk on the admin info screen. I simply FTPed the data off the remaining drive and called their tech support number.

    Snap's warranty service seems well structured, after 10 minutes on the phone and sending the consultant a couple log files I was issued an RMA number and instructed to send the unit back, once received they would ship another. If I needed immeadiate replacement I could give them a CC# and they would ship that day.

    The only bad part about this is that I had thrown the box away...Keep the box, they require 2 inches of solid foam, or 3 inches of bubble wrap else you void the warranty...no peanuts.

    SO if you are planning on either the 1100 or larger keep the box, run in mirror mode, and keep the units well cooled.

    I like snaps and will continue to use them, I feel as though I may have just found the 1 in 5000 bad drives.
  • by MemoryDragon ( 544441 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @12:25PM (#9052364)
    They had the base for appliances like these in their portfolio with the Cobalt line, but they dropped the ball a few years ago.
  • What about iSCSI? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by swb ( 14022 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @12:26PM (#9052384)
    Where's that at, anyway? While anyone can "deploy" SMB servers (either canned, home-grown, or otherwise), it doesn't make any sense at all to just add a bunch of new shares willy-nilly, fragmenting your overall storage capacity.

    What WOULD make these kinds of devices make more sense would be iSCSI and the ability to dynamically expand an existing volume to use the new space over the network. I know there are some expensive SAN systems that can do this now, but iSCSI would make it a lot less expensive, using an existing or dedicated IP network to connect the devices instead of expensive fiber channel fabric.

  • DIY (Score:3, Informative)

    by sir_cello ( 634395 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @12:29PM (#9052434)

    I was looking at DIY something like this (since I am competent in building BSD/Linux systems from scratch):

    - 3.5' IDE based HDD
    - 3.5' or smaller form factor embedded linux/bsd based pc
    - power supply

    There seem to be a number of 3.5' ff embedded pc's, something like no less than 100-200mhz seemed ideal: just needs 16-32mb ram, onboard 100mb NIC and a serial port - anything else is a waste of money. Lots of taiwanese manufacturers making these. Some have inbuild 16mb SDRAM and inbuild CF or at least PCMCIA (for a CF adapter) to put the boot image on. The current drain on these systems I've seen a few quoted at ~4W, average seems to be 5-10W. Low power :-). Mix of ARM, Intel or GEODE processors.

    Would be very interesting to hear anyone else who has done something like this, esp. re prices and suppliers, and appropriate CPU type/speed required to service ATA-100/133 + 100MB NIC, and whether 16mb SDRAM suitable.

    Something like this I guessed would set me back no more than ~UK120GBP (incl. ~50-60 for 160gb HDD).

  • What about raid? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by phish_head ( 750687 )
    This looks great but I need RAID protection for all my data. I would love to replace the Giant Proliant server I have with a tiny box that can store just as much data. Does anyone know if they have a device that does at least raid mirroring for the home / small office?
    • Absolutely, but of course, YMMV

      I've had multiple of their 60G flavors when they were big and bad. You can set them up to do RAID-0 (useless IMHO) and/or RAID-1 (there's versions with multiple drives enclosed). I believe that they have RAID-5 versions as well...

      I fortunately had MULTIPLE RAID-1 Snap! servers setup -- the main device (RAID-1) and a mirrored/backup to another RAID-1 Snap! server ... which saved my butt. Probably due to lightening the entire device was DOA and the only way to get the data off
  • by Espen ( 96293 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @12:40PM (#9052597)
    I've always wondered why there isn't a Live-CD/Knoppix type distribution for this kind of thing: ie. Something will boot an old PC taking up space and present whatever disks are in it as a file store on a network (w/user management, and RAID/LVM etc. if it wanted to be fancy).
  • We have a snap server here, and if more than about two people are accessing it at once, it's SLOW AS MOLASSES!!! You can practically sit there and watch the bits shuffle by. (We only use it for long-term, low-access storage because it sucks so bad.)
  • by jonasmit ( 560153 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @12:44PM (#9052657)
    Mini-itx Motherboard (Fanless, Very Small) [mini-itx.com] ~$115
    80GB HardDrive [newegg.com] $70
    Gigabit NIC* [dlink.com] $25
    Pretty Case [mini-itx.com] $100
    Linux [gentoo.org] Free*
    Total ~280-305
    ^Requires Initial Work (Maybe there is a handy Distro for this type of thing I don't know?)
    BTW Newegg.com says they will carry mini-itx soon so prices may get much better in the US.
  • Hate. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lemonylimey ( 745130 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2004 @01:00PM (#9052911)
    I have an 80GB Snap Server at work, and I dislike the thing throughly. It only picks up a random 80% sampling of our Active Directory users every time it's rebooted, which means we have to run it with no file security. Snap's helpdesk claimed this problem would be fixed by installing the new "Snap OS 4", which at the bargin price of $100 offered "Complete Windows 2003 Server ADS compatibility!" But, I protested, we were only running Windows 2000, and it says Windows 2000 compatibility on the box ...

    After much cajoling, the helpdesk admitted that wasn't strictly true, but Snap OS 4 would make it so, and add a glorious weath of new features into the bargin. So we sighed, and bought it.

    Needless to say, it's now picking up about 70% of our Active Directory.

    The moral of the story is: Don't buy hardware from companies that charge $100 to patch something that should have worked from the get-go.

"Everyone's head is a cheap movie show." -- Jeff G. Bone