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Active Storage Launches New Metadata Controller

Active Storage is launching a new high performance metadata controller appliance for Xsan and StorNext networks, ActiveSAN, that the company hopes will attract existing users of Apple's Xserve. Apple discontinued selling Xserve earlier this week.

"On the day that Apple has formally stopped selling Xserve, we have exciting news," said Alex Grossman, CEO of Active Storage, Inc. in a statement. "Until now, Apple's Xserve was the Metadata Controller of choice for most Xsan installations, providing enterprise form factor and capabilities... But all that changes today--with ActiveSAN."

In November, Apple announced it was ending the sale of the Xserve server, which is widely used in the media and entertainment industry, where broadcasters, filmmakers and others use the server as a high-speed metadata controller to manage thousands of large, shared video files for news or entertainment programming.

Active Storage is led by some of the same Apple employees who created the original Xserve and its new ActiveSAN product has been designed to offer the kind of high-performance Metadata server appliance needed in the broadcast and film sectors.

"This solution is faster and more powerful than any of the suggested transition products," said Mark Lonsdale, Active Storage senior VP of engineering in a statement. "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. Most importantly, this is a solution created specifically for Media and Creative Professionals, with a full understanding of their unique needs."

ActiveSAN uses Intel's Nehalem server platform in a 1U rack form factor with dual power supplies. Linux-based, with remote management tools, ActiveSAN provides a custom "Mac OS X"-like interface to Quantum StorNext SAN file systems that Xserve users will find familiar.

Active Storage also announced that it would provide an ActiveSAN training program for certified Xsan/Xserve administrators.

ActiveSAN will be demonstrated at the NAB 2011 convention in April, with delivery of systems in the second quarter of 2011.