Active Storage debuts ActiveSAN

Today Active Storage CEO Alex Grossman introduced ActiveSAN, a high-performance metadata controller appliance for Xsan and StorNext networks.

“On the day that Apple has formally stopped selling Xserve, we have exciting news. Until now, Apple’s Xserve was the Metadata Controller of choice for most Xsan installations, providing enterprise form factor and capabilities,” said Alex Grossman, CEO of Active Storage, Inc., in the press release. “Xsan users in high-pressure industries require datacenter-level quality products to manage their Metadata, but also demand the ease of use and setup of Xsan,” continued Grossman. “Previously, that meant one thing: Xsan on an Xserve. But all that changes today – with ActiveSAN.”

ActiveSAN is a server-based appliance that incorporates stunning Active Storage product design and the rock-solid performance and reliability of an Intel Nehalem server platform, in a 1U rack form factor. ActiveSAN utilizes the proven Linux operating system and the Quantum StorNext SAN file system. It features an Active Storage-designed user interface and management suite for phenomenal ease of use in deployment and management of the operating system and StorNext. ActiveSAN will be demonstrated at the NAB 2011 convention in April, with delivery of systems in the second quarter of 2011.

ActiveSAN systems will be configured and ready for use out of the box, and will include the ActiveStats performance profiling application. ActiveStats was previewed at NAB 2010, for user input and suggestions, resulting in the industry’s best Xsan performance management tool. Users of ActiveRAID systems and ActiveSAN metadata appliances will have extensive profiling and performance tuning capabilities through ActiveStats. In addition, Active Storage plans to offer the long-awaited Innerpool technology as an option for ActiveSAN in Q2.

“This solution is faster and more powerful than any of the suggested transition products. It’s the right form factor, provides redundant power, Lights Out Management, and many expansion capabilities provided by StorNext that were unavailable via the Xserve/Xsan combination,” said Mark Lonsdale, Active Storage SVP Engineering, in the press release. “Most importantly, this is a solution created specifically for Media and Creative Professionals, with a full understanding of their unique needs.”

Active Storage also announced an ActiveSAN Training and Certification program open to certified engineers and system administrators. The first class will be conducted before general availability of ActiveSAN, with subsequent classes available soon thereafter.

“The demise of the Apple Xserve left many Xsan users wondering what to do with aging infrastructures and future projects,” said Robert Kite, Ph.D., author of the Apple Training Series book, “Xsan 2 Administration” and Apple Practice Manager at SARCOM, in the press release. “Of course, many of us looked to Active Storage to provide the solution. Who better to provide an entire community with a path forward than (Active Storage CEO) Alex Grossman, the head of the team at Apple that developed the Xserve and Xserve RAID? With the announcement of the ActiveSAN, Active Storage has reinforced their leadership position in providing solutions to the SAN market. I am very excited to begin offering this solution to my many clients in the media and education community.”

Pricing and configurations have not yet been set.

More info here.

Source: Active Storage, Inc.


  1. ActiveSAN utilizes the proven Linux operating system and the Quantum StorNext SAN file system.

    Interesting – this would appear to confirm that Apple intends to move away from OS X as a “server” OS, and pursue it as a client-oriented OS instead.

  2. Interesting, this appears to confirm that Active Storage wants to grab some cash with a Linux based glorified NAS device before Apple announces their new hardware partners and Software Os X virtualization licensing options.

  3. @Gabriel
    You are reading between the lines and seeing stuff that is not there!

    Apple will not license Mac OS to Active Storage, guess what, Linux will work.
    Apple will not license XSAN to Active Storage, guess what, XSAN is Apples GUI on the Quantum StorNext product.

    Looks like Active Storage have made an upside down Xserve running XSAN (or as close as you can get) by bundling open source software.
    Let me here you say Droid……

  4. @Gabriel

    Sure, why not……. Since most tech analysts are clueless, why not read the tea leaves as the blow in the wind and deduce that since a 3rd party copied the xserve look only upside down and backwards, that that 3rd party would have a great insight and knowledge about what Apple has planned for OS X server software. Yep, as good a plan as any.

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