First-time Xsan SAN setup in macOS Server
Before you begin using Xsan, you need to configure a number of infrastructure settings.
Connect Xsan computers and storage devices
Before you create or configure your SAN, you must connect client computers, controller computers, and storage devices to the SAN’s Fibre Channel and Ethernet networks.
Connect each controller computer, RAID storage device, and client to the Ethernet networks.
Configure any managed Ethernet network switches and VLANs for each Ethernet network used.
Connect each controller computer, RAID storage device, and client to a Fibre Channel switch to create a Fibre Channel fabric for the SAN.
Configure the switch and make the connections so you create a Fibre Channel fabric according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Verify all physical links and cable integrity.
Prepare your StorNext DLC environment
You must create a profile, make the necessary edits, and start StorNext.
Using Terminal, create a Mac client profile for the StorNext environment by connecting to: /usr/cvfs/lib/
Using Terminal, stop the server with the following:
<file_system> <mount_point> cvfs rw,diskproxy=server - -
Configure and launch the LAN server configuration utility:
Add Xsan DLC clients
Ensure that the new Mac client has DNS configured correctly
Import the profile created for the StorNext DLC environment
sudo profiles -I -F .configprofile
List and mount the SAN over Ethernet
xsanctl list xsanctl mount
Configure the computers to use a time server
To ensure consistent time metadata across all computers in the SAN, choose the same network time server for all metadata controller and client computers in the SAN.
On each SAN computer, open Date & Time preferences, then choose the same network time server for all metadata controller and client computers.
New RAID systems often come configured as one or more RAID arrays. So, out of the box, your RAID system might come with LUNs that you can use for most SANs. For details, see the documentation for your new RAID system. Unless you have well-defined, special needs, no other LUN preparation should be needed.
If your RAID systems come with RAID sets already configured, they’re detected during SAN setup and you can skip to creating the metadata array; otherwise, use the management software that comes with the RAID system to create arrays based on the RAID schemes of your choice.
Follow the instructions that come with your RAID systems to turn them on and configure their network, management, and security settings.
Use the management software that comes with your RAID systems to create uninitialized arrays to be the LUNs of your SAN’s storage pools.
Leave three drives on one system unassigned so you can create a small, separate metadata LUN.
10 GB of disk space is enough to store the metadata for a volume containing 10 million files, so a two-drive RAID 1 (mirrored) array is generally large enough to store the metadata for your SAN volume. If you dedicate a spare drive to this array to guarantee availability, three drives are adequate for your SAN metadata.
Note: Don’t use Disk Utility to format arrays or slices for use with Xsan. LUNs are labeled and initialized when you add them to a storage pool using the Xsan pane of the Server app. After they’re labeled, the LUNs can’t be modified using Disk Utility.
Create an Open Directory Master on the first controller
Your first controller must be configured to be an Open Directory Master.
Additional controllers are automatically configured to be directory replicas of the Open Directory Master.
If you start to create a SAN without Open Directory enabled, the Xsan setup assistant will also include Open Directory setup steps.
If you already have an Open Directory Master that you wish to use as an Xsan metadata controller, be sure to create the SAN on that machine.
Open Server on the computer that will act as the first controller.
In the Server app , select Open Directory from the View menu, then use the assistant to create the Open Directory Master domain.
If your users and groups are administered from an existing directory server, use the Users & Groups pane of System Preferences on each metadata controller and client computer to configure a connection to the directory server.
Set up SAN users and groups
You create users and groups for the SAN like you do for any other service available with macOS Server.
If you want to use the Open Directory Master to manage Users and Groups, use the Server App to do that and make sure you bind all of the SAN clients to the Open Directory Master using System Preferences. If you don’t use the Open Directory Master to manage users and groups, you should not bind the clients to the Open Directory Master.
Use Local Network accounts in the Open Directory domain to manage user and group permissions for your SAN. See Create a user account in macOS Server.
Create the SAN with the first controller
The first computer you need to set up for the SAN is a metadata controller (previously called the primary metadata controller). Its main function is to keep track of the file metadata, and initial file volume of the SAN.
As a part of SAN creation, you create a an initial metadata LUN and create the initial volume. See Create an Xsan volume in macOS Server.
Add additional controllers
Additional standby metadata controllers contribute to SAN robustness by providing operational redundancy and backup.
Configure SAN clients
In order to access the files and folders stored on the SAN, the clients need to be configured to read and write to the SAN volumes.
SAN clients are configured by distributing and installing configuration profiles.