Xsan, announced in April and currently in beta testing, is a 64-bit clustered file system targeted toward digital content creators, supercomputing clusters and other companies that need high-bandwidth access to terabytes of large files.
For example, at a National Association of Broadcasters meeting this year, Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple demonstrated how to run six high-definition video streams, all of which could be edited in real time, off a single Xsan setup with two Xserve RAID storage units.
Apple claims that by using Fibre Channel connectivity, as many as 64 systems on a network can read and write to shared storage simultaneously, with a theoretical throughput limit of 400 M bps for one client.
In addition, Xsan will support striping across multiple disk arrays, allowing RAID-0 configurations using Apples Xserve RAID or other Fibre Channel-based disk arrays.
Xsan also will include redundancy features aimed at making the product a viable replacement for NAS (network-attached storage) solutions.
According to an Apple representative, the company has not yet begun taking preorders for Xsan. When it is available, Xsan will be offered through the online Apple Store and through authorized resellers for a suggested retail price of $999.