aside from Xsan (which is FC only), here is what i’ve been able to find out in terms of prices for mac OS X iSCSI SAN solutions. ATTO offers two solutions, the 2700 bridges iSCSI to two 4 Gb fibre channel storage arrays, and the 1550 bridges to a traditional ultra160 SCSI array. studio network solutions provides the globalSAN X-8, X-16, X-24 and a host bust adapter (HBA).
doing a quick froogle.com search, i’ve found these prices (ATTO store too):
$5330 ATTO XTEND SAN IPbridge 2700D 5 seat kit, no storage ($6490 ATTO direct)
$2460 ATTO XTEND SAN IPbridge 1550D 5 seat kit, no storage ($2990 ATTO direct)
$28,000 studio network solutions globalSAN X-24 includes 6 seats, 6 TB storage and support
$23,000 studio network solutions globalSAN X-16 includes 6 seats, 4 TB storage and support
$15,000 studio network solutions globalSAN X-8 includes 4 seats, 2 TB storage and support
$ 450 studio network solutions iSCSI PCI HBA
i’m really hoping that the d-link future solutions will be a whole lot cheaper or a whole lot better.
Tiger Technology already offers support for iSCSI SAN arbitration on Windows and Linux platforms. We are in the process of validating iSCSI intiators/targets on OS X.
Meanwhile, you might want to consider the following scenario, as an alternative to your ATTO iSCSI to Fibre Channel bridge: using MetaSAN/MetaLAN software, you can easily build a Gigabit Ethernet server/client workgroup which offers near-iSCSI performances, without the traditional limitations of LAN’s file transfer protocols.
In this scenario, your Fibre Channel RAID unit is attached to a Mac data server that runs MetaSAN software (looks similar to an iSCSI target). Your Mac clients run MetaLAN to access the shared storage through this data server (looks similar to iSCSI initiators).
Very much like iSCSI, MetaLAN transfers block-level data over Gigabit Ethernet, thus increasing the efficiency of your LAN. MetaSAN/MetaLAN also provides the bandwitdh control to ensure your network is well balanced. This way, you always get a smooth playback, even if someone else is copying large files over the network. You also get the ability to connect cross-platform Windows, and Linux workstations to your SAN. The day you need to increase your network’s performance, you simply grow your storage backbone and add a second (or more) data server. From now on, you not only have more bandwith available to serve more clients, but you also have 24/7 failover capability in case one of your server goes down (accesses are transparently re-routed through the other servers.
The main benefit left to wanting to go iSCSI over this solution is for the NIC cards that supports built-in iSCSI protocol (such as the Alacritech iSCSI HBA). In this case, you would get an extra boost of performance over MetaLAN. But at only $295 per seat, MetaLAN is an amazing value!
good to know that mac OS X is not going to be an orphan, left only to the Xsan step-mother. i forsee great alernatives to FC SAN, and i will investigate this solution you mention. i hope to see it all validated on mac OS X tiger soon.