Distributor Bundles iSCSI With Apple Xserve Storage


DNF, a Hayward, Calif.-based developer of IP SAN products, is selling the StorMacX appliance, which adds NAS or iSCSI features to Apple's Xserve RAID storage platform in order to take advantage of Apple's new Leopard OS X 10.5 Server operating system.

The StorMacX is based on technology DNF got with the acquisition early last year of StoneFly, an early developer of iSCSI technology.

Apple's Xserve RAID arrays, which have become popular not only in Leopard OS X 10.5 Server environments but in mixed environments as well, currently only offers Fibre Channel connectivity.

However, for many customers, Fibre Channel is not a part of their data centers, said George Massoud, president and CEO of IntraServe Systems, a San Jose, Calif.-based IT infrastructure solution provider which also works with Apple. It is targeted at the Apple fan who needs iSCSI connectivity for uses ranging from basic IT storage to video broadcasting.

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The StorMacX comes in three versions, said Jame Ervin, product manager for DNF.

The StorMaxX i100 is a gateway that adds both NAS and iSCSI connectivity to the Apple Xserve RAID array, with support for up to three Xserve RAID arrays and up to 30 Tbytes of storage. The StorMacX i4000S is an iSCSI gateway that supports up to 100 TBytes of storage over up to 10 Xserve RAID devices. The StorMacX i4000D adds clustered storage with load balance and failover capabilities to the i4000S.

Both take advantage of the fact that Apple's Leopard OS X 10.5 Server operating system last week became available with an iSCSI initiator, Ervin said.

IntraServe has already been testing the StorMacX i100, and Massoud said his company so far likes what it sees.

"It's a great environment," Massoud said. "We had our engineers mess with the product to see how it works with the Xserve RAID. We were impressed with the easy-to-use GUI and set-up. It also includes the necessary backup, replication, share-level, anti-virus, and notification tools. It is easy to set up with the Apple Xserve RAID to give clients the option of working with iSCSI. It eliminates the need for a Fibre Channel switch."

The new StorMacX products are expected to be available via Bell Micro shortly. Gary Gammon, senior vice president of enterprise product marketing at Bell, said it will be available as a package with the Apple Xserve RAID array, or as a stand-along product solution providers can use to build their own solutions.