Xsan is not ''perfect storage solution'' but it is "a solid entry into the midrange SAN field, and a compelling product for SMBs," according to a Unix/Open systems administrator.
Kansas City Life Insurance's John C. Welch describes the advantages and disadvantages of Apple's Xsan in an article for Datamation.
He notes that Xsan is a file system and basic management software rather than a ''SAN in a box'' solution that other vendors, such as HP or EMC, offer, explaining: "If you're buying Xsan with an eye on using it as part of an Information Life Management (ILM) solution, you're going to have to pony up more budget and resources for additional components, such as ADIC's StorNext Storage Manager, or some other solution."
However, he notes that Apple has made this "less painful than it could be, by charging a rather low per-machine price for Xsan".
He also notes that Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger brought improved Windows integration and ACL support, thus: "The cost savings of Xsan make a compelling case for using Macs as the front-end servers for a SAN, particularly if you don't have a specific platform need."
He recommends Xsan as a solid entry into the midrange SAN field, and a compelling product for SMBs, "especially those doing multimedia work, or for any company with a multimedia department".