One very convenient feature of Apple's hardware is the ability for their workstations to enter target disk mode. This effectively transforms the machine into a glorified ieee1394 (firewire) block device, which can then be manipulated from outside the machine using the standard SBP-2 protocol.
Is there a way to provide this same functionality from a running GNU/Linux machine? For example, i have a GNU/Linux system with a block device attached to it. I would prefer if the block device was available to a neighboring machine, but (for whatever reason) i'm unable to physically move it. However, i'm able to link the two machines via a simple ieee1394 connection. A "virtual target disk mode" server (or would it be better to say "an SBP-2 mass storage target service over an ieee1394 link"?) would be really useful.
One thing that occurs to me is that i could do some sort of networking abstraction over the link (using eth1394?), and then use something like vblade (an ATA-over-Ethernet target service) to provide a virtual block device to the remote host. However, this requires the remote host to run an operating system capable of dealing with these (more obscure) protocols, and i'd like this to work for any remote machine that knows how to deal with generic SBP-2 ieee1394 mass storage.
I know that in general GNU/Linux is at least as powerful and capable as the firmware that Apple ships ;) But it's possible that our community just hasn't gotten around to implementing something like this. Is this the case? My attempts to search for it haven't turned up anything, but it's entirely possible that i'm reading the wrong docs (or reading the docs wrong). Any pointers?