No more consumer disks on a table, no more poor hardware-implemented file system sharing protocol. No more worries to lose a disk. Just Solaris, ZFS, COMSTAR and a LAN.
Mac OS X as an iSCSI initiator
Although it's a subject most spoken of, Apple hasn't released yet the necessary components for Mac OS X to be an iSCSI initiator. Fortunately there exists a solid and free solution by Studio Network Solutions: globalSAN iSCSI Initiator for OS X. Just download it, install it, restart your OS X and a new panel will appear in your System Settings:
Connecting to a target
Connecting to a target is really easy: just use the globalSAN iSCSI GUI to add the target:
The target name is obviously retrieved from your target configuration.
Using the disk
If you read the previous post, you'll know that this target is backed by a ZFS volume which must be formatted before being used. With the Disk Utility you can format the new disk:
Using the disk with the Time Machine
To use the new disk with the Time Machine you just follow the usual procedure:
That's it. Using a ZFS volume as a disk for Mac OS X Time Machine is just a few clicks away. Next time you plan to buy a new external hard disk, just wait and take into account that a robust enterprise-level solution is available with not much more than the necessary budget to purchase a couple of consumer disks.