Apple Kills Xserve RAID, Introduces VTrak and Xsan 2

by Carolyn

In a surprising move, Apple has eliminated the Xserve RAID from their product line. On their website, the Xserve RAID page has disappeared and now takes you to a new page where they offer the Promise VTrak E-Class RAID in its place. From the new Apple webpage:
appleraid.jpg

The Promise VTrak E-Class RAID Subsystem delivers outstanding performance, reliability, and expansion for video and server applications. Configure up to sixteen 750GB 7200-rpm SATA or 300GB 15,000-rpm SAS drives in a 3U rack-optimized enclosure for up to 12TB of raw capacity on one or more RAID sets. Promise RAID is an ideal storage solution for direct-attached or SAN-based server and workstation applications, qualified for use with Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Final Cut Studio 2, and Xsan 2.

Although reports say that Apple is still going to be selling the Xserve RAID “while supplies last”, it seems that either their supplies are already gone or that they’re not selling them to the general public anymore.

Working hand in hand with this new RAID hardware, Apple’s latest press release mentions the upgrade of it’s Storage Area Network file system manager. The press release after the cut:

Apple Introduces Xsan 2

CUPERTINO, California–February 19, 2008–Apple today 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 Apple’s legendary 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 than ever to set up and manage a SAN file system. Xsan 2 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 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 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 (www.apple.com) 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. 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.

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and has entered the mobile phone market with its revolutionary iPhone.

[Apple.com via Gizmodo]

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