While you can definitely create a regular mount share using Xsan to expose your storage to LAN clients, I do believe that Apple recommends you create this share on a metadata controller, as to not affect the performance of other users.
Tiger Technology promotes MetaSAN as an alternative to Xsan. One of the reason being that we offer a companion product called MetaLAN. MetaLAN enables many of the benefits of your SAN to expand to the LAN side. This includes higher throughput on the LAN (we use direct block access vs. slower network file protocols), we provide you with the ability to control bandwitdh that each LAN client gets (as oppose to free-for-all approach), and we provide you with the ability to connect Windows and Linux clients in addition to Mac. MetaSAN sells for $995 and MetaLAN for $295. Quite a good deal when you consider everything you gain!
Drop me an email or give me a call if you’d like to find out more.
bernard at tiger-technology.com