Storage developer Quantum is looking to put its stamp on the enterprise data storage market with a range of server appliances for companies in Asia. Snap Appliances, a subsidiary of Quantum, has released a terabyte-class, network-attached storage (NAS) device and Chinese software-based server appliances for large enterprises. 'This is a big step for us,' said Ray Robidoux, president of Snap Appliances. 'We expect to generate significant business in the Asia-Pacific, especially in Greater China, as corporate decision-makers find that our NAS products meet the growing demand for storage solutions with a low total cost of ownership.' Snap Appliances claims its new Snap server 12000, with about 960 gigabytes of capacity, allows for easy configuration and minimal administration at a fraction of the cost - US$14,999 - of large Windows NT-class servers from companies such as Compaq and IBM and traditional enterprise data storage sub-system makers including EMC and Network Appliances. The mid-tier Snap server 4100, with up to 400GB of capacity, and workgroup Snap server 2000 both run on Snap Chinese OS 2.4 and are claimed to offer some of the industry's lowest cost per gigabyte. Mr Robidoux said that a Snap NAS appliance could be installed in less than five minutes without any disruptions to the network and was the only file server in its class to automatically deliver file-sharing support for Windows, NetWare, Mac and Unix/ Linux users on the same network for up to 150 simultaneous users. Richard Moh, director for Quantum's Asia-Pacific sales and operations, said the new products would attract buyers in sectors such as government, financial services, manufacturing, retail and even communications service providers. A key development to enhance the capabilities of the Snap appliances is their optional SnapExtension software, which enables users to schedule backups without slowing network performance. Also, in the case of a primary server failure, users can quickly and easily retrieve necessary data. The Snap servers are part of a growing group of peripherals called NAS appliances, which are specialised file-serving devices that support heterogeneous files in a high-capacity package. It also provides specific features to simplify the tasks and reduce the resources associated with data management. Quantum officials quoted recent market estimates that found more than 60 per cent of traditional general-purpose server computers were being used for file-serving purposes only. NAS appliances represent the bulk of the worldwide appliance server market, which research firm International Data Corp has projected to grow from US$3.8 billion last year to US$31.4 billion in 2005. NAS appliances are expected to account for 55 per cent of the market to 2005. 'We are just a blip in the market today, but the market had better watch out because we are set to grow fast, especially here in Greater China,' Mr Robidoux said. He claimed Snap Appliances already was the leader in the workgroup NAS market category, with more than 70 per cent share and more than 70,000 servers sold worldwide as of June 30 this year. Parent company Quantum, which also makes computer tape drives, posted total revenues of US$1.4 billion for its latest fiscal year to March 31. Fred Sheu, director of enterprise systems at Compaq Hong Kong, said Snap Appliances faced stiff competition in the mid-tier data storage market where it was up against not only Compaq, but also the likes of Dell Computer, Hewlett-Packard, Maxtor and Sony.