Fibre SAN becoming cheaper by the minute

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
I try to keep a watchful eye on the storage market and with Apple's entry into the SAN market with XSAN

it seemed as if SAN technology would be the wave of the storage future. However there was one little problem. Even without storage SAN systems were 20 thousand dollars and up just a couple of years ago. My oh my have things changed. A year ago HP hit $10k for a SAN starter setup and the world rejoiced. Next it was $6995 and again there was glee for us storage fiends. Now there has been another milestone. Qlogic has announced the SAN Express Starter Kit 1000 for the paltry sum of $3295 MSRP but you'll see this selling for $2899-2999 at reputable places.



Simply add your Fibre RAID and "badda bing badda boom" you have an infant SAN system ready to grow as your network does. Finally the Qlogic Fibre 2Gb cards are now about the same price as a SCSI HBA.



Now I can easily forsee a few years from now where Fibre SAN is actually affordable enough to go into the home. Twice the speed of Gigabit ethernet and proven fibre connectivity would be a boon for a home with a collection of media and application servers in the home. In fact my dream is to have computers that boot from flash or RAM and leave the heavy storage to the "big uglies" down in the rack.



The next decade is going to be more amazing than the last. The shape and functions of our computers will change so drastically our heads are going to spin. Will your storage be able to keep up?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    crusadercrusader Posts: 1,129member
    More and more people need more and more storage. Why right now, I am busy designing the 2 Tb system I want to implement for storage in my apartment. 300 Gigs no longer cuts it. Unfortunately the Firewire 800 bus on my Powerbook is going to cry when I hook this bad boy up. At this point it's just going to be more economical to build a PC into the system to run it.



    Anyway my point is we all want more. I sure as hell have no intention of loosing any of my data, and at this point burning it out to DVDs would take forever. Bring on the SAN revolution!
  • Reply 2 of 5
    wmfwmf Posts: 1,164member
    Yeah, I can't wait to buy a $1,000 Xsan license for each Mac in my house.
  • Reply 3 of 5
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    You know a SAN system really seems like overkill for the typical home...maybe even the geek home as well but I still see plenty of benefits with SAN over NAS.



    With NAS your storage is never "perceived" by the host computer/server as DAS(Direct Attached Storage). Thus your requests for a file on a NAS server will have to go through the filesystem and the block data is then sent to the requestor. In a SAN it appears as DAS storage so when a request comes through the block data is immediately sent. No need to move through the filesystem which is invariably slower.



    Now don't think you have to purchase XSAN software for a SAN. The only time you need software like XSAN is when you have users who need "concurrent" access to the same files. If you don't mind users being potentiall locked out of files (and that's what we have today in most cases) no additional software is truly required for setting up a SAN network.



    I'm particularly interested in how SANboot works as well. Just like Netboot in OS X Server allows clients to boot from an image on the server SANboot allows the servers themselves to boot from a preset image on your RAID.



    I guess most of all is that 2gb Fibre is going to be the new lowend while 4gb fibre takes over the high end. 2GB is still twice as fast as 1gb GigE and you have no real distance limitations or potential for wire tapping or interference.



    If I was building a new home I'd seriously consider gagging the wife and having fibre runs put in along with Cat6 cable. With fibre you'd have the ability to make the longest runs or setup a pretty damn fast backbone in your home.



    Lets face it...in a decade we're likely to have more than one media server churning away. We'll have fast wireless networks as well and fibre will be the backbone for our POE Switches. Ahhhhhhhhhhh geek heaven.
  • Reply 4 of 5
    wmfwmf Posts: 1,164member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    The only time you need software like XSAN is when you have users who need "concurrent" access to the same files. If you don't mind users being potentiall locked out of files (and that's what we have today in most cases) no additional software is truly required for setting up a SAN network.



    If you're not sharing anything, then I don't see the advantage of SAN over DAS.
  • Reply 5 of 5
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by wmf

    If you're not sharing anything, then I don't see the advantage of SAN over DAS.



    That's correct SAN comes into play when you want to centrally manage your storage. Thus it becomes easier to administrate, backup and add to. Despite tooless chassis people still don't like adding additional hard drives to their computer internally.



    I fully realize that fibre SAN will never become something that your granparents setup however in 2005 fibre SAN is $3000. I'm assuming that it's going to be less than a grand in by 2010 putting it on the radar of geeks like ourselves. Personally I'd love to have diskless computers and networked storage at 2gb speeds. But then again I'm trying to get into audio and video recording so I can see that I'll need more storage than the average family.



    I'm just excited to see fibre come down in price. Lower prices mean more units sold which means the whole price of 2gb fibre comes down to levels that is typically dominated by SCSI.



    I can easily see the above average home network slinging HDTV around the house as well as whole house multizone audio moving to fibre as a way of future proofing. With fibre the jump to 4gb and 10gb fibre is simply a hardware swap.
Sign In or Register to comment.