Meridian Data improves on a great product

When we reviewed Meridian Data Inc.'s nifty little network-attached storage device last year [FCW, Dec. 21, 1998], we were impressed with its ease of use, affordability and versatility.With Snap! Server Version 2.0, Meridian has improved upon a product that was great in the first place.

The Snap! Server is a workgroup-class storage server that can go almost anywhere because of its small size. It requires almost no setup—just plug it in, assign an Internet Protocol address, and you're up and running.

Version 2.0 includes both hardware and software improvements. First, the maximum storage capacity has increased twofold, from 16G to 32G. Version 2.0 of the Snap! Server software includes an expanded feature set and speeds up performance, according to Meridian. Apple users will be glad to learn that Meridian offers Macintosh support for clients using Apple Filing Protocol over Appletalk 2.0. Meridian also supports Microsoft Corp., Novell Inc. and Unix-based networks—and can support all four network types simultaneously (and transparently to the user).

Meridian still does not bundle backup software with the Snap! Server, but its third-party support now includes Dantz Development Corp.'s Retrospect, a Macintosh backup program. It also supports ARCserveIT from Computer Associates International Inc. and Backup Exec from Seagate Software.

Snap! Server models with dual hard drives now offer Redundant Array of Independent Disks 0 and RAID 1 support to increase data protection. A Web-based software tool lets users activate RAID configurations during installation.

Snap! Server 2.0 also includes automatic e-mail notification to alert system administrators to problems—a really nice feature.

One of the best things about Version 2.0 is that current Snap! Server users can download it for free from Meridian's Web site at www.snapserver.com. That way, owners of previous-generation Snap! Servers can enjoy the additional capabilities without having to buy a new system.

The Snap! Server is available through several resellers on the General Services Administration schedule. The following are sample GSA prices for Version 2.0 Snap! Servers: $2,504 for the 32G version, $1,781 for the 16G version and $936 for the 8G version. For more information, contact Meridian Data at (831) 438-3100.

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