At a special event at this week’s NAB 2004, Apple introduced
Xsan, a Storage Area Network (SAN) file system priced at US$999 per system. The new file system is aimed at users in video and other businesses looking for high-speed access to centralized, shared data where even conventional Local Area Networks (LANs) might still be too slow.
Xsan is a 64-bit cluster file system designed to work with Mac OS X. It provides multiple computers with concurrent file-level read/write access to shared volumes over Fibre Channel, and it’s certified to work with Apple’s pro applications. Up to 64 users can simultaneously access a single storage volume using Xsan. Features include metadata controller failover, Fibre Channel multipathing, file-level locking, bandwidth reservation, and flexible volume management.
Setup, administration and monitoring is provided using the Xsan Admin Tool. Administrators can also manage user quotes and access controls. What’s more, Xsan works with ADIC’s StorNext file System, and supports heterogeneous environments where Windows, Unix and Linux is used. Xsan is also supported by ADIC’s StorNext Management Suite software.
A beta version of Xsan is being seeded to qualified customers; Apple expects to release Xsan in Fall 2004 for $999 per system. Apple has qualified Xsan for use with Xserve G4, Xserve G5, Power Mac G5, Xserve RAID and Apple Fibre Channel PCI cards. The software requires Mac OS X or Mac OS X Serve 10.3 and will support Fibre Channel switches from Brocade, QLogic or Emulex.