Snap Server 520 Thinks BIG
Despite its small size, the
Server 520 has surprising expandability and redundancy.
Over the years,
Adaptec's Snap Server line of NAS (network-attached storage) products
has evolved to match the growing storage needs of SMBs (small and midsize
The processing power of the 1U (1.75-inch)
Server 520, which was released in February, comes from a single
Advanced Micro Devices 2.2GHz 64-bit Opteron processor and 512MB of RAM,
expandable to 4GB for sites that need additional performance. At $4,595, the
server is a bargain, especially considering that it has both NAS and iSCSI
Server 520 runs Adaptec's GuardianOS, which is built on the Linux
kernel and is a solid alternative to the Microsoft Windows Storage Server
operating system commonly seen in SMB-class NAS systems. The new
Adaptec server is a good choice for basic file-serving needs, and,
with its support for iSCSI, it also can be used to provide storage for business
applications such as Microsoft Exchange.
Like its predecessors, the
Server 520 was easy to set up in eWEEK Labs' tests. By default, the
Server 520 grabs an IP address using DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration
Protocol). The LCD window in the front of the
Server 520 clearly displayed the name and IP address of the unit, a
useful feature, especially in data center environments.
With its small, rack-mount form factor, dozens
of Snap Servers can fit into a rack. The
Server 520 has an empty slot where an additional hot-swap power
supply can be added for redundancy, and it comes with redundant, hot-swappable
cooling fans to maximize uptime.
The basic setup and configuration of the
Server 520 is performed via a Web-based management interface. Using
the interface, we were able to set up file shares and iSCSI targets in a matter
Four 250GB SATA (Serial ATA) hard drives
provide storage for the
Snap Server 520, and it is configured in RAID 5
for redundancy. The
Snap Server 520 we tested provided roughly
691GB of usable storage.
Adaptec maintains an image of GuardianOS on each of the hard drives,
a protection feature that ensures the appliance will boot up if multiple drives
For networking connectivity, the
Server 520 has twin Gigabit Ethernet ports in the back, and it
supports a wide variety of file-sharing protocols, including CIFS (Common
Internet File System), NFS (Network File System) and AFP (Apple File Protocol).
Support for SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) is
available as an option, allowing IT managers to hook the
Server 520 into Adaptec's new
SANbloc S50 JBOD (just a bunch of disks expansion array—a 2U
(3.5-inch), 12-drive expansion that supports SAS or SATA drives. Up to four
SANbloc S50 storage units can be added to the
Servers have the ability to expand data volumes on the fly,
leveraging unused storage on the appliance, to add new expansion arrays.
Snap Server 520 needs to be rebooted to use a