More details have emerged about Apple’s new
rack-mount server. Apple has officially announced Xserve, which it said is “designed from the ground up as the perfect complement to Apple’s UNIX-based Mac OS X Server software,” an ideal addition for businesses and educational institutions. (For more details, please visit
of the product introduction.)
The new server occupies 1U of space (or about 1.75 inches) in a standard 19 inch equipment rack. It incorporates single or dual 1 GHz PowerPC G4 processors, each equipped with 2MB of Double Data Rate (DDR) L3 cache. apple claims that the new Xserve is the first 1U server to use DDR SDRAM memory with up to 2GB capacity.
Xserve also includes 3 66MHz PCI slots — two of which are 64 bit, the fastest I/O performance ever available in a Mac, according to Apple. Software RAID mirroring or striping is also an option, although Apple said a companion RAID hardware product with 2Gb fibre channel will be available by the end of the year.
Xserve incorporates a VGA graphics card that supports headless booting, an option AGP 4x graphics card to connect displays, keyboard and a mouse, if necessary, three 400Mbps FireWire ports, two USB ports, a DB-9 serial console port and an optional Ultra3 SCSI card. An optional fiber Gigabit Ethernet adapter is also available.
480GB of total storage is available on four hot-plug ATA/100 drives, along with dual Gigabit Ethernet ports. Xserve also includes an unlimited user license for Mac OS X Server software. The server software features QuickTime Streaming Server, WebObjects, and recent updates to Apache, Samba, PHP, MySQL and Tomcat.
Apple claimed that Xserve has been designed to handle I/O intensive applications like digital video, high-res digital imagery and scientific datasets. With the pending release of Xserve, Apple is aiming squarely at territory occupied by rival products from manufacturers like Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Sun.
Xserve uses Server Admin, a services monitoring and remote management tool that allows network mangers to set up and manage all key services remotely. Server Monitor provides hardware monitoring capabilities, allowing administrators to remotely monitor as many Xserves as they have installed. Reports can be produced and system notifications can be sent by e-mail, pager, cell phone or PDA.
Apple is also offering Xserve buyers service and support programs like 4-hour onsite response, 24×7 tech support, AppleCare Service Parts Kits and AppleCare Professional SupportLine and Tools programs.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that Xserve is the result of his company listening to its customers. “Xserve is super easy to set up, and is easily integrated into existing networks. Plus, with its unlimited-user software license at no extra cost, Xserve is a tremendously cost effective server with real UNIX under the hood,” said Jobs.
Look for Xserve configurations to be available in June, although you can place your order at the Apple Store or through Apple Authorized Resellers beginning today. Standard configurations are available for US$2,999 and $3,999 respectively.
In related news, Hewlett-Packard indicated that its OpenView management software will support the new Xserve. Adobe also confirmed its Web Workgroup Server runs on Xserve. Dantz and FileMaker likewise confirmed their products support Xserve, as well.
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