metaSAN enables one to share one (or more) physical or virtual disk devices with multiple hosts using Fibre Channel, iSCSI, Ethernet, or InfiniBand interconnect. Every computer participating in the SAN can read and write to the same storage volume (and folder) at the same time.
metaSAN is not a file system but is a distributed lock manager for existing NTFS or HFS+ file systems. It is hardware agnostic and works with off-the-shelf storage and networking components. metaSAN offers per-node bandwidth control to enable fair distribution of the available storage bandwidth. In a cross-platform setup, metaSAN provides the file-system translation services that allows Mac, Windows and Linux workstations to transparently access non-native volumes.
To arbitrate accesses to the shared storage device(s), one computer is elected master of the SAN. This computer becomes the metadata controller (MDC). Other computers are clients of the SAN. They communicate and send metadata requests to the MDC over LAN. Once request have been acknowledged, clients can access the storage device directly. In a metaSAN setup, any member of the SAN can act as MDC. By default, the first computer to boot becomes the MDC but it is possible to define priorities or assign a dedicated computer for this task.