Along with today’s server hardware announcement, Apple today also released XSAN 2, a totally revamped version of its high-performance shared disk file system for Mac OS X.
Xsan is an Apple branded version of Quantum’s StorNext File System software with minor enhancements designed for Apple’s Mac OS X operating system. Xsan enables the sharing of one or more Xserve RAID devices with multiple Xserve or Macintosh systems. Xsan will also work with third party fibre channel storage devices with limited support from Apple. With the Xsan file system installed, these computers can read and write to the same storage volume at the same time. Xsan is a complete storage area network (SAN) solution which includes the metadata controller software, the file system client software, and integrated setup, management and monitoring tools.
Apple’s press release..
Apple Introduces Xsan 2
CUPERTINO, California—February 19, 2008—Apple® today introduced Xsan® 2, the first major upgrade to its easy to use, high performance, enterprise class Storage Area Network (SAN) file system for Mac OS® X. Combining enhanced performance with Apple’s legendary ease of use, Xsan 2 makes it easier for first time users to set up and quickly deploy a SAN; introduces MultiSAN, allowing users on a single workstation to access multiple SANs at the same time; is fully integrated with Mac OS X Leopard™ and Mac OS X Server Leopard and is now qualified to work with third-party RAID storage.
Administration tools have been completely redesigned in Xsan 2, making it easier than ever to set up and manage a SAN file system. Xsan 2 intelligently handles different data types, file sizes and usage scenarios for ideal performance. For example, administrators have the ability to pre-set volume workload settings for optimal streaming of all file types, from very large files, such as uncompressed HD video to small data center files. Xsan 2 includes a new feature, MultiSAN, for users who need to access multiple Xsan volumes from the same workstation or server, such as in newsrooms with separate SAN volumes for production and broadcast.
Xsan 2 is fully integrated with Mac OS X Leopard and takes complete advantage of core Mac OS X features, such as Spotlight™ to search across multiple SAN volumes. Xsan 2 also works seamlessly with Server Assistant in Leopard Server for easy setup and configuration of SAN volumes. Leopard Server features, such as iCal® Server, Mail Server and Podcast Producer, can now integrate with Xsan 2 to support clustered file systems, improving performance and scalability and reducing the impact of a service outage from the loss of any one server.
For the first time, Xsan 2 has been qualified with third-party RAID storage hardware. Along with Apple’s Xserve® RAID, Xsan 2 supports third-party RAID solutions from Promise Technology in configurations tuned and optimized for Xsan, Mac OS X Server and Apple’s professional applications.
Pricing & Availability
Xsan 2 is available immediately through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com) and through Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $999 (US) per node.
Apple has qualified Xsan 2 with Xserve, Mac® Pro and Apple Fibre Channel PCI-X cards. Xsan 2 requires Mac OS X version 10.5 or Mac OS X Server version 10.5 software installed and will support qualified Fibre Channel switches from vendors such as Brocade, QLogic and Cisco, and RAID storage hardware including Xserve RAID and Promise VTrak E-Class RAID subsystems.