Apple Introduces Xsan 2

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
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.







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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 58
    I think the story that's being missed here is that Apple seems to have discontinued the Xserve RAID. All their pages referring to the product now link to information on the aforementioned Promise 3rd party RAID hardware. Strange move as far as I can tell as I think Apple was recently gaining some traction in the enterprise market, or so I'd heard.
  • Reply 2 of 58
    Xserve raid seems to have dropped off the apple store?
  • Reply 3 of 58
    Apple's Press Release



    "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." http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2008/02/19xsan.html



    It doesn't say that XServe Raid has been discontinued. But it wouldn't surprise me that it is permanently discontinued or that a new version is in the offering. Apple's introduction of it new storage system, i.e., Time Capsule, suggests that more is to come. Realizing a major difference, you never know exactly what is in the works. Perhaps even a blu-ray raid, aka, iRaid.
  • Reply 4 of 58
    eckingecking Posts: 1,588member
    I like that blue version of the leopard background more than the current purple one.
  • Reply 5 of 58
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gresmi View Post


    I think the story that's being missed here is that Apple seems to have discontinued the Xserve RAID. All their pages referring to the product now link to information on the aforementioned Promise 3rd party RAID hardware. Strange move as far as I can tell as I think Apple was recently gaining some traction in the enterprise market, or so I'd heard.



    Wow, you're right! That's a huge story. Where's the headline AI? The Apple store links to a Promise RAID device instead of the Xserve RAID.
  • Reply 6 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTel View Post


    Wow, you're right! That's a huge story. Where's the headline AI? The Apple store links to a Promise RAID device instead of the Xserve RAID.



    I noticed this right away as well. Very strange move indeed.
  • Reply 7 of 58
    This move will indeed anger many XRaid customers, especially if Apple decides to stop updating the firmware to handle larger drives (ATA or SATA).



    This is one example of why many IT professionals avoid Apple, Apple has a solid history in dropping technology overnight leaving their customers stranded with no where to go.



    Hopefully that wont be the case anymore, but still... actions like this sends chills down my spine.
  • Reply 8 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by suhail View Post


    This move will indeed anger many XRaid customers, especially if Apple decides to stop updating the firmware to handle larger drives (ATA or SATA).



    This is one example of why many IT professionals avoid Apple, Apple has a solid history in dropping technology overnight leaving their customers stranded with no where to go.



    Hopefully that wont be the case anymore, but still... actions like this sends chills down my spine.



    Not in our labs. Perhaps you could site some evidence to support your contention, i.e., that, "?Apple has a solid history in dropping technology overnight leaving their customers stranded with no where to go."
  • Reply 9 of 58
    The specs on the Promise Tec Inc RAIDS look pretty good though, a vast improvement on the Xserve RAID, I wonder what the deal is regarding AppleCare and service parts on these products.



    Is the firmware different from the currently shipping models to cater for the Apple Xserve and Apple Fibre. The Xsere RAID's have been due an upgrade in feature set, it has only been the capacity that has slowly increased, never the controllers or architecture of the drives.



    They look butt ugly though!
  • Reply 10 of 58
    Wow



    Xserve RAID vanishes without a peep. Apple is absolutely clueless about what high end customers need. I guess high end storage is a "hobby" too.



    <scratching head> I don't get it.
  • Reply 11 of 58
    adjeiadjei Posts: 738member
    Good move by Apple..
  • Reply 12 of 58
    Apple should have attempted to standardize on a drive type carrier across the Mac Pro/Xserver and Xserve RAID.



    Apple is an odd company. Their level of innovation is inversely proportional when you compare the consumer axis (good) with mid-market (poor)
  • Reply 13 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by suhail View Post


    ... This is one example of why many IT professionals avoid Apple...



    oh, puh-LEEEEEZ! you're gonna have to do better than that. How about 'fessing up to the most common IT arguments: "Macs are toy computers..." and "nobody uses Macs."
  • Reply 14 of 58
    Apple seems to be carving out their niche in consumer electronics and getting away from delusions of taking over enterprise business. Not really sure if this is a smart long term move.
  • Reply 15 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    Apple seems to be carving out their niche in consumer electronics and getting away from delusions of taking over enterprise business. Not really sure if this is a smart long term move.



    consumers are fickle.
  • Reply 16 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by unclepezza View Post


    The specs on the Promise Tec Inc RAIDS look pretty good though, a vast improvement on the Xserve RAID, I wonder what the deal is regarding AppleCare and service parts on these products.



    Best in the business. http://www.apple.com/xsan/resources/

    http://www.apple.com/support/products/xsan.html



    Great move Apple.
  • Reply 17 of 58
    Apple's trying to bring more 3rd party enterprise vendors into their pool.



    They rethink and modify their hardware strategies on a yearly basis.
  • Reply 18 of 58
    suhailsuhail Posts: 192member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    Not in our labs. Perhaps you could site some evidence to support your contention, i.e., that, "?Apple has a solid history in dropping technology overnight leaving their customers stranded with no where to go."



    Well let's see... In the IT arena, two things come to mind:

    1- Apple UNIX Server (not OSX), disappeared into thin air with all support and updates.

    2- Apple WebObjects have been greaty marginalized. It was heavily marketted in the late 90's and into early 2000's, now it only gets compatability updates.



    Other things are addressing Server software issues. Permissions for example, had many shortcomings in OSX Server that took years to address. eg when propegating permissions while someone on your network happens to be saving a file crashes your server, this problem has never been fixed since the launch or OSX Server.



    I hope Apple continues updating the XRAID's firmware for at-least the next 4 years. When IT departments invest in highend technology such as the XSERVE or the XRAID, they plan to keep them for at least 8 years.
  • Reply 19 of 58
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,471member
    Despite what some here are saying, this is not good news. Apple should not be out of this market.



    I can't say why Apple left, though I surmise it's because of falling sales, but their disappearance isn't good.



    They should have bought Promise, the company that makes the VTrak RAID 3U product, and stayed in the market themselves.



    Many companies want keyturn systems, and that was what Apple was delivering.
  • Reply 20 of 58
    suhailsuhail Posts: 192member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zanshin View Post


    oh, puh-LEEEEEZ! you're gonna have to do better than that. How about 'fessing up to the most common IT arguments: "Macs are toy computers..." and "nobody uses Macs."



    That is true, but there are many legitimate concerns, for example many of the KVM over IP hardware is Windows and Linux accessable, it is alomost impossible to find a MULTIPORT IP-KVM that can be accessed in an OSX environment. The other is, propriatery hardware, although OSX Server is Windows friendly, to some highend applications that is not always good enough, but if you're lucky you might be able to link it via SMB. Another important concern is that many IT people are Windows and SISCO certified with some knowledge of Linux, so if your IT person leaves the company it becomes difficult to find a replacement.
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