Apple Furthers Enterprise Plans with SAN
Apple makes its first foray into the storage networking market with a 64-bit cluster file system that allows enterprises to consolidate storage resources across a network.As part of its renewed efforts to focus on high-end content production, Apple Computer Inc. Sunday used the National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas to announce its first foray into the storage area networking market. At the show, the company announced Xsan, a 64-bit cluster file system that Apple claims allows enterprises to consolidate storage resources across a network at less than half the cost of equivalent systems from Avid Technology Inc., IBM and Silicon Graphics Inc. Xsan runs on Mac OS X 10.3, code-named Panther, allowing multiple machines to access shared volumes concurrently over Fibre Channel networks at high speeds. Volumes of up to 16 terabytes can be shared between 64 systems at the same time, at a theoretical maximum throughput of 400M bps. The product comes with Xsan Admin, an OS X-based application for managing a SAN, including the ability to control which users on a network can access volumes. User management integrates with an LDAP directory for managing user and group access, and Xsan Admin also allows administrators to be notified of faults or poor performance levels via e-mail or pager.
Although Xsan only runs on Power Mac G4, G5 and Xserve hardware, it is interoperable with ADIC Inc.s StorNext File System, enabling it to be used with Windows and Linux clients. Xsan can also be administered by StorNext Management Suite.
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