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SNSryan

globalSAN Xtarget Storage Server for OSX

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GlobalSAN Xtarget Storage Server is the 1st multi-protocol storage server software for Mac OSX. Xtarget enables sharing of any direct attached storage device (Thunderbolt, Firewire, eSATA, USB, etc.) over your existing IP network. Use Xsan and/or iSANmp to share your drives with multiple computers!

This post is to invite everyone to share information regarding the usage of Xtarget. Share your system setup, tips, tricks and general feedback here. Let the sharing begin!

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At last! When I read the news I immediately activated the demo on our OS x server. Created a sparse image on an e-sata OWC storage raid. Added it to the target and got it working very easily. I was able to mount it on a MAC pro with globalsan initiator 5. Did some testing with blackmagic disk speed test and got 75 to 125 mbit read write speed. Very stable. I am very impressed!

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I am on Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server 10.6.8 on the target side and on OS X leopard 10.6.8 on the initiator side. We are not using XSAN yet. I am very curious how it will work with Lion, too! But there are some applications that don't allow us to upgrade yet. We are using the evaluation version of SAN MP iscsi. We also would like to try Metasan Iscsi, but we didn't receive the demo yet.

About Xtarget:

- It would be nice if there was just one application to manage shares. Now we have to create partitions in the disk utility, make them a target in Xtarget and protect and share them in SAN MP admin. It would be really nice to manage it all in one place.

- It would be even greater if we could share folders as drives or LUN's. At the moment i am using sparse images, this works very well.

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Is it possible to share only part of a drive . As i have an 8TB raid but only want to use it for iscsi for 25%. I partitioned it in 2 , but in the xtarget selection window i only see complete drives. ?

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Is it possible to share only part of a drive . As i have an 8TB raid but only want to use it for iscsi for 25%. I partitioned it in 2 , but in the xtarget selection window i only see complete drives. ?

Hello, that is not currently possible as Xtarget is bridging the logical disk device and not the partitions, but that's a good idea ;)

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It is possible to share a part of a drive. If you create a (sparse) disk image on the drive and you mount it on the server, you can share it as it was a physical drive. I tried it and tested it. It works perfectly! But it is still a workaround. It would be great if we could share folders instead of drives, easier to manage.

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What's the status of Xtarget? Is it still Beta? I would like to get a permanent license. Does it seem like no one is interested in this wonderful product?

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I am considering using a Mac Mini sever as a SAN solution for my lab. I want to connect it to a Thunderbolt storage device so that I can utilize iSCSI to access this storage. Currently, I have a dozen virtual machines that I would move to a Thunderbolt RAID SAN attached to a Mac Mini and utilize my Dell Server’s CPU and memory to run these VMs. There could be other applications for iSCSi in my environment. However, $899 for software that enables an iSCSI target on the storage attached to a Mac is a little steep IMHO. At $899, this software is just $100 less than a Mac Mini server with a quad-core Intel Core 7 CPU.

It seems that Xtarget running on a Mac is positioned to compete with a Linux-based NAS that has a built-in iSCSI server and can create iSCSI LUNs on the RAID storage space. In fact, currently I am using a Netgear ReadyNAS Pro Business with iSCSI to host my VMs that run on a Dell T410 server. For the price of the Xtarget software alone, one can get an entry-level iSCSI capable NAS with a few TB of RAID storage. For the price of Mac Mini + Xtarget, one can get a high-end Synology or Netgear ReadyNAS (like mine) loaded with many times the amount of RAID storage than the amount that comes with a Mac Mini. For the price of Mac Mini + Thunderbolt RAID storage + Xtarget, one could buy two high-end NAS devices loaded with storage and run data replication between them.

I am a Cisco voice engineer who has a pretty serious lab at home. Even though I own a lot of pieces of expensive gear from Cisco, Apple, and other vendors, I cannot justify paying $899 for this software.

Your argument may be that this was not designed for individuals, but for businesses. However, I don't think there are a lot of established businesses out there that would use iSCSI to a Mac with your software running on it. There are other industry-accepted SAN solutions out there. Macs with Thunderbolt storage are clearly targeted at prosumers and very small businesses. I don't believe there are many people in either category willing to pay $899 for this software. Have you considered lowering the price to $100 for a few weeks as a pilot to see if you will make more money in gross sales per week than you are making now at $899 per license?

If Apple concludes that Thunderbolt storage has become popular enough (and it sure looks that way already), Apple may include an iSCSI server as a feature of OS X Server with an iSCSI initiator being included in OS X. Apple has already announced that they will be selling OS X Mountain Lion for $20 and charge another $20 for OS X server. It is unlikely that the successive versions of their software would go up in price. You would have to lower the price of Xtarget to $10 to be able to compete with OS X Server if iSCSI becomes one of its features. I think you should be striking iron while it's hot now instead of sitting on your Xtarget software, trying to sell it for $899.

In a mature market, this software should not cost more than $20 (especially now that Apple is selling their OS X and their productivity applications for $20 a piece). That point notwithstanding, I believe $100 per license is a justified price for Xtarget until a competitor emerges that offers a similar application. Even in the absence of a competitor, you should be utilizing economies of scale instead of setting prices sky-high. Apple has set an example in this respect by offering the best quality products across the board for the lowest price and raking in cash in the process. Because of the economies of scale, no one can compete with Apple on the quality-to-price ratio. If yours is a quality product, don’t be afraid to price it right and you will see the fruit of your hard work.

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I'm in a very similar situation as the person posting abocve me:

I work at home so I have a pretty decent lab. I'd love to use my Mac Mini along with a couple of attached drives as a NAS server but the price of Xtarget is much, much too expensive. For 899 dollars I could buy quite a lot of hardware and set up a Linux based NAS server.

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