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It has been a few crazy days of Apple news and we've loved every leak, tweet and article that we have come across. However it is only now that we are coming to realise how massive the new announcements really are. Prepare for a shock...

We overlooked the new Lion features and there are two big additions here. 

1) Lion has built in 'Lion Server'

2) Lion has built in Xsan   (subject to confirmation)

So what does this mean? Couple these with the new Thunderbolt I/O technology and things get interesting.

Buy an Imac, use it as your metadata controller. Attach a Thunderbolt RAID. Attach 4 Macs that have a Thunderbolt port.

Bingo you have a four seat HD edit system. What? Traditionally a system like this would have cost tens of thousands of pounds. Double metadata controllers, fibre channel switches, Xsan licences etc etc. Never mind having to get an expensive technician to set this up, racking, aircon, it's expensive. A couple of editors would have a 'Thunderbolt SAN' running in a morning.

Ok, let's take this to an extreme, how about a two seat HD system controlled by a Mac Mini?

This is huge! Well actually it's not, it could all run on desktops. Copper Thunderbolt cables are good for 3 metres, glass cables are good for 100m but they can be extended with a repeater after that. Looking after the glass cables might be the big issue. So unless you need 4+ seats of FCS or need to integrate into a bigger system such as a newsroom then this surely must be the biggest deal in shared storage going.

I'm sure there are a lot of Xsan engineers out there who are not going to be happy!

Peter Wiggins

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