The Snap!Server: A leading Plug & Play Network Attached Storage Server


Shmuel Shottan

Meridian Data
5615 Scotts Valley Drive
Scotts Valley, CA 95066

Strong growth in requirements for PC Server storage is continuing to increase in today's market. While server centric storage subsystems are still the prevalent way of answering the need for additional storage capacity, a new category of network attached storage servers has emerged.

Enterprise centric network attached storage solutions have been introduced and were validated as tried and true designs. Meridian Data's Snap!Server establishes a new category of low-cost, true plug & play appliance, aimed at reducing the time, expense and complexity of adding storage to a network.

Snap!Server has been designed with the goal of appealing to the large base of the market pyramid - the departmental networks and the SOHO market. In order to fit into the targeted environment, Snap!Server was designed to operate in a heterogeneous environment, supporting simultaneously NFS, CIFS, HTTP and NCP protocols, while maintaining data integrity across all platforms and locking (oplock) management across protocols.

The Snap!Server a pure embedded appliance - performing it's single task well.

In this presentation the design goals, architecture, features and design tradeoffs of the Snap!Server will be described. An overview of the tradeoffs required to position the Snap!Server into an existing infrastructure and integrate seamlessly into the current computing environment will be given.

This presentation emphasizes the product centric aspects of the Snap!Server, yet a short assessment of industry and academia initiatives and infrastructure enhancements will be presented, which should enable the Snap!Server to grow into an Intelligent Disk, in future incarnations.