since june, i’ve been waiting for an affordable SAN solution for the mac. apple xsan is good, but costs at least $1500 per seat, since you need a fibre channel PCI card along with xsan software. today i got word that ATTO technology ATTO technology is releasing their iSCSI initiator (xtend SAN) for a modest fee of $195 per seat, and volume licensing of $795 for 5 seats, $1295 for 10 seats, and $2995 for 25 seats.
now, if apple goes the way of other OS vendors, namely sun, microsoft, IBM, and HP you should be able to get the iSCSI initiator software built into the OS for free, but that has not been announced. currently, the native iSCSI arrays are mature and coming to market at very competitive pricing. when i investigated prices over the summer, they were all around $10,000 per TB of storage, but that number is now around $3,000 per TB, and i predict will get to $1,000 per TB very soon as d-link and other enter the space with products based on the iStor GigaStorATX.
anyone using iSCSI arrays? which do you recommend?
Keep in mind that you still require SAN arbitration software when using iSCSI technology, as the ATTO Xtend iSCSI initiator does not allow multiple users to share common files. Xtend only allows one (or multiple) iSCSI initiator(s) to connect with a remote target (without solving arbitration). This is why Tiger Technology has been working with Atto and will soon offer support for iSCSI arbitration on the Mac through MetaSAN iSCSI. This will be a great solution for those who want to take advantage of iSCSI technology.
If you are looking to setup a cost-effective SAN, you might also want to consider Tiger Technology