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Apple Branches Out To SAN Management

Apple today introduced Xsan, a high-performance, enterprise-class storage area network file system aimed at professional video production as well as storage consolidation for business, government, education and high-performance computing.

Apple hopes to grab users' attention with the software's $999 pricing. The storage area network (SAN) file system works on the Mac OS X and complements the Apple's Xserve and RAID products, the vendor said.

Xsan is a 64-bit cluster file system that consolidates storage resources and provides multiple computers with concurrent file-level read/write access to shared volumes over Fibre Channel. Xsan uses a metadata controller failover and Fibre Channel multipathing to ensure high availability. File-level locking allows multiple systems to read and write concurrently to the same volume, and bandwidth reservation provides more efficient data streams, Apple said.

Tthe Xsan Admin tool also handles volume management, SAN file system configuration and remote monitoring within a single application. User quotas and access controls allow administrators to restrict storage usage and file access for maximum data security. Apple also said that Xsan is interoperable with ADIC's StorNext File System, so that Xsan can be used in heterogeneous environments that include Windows, Unix and Linux.

"Xsan will build on our investment in Final Cut Pro, Xserve and Xserve RAID to deliver a high-performance, end-to-end SAN solution for video workflow," said Bob Farina, CEO of marketing agency the Cimarron Group, Hollywood, Calif., in a statement.

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