As expected from the disk configuration options and the SnapServer's specifications the SnapServer 4100 holds four 30 GB harddrives, and upon opening the server we were pleasantly surprised that it doesn't hold four mediocre drives, but four Quantum Fireball Plus LMs, a very fast drive by all means. Besides being fast it has a number of other compelling features that make it an excellent choice for use in a server:
- Quiet Drive Technology, QDT, to provide personal computer users with the lowest possible noise levels and best overall sound quality from their harddisks. Because the harddisk and cooling fan are mechanical devices, they typically are the loudest component in any system and have the greatest influence on system noise
- Data Protection System, DPS, is designed to counter the effects of avoidable data loss. It works by determining whether the harddisk is the source of a computer defect and spares you, the user, from unnecessarily removing and replacing a perfectly well functioning harddisk. As a result, valuable data is protected and your productivity maintained
The other surprise was the fact that it doesn't run off of some proprietary hardware but rather uses an Intel Pentium MMX CPU operating at a 233 MHz clockspeed on a Intel TX chipset. The harddisk controllers are actually made by Promise, whereas the network adapter is using the same chipset as found on the well known Intel EtherExpress Pro 100+. These components all have an excellent track record and have been used in PCs, servers and workstations alike for many years.
The screenshots below give a good impression of how the harddrives are mounted in the SnapServer 4100 and what the different parts look like. The whole construction looked pretty sound and durable, and the harddrives can be easily replaced by removing a single screw. The top cover comes off by removing two thumbscrews and after removing it, you can easily access any part of the system. Take notice that due to the size of the SnapServer 4100 it fits nicely into a 19" server rack by mounting the supplied brackets.
Fig 8. An overview of the SnapServer 4100, notice the four Quantum Fireball LM harddrives mounted side by side, and the mainboard located in the lower left corner. Click on the image to get a larger, full screen version.
Fig 9. The SnapServer 4100's mainboard, notice the temperature controlled heatsink and fan attached to the Intel Pentium MMX CPU. Click on the image to get a larger, full screen version.
Fig 10. A close up of the Promise harddisk controllers mounted on the SnapServer 4100's mainboard. The same Promise controller can also be found on many IDE-RAID controllers and IDE-RAID enabled motherboards. Click on the image to get a larger, full screen version.