Weird question of the day: Has anyone here configured a real (say five or more client) Firewire network? If so, what were the advantages/headaches? Which Firewire hub (or Firewire switch, if that's the correct term) did you use? What happens if you plug a drive into the network - is it available to any of the client computers (I'm assuming not, but am curious)?
Not sure there are "switches" per se as the topology would require you to chain the computers together, one by one, using two ports in all but the last and first one - subjecting the network to the "single point of failure" problem of old-time coax ethernets.
The distance of a firewire-cable is also very limited at around 5 meters I've heard, before requiring an active repeater.
As you'd run TCP/IP over Firewire (there's an RFC around I think) the firewire disks would be unrelated to the actual network and just work as a locally attached disk on whatever machine it's plugged into. You'd have to share it over the network as usual...
...so I have a hard time seeing the point if the machines in question have ethernet ports ^^
I don't think that is a viable solution.
Sounds like a lot of single points of failure and WTFs. Just use ethernet, and you think you're hitting the limits there is always FCAL.