Studio Network Solutions (SNS) has announced that it has advanced the state of the storage industry by making an iSCSI initiator for Mac OS X available at no cost to users.

iSCSI is a network protocol standard that enables the transport of block-level I/O over TCP/IP. When deployed over a Gigabit or 10-Gigabit Ethernet network, an iSCSI-based storage area network (SAN) can rival the performance of a Fibre Channel SAN, while costing far less to implement.

In an iSCSI SAN, an initiator is needed for each computer that requires access to the networked storage. Although an initiator is freely available for most major operating systems, an iSCSI initiator is not shipped with Apple’s Mac OS X. Studio Network Solutions is pleased to announce that version 3.0 of its globalSAN™ iSCSI initiator for Mac OS X is now available for download from the company’s website.

“We’ve been shipping our Mac initiator with our SANmp® sharing software and globalSAN line of shared storage systems since 2004,” states Eric Newbauer, director of operations for Studio Network Solutions. “We’ve focused on optimizing our iSCSI products so that they perform very well under conditions where you’d normally expect to need a Fibre Channel SAN. For example, our customers are using our products with professional audio and video editing software like Avid, Pro Tools and Final Cut Pro—these applications are extremely dependent on high throughput and low latency.”

Version 3.0 of the globalSAN iSCSI initiator for OS X is a Universal Application, for Intel- and PowerPC-based Mac computers. The initiator supports CHAP, persistent targets, SLPv2 and Multiple Connections per Session. This publicly available version is not a timed evaluation or feature-locked—it is being offered for download to any end-user who would like to take advantage of iSCSI in an OS X-only, or a mixed operating system SAN environment.

SNS will be demonstrating its latest iSCSI and Fibre Channel products at the upcoming NAB tradeshow in Las Vegas, April 14-19, location SL4830. To learn more and to download the initiator, visit.