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Overland expands Snap Server NAS platform

Dave Raffo
Overland Storage Inc. is bringing out the first addition to the Snap Server small and medium-sized business (SMB) NAS platform since acquiring the product line from Adaptec Inc. in June.

The Overland Snap Server 620 is a dual-controller SATA II-system that scales from 1 TB to 4 TB with one system and to 88 TB with SAS or SATA expansion drives.

Overland also gave the operating system that is used in all Snap NAS systems a tune-up. GuardianOS 5 adds support for RAID 6 and RAID 10, allows Windows and Linux users to share files/folders without interfering with each other's access control list (ACL) privileges and includes an upgrade to its built-in replication and backup software.

Enterprise Data Replicator (EDR) 7.2, based on software from Signiant, performs byte-level incremental replications -- replicating only changed bytes of files – bandwidth throttling, compression and encryption. It also supports one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-one replications, and adds Microsoft Volume Copy Shadow Service (VSS) support. Overland also embeds BakBone NetVault 8.1 backup software in GuardianOS. Pricing for the Snap Server 620 starts at $7,000 for 1 TB of capacity.

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Steve Rogers, Overland director of product marketing, said the enhanced replication features will especially help Snap Server customers. "This resonates with our installed base," he said. "Most customers use Snap Server for distributed branch offices and remote offices."

Overland paid $3.6 million for the Snap Server business as part of its strategy to diversify from a tape vendor to a general storage company.

Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Terri McClure said Overland's first Snap product rollout fills a gap in the platform between the Snap Server 520 single-controller SATA system and the dual-controller SAS Snap Server 650. "I think a lot of their customers were not quite a right fit for the 650, but were stressing the 520," she said.

Overland has an opportunity to make a play in the emerging video surveillance storage market with the Snap Server 620, McClure said. "Video surveillance is a booming market for this type of product. It's structured to perform well with large files, and the GuardianOS is simple to use – you don't need to be a highly trained storage manager," she said. "It also does some nice stuff with security and permissions. It keeps all Windows native ACLs in one place so you don't have to worry about losing security functionality in a multiprotocol environment."

Zodo's Bowling and Beyond installed a Snap Server 620 alongside its Snap Server 520 to store video surveillance files and back up its business data. Zodo's added 1 TB of storage with the Snap Server 620, doubling its capacity after upgrading its video cameras to high definition.

"We wanted to be able to keep more of our video data on the system to look back on it versus putting it on tape and having to find it on tape if we have to make a DVD for the insurance company, police or are own information," said Cindy Lawrenz, Zodo's vice president of operations.

Rick Heise, Zodo's IT consultant, said the company is considering setting up off-site storage, and "EDR would afford us that opportunity."

Zodo's has now bought Snap Server products from three different companies. It purchased a Snap Server 110 from Snap Appliance, upgraded to the Snap Server 520 from Adaptec after it acquired Snap Appliance, and it bought the Snap Server 620 from Overland. Lawrenz and Heise said they were happy to see Overland pick up the product family, especially since Overland is their tape vendor.

"It's nice to have one vendor we can talk to about both sides," Lawrenz said. "It's always better to minimize your vendors."

"Adaptec's focus was SCSI, but Overland's been in the storage industry. Things seem like they're falling in place now with Snap. There's a lot more interest in keeping backups real clean," Heise added.


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