Mailing List Message #95518
From: Jon R. Doyle <>
Subject: xSAN and Dynamic Clusters
Date: Sat, 12 Jul 2008 12:18:40 -0700
To: <>
X-Mailer: CommuniGate Pro Pronto 2.1.3

When this technology first came out there were some issues at one of the deployments we had in a large Edu. However, that was 2 years ago and all of those issues seemed to have been resolved long ago. However, when I spoke to Apple, the top people in the xSAN group, it was clear to me this technology was geared towards movement of large files, especially video, in production houses. Servers like ours perform a lot of IOPS and writes of small files, which normally requires a lot of storage tuning.

A couple weeks back I was with a customer in Europe and they were looking to deploy on Apple and the Apple website was offering some new NAS based storage array. And xSAN was absent. Now today it appears that this array is gone, and xSAN is sold as the file system, no shelf of storage I see.

I am a big fan of NAS (NFS) based storage with CGatePro Dynamic Clusters because you gain similar performance to SAN due to the fact we do not use NFS file locking, in fact we gain 5x performance vs a normal situation where file locking is used. This brings down the economics dramatically allowing me to put 2-3x more spindles in place, under the same budget. That is key to dramatic performance increases. Also NAS is far less complex reducing other factors for failure and management.

We have deployed a lot of Dynamic Clusters on NetApp FAS270 family storage solutions,  and Sun Storage Tek, and real high end NAS from BlueARC is at some of our largest deployments. Any of these would be find for xServer clusters.

I would be interested to hear about any config people are using with xServer as we are seeing a lot more interest in Apple servers and CGatePro now that more and more enterprises are upgrading from messaging and Exchange to CGatePro Unified Communications and people are upgrading Vista to OSX laptops :~)

Remember, more spindles and drive shelves are the key to performance.


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