FileMaker's technical advice has been to not serve databases up over networks and they enforce this with the Admin Console path validations. However, there are times that it would be nice to do backups to a NAS or SAN network storage and I just thought it was not possible. So in the past I did things like have a batch file that copies anything in the FileMaker backups folder over to the network storage or used a file manipulation plugin to perform such functions.
I thoroughly understand why FileMaker does not want live connections going out over a less stable network topology. But backups sure would be nice. This week I was introduced to using iSCSI on two Mac Servers (both Mavericks) to mount a network storage volume on the server as if it was a serially attached hard drive and it works great. In this case we were using Synology storage systems and the globalSAN iSCSI Intiator (http://www.studionetworksolutions.com/globalsan-iscsi-initiator/) which is an $89 driver. You could use it to run live databases too, but I agree with FileMaker that this would not be recommended. But for backups, iSCSI is a great way to backup to network storage! Speeds can rival the performance of Fibre Channel and cost a lot less. We measured speeds in the 300 MB/s range which was great.
Now it isn't near the speed of a Promise Pegasus on Thunderbolt II RAID, but many enterprise level clients have a SAN and getting backups over on the SAN usually means to me, as the database developer, a way of passing on responsibilities to another IT group in the same way that I like to set up Active Directory so I don't have to manage passwords on FileMaker and leave that up to some IT help desk group. Not having to worry about the backups and having them on a large network storage that someone elses manages minimizes my dealing with storage so I can focus on what I like to do, FileMaker development.
Well, one more thing learned out in the field of FileMaker developing.