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Apple Introduces Xsan 2

Alongside a refresh to its iPod shuffle music player line, Apple on Tuesday also 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 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 to set up and manage a SAN file system. The software 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 also 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.

Xsan 2


For the first time, Xsan 2 has also 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 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. The software 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.