Apple Ships Storage For Video Workgroups

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Apple has shipped its latest 64-bit cluster file system for storage area networks .

Called Xsan, the software is geared for video workflows as well as storage consolidation for business, government, education and high performance computing, Apple said.Slated for a fall delivery when it was announced last April, the release can enable up to 64 video professionals with access to a single storage system, supporting several high-bandwidth video streams for simultaneous film editing, broadcast and motion graphics creation.

The software, which can be used in conjunction with the Cupertino, Calif., company’s Xserve RAID server for a more complete storage solution, is certified with Apple’s editing software Final Cut Pro HD and motion graphics application Motion.

Customer Bunim-Murray Productions uses Final Cut and Xsan to help edit MTV’s “The Real World” and FOX’s “The Simple Life.”

Apple had intended the product for a December delivery but extended the deadline to make sure the product met customer satisfaction, according to Eric Zelenka, senior product line manager for the server and software business at Apple.

Xsan should do well among users who have come to value Apple for its ability to deliver digital media through the highly-regarded Mac OS X operating system as the software provides high availability for continuous play. File-level locking allows multiple systems to read and write to the same volume, which is ideal for heavy workflows.

Zelenka said Apple is also attacking the market at an aggressive price point, selling it for $999 per client and per server, which includes any Macintosh computer directly connected to a Fibre Channel network.

Xsan has no capacity charge while most file systems from rivals such as IBM, SGI, and Sun charge per capacity. This makes Xsan ideal for cost-conscious businesses who have hefty storage requirements, but need to satisfy them at a reasonable price to mind the budget.

Apple is also introducing a new support program for Xsan, open seven days a week, 24 hours a day, covering the entire system, including storage hardware, software and Mac OS 10. Support is $799 per system.

In related news, Apple upgraded its Xserve G5 server to deliver dual 64-bit 2.3 GHz PowerPC G5 processors with over 35 gigaflops of processing power per system. These are upgrades from the original Xserve, which was launched last March with the 2.0 GHz PowerPC G5 processor. There is also up to 8GB of 400 MHz DDR memory.

Article courtesy of

Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor and a senior writer for covering IT leadership, the CIO role, and digital transformation.

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