Apple today announced that it has begun shipping the company’s first rackmount server, the
Xserve. Introduced in May, Apple said they have received over 4,000 orders for the product to date.
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“We introduced Xserve only a few weeks ago, and we’ve already received orders for over 4,000 of them,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president, Worldwide Product Marketing. “Xserve’s G4 processing power, massive storage, incredible I/O performance and Mac OS X Server software with unlimited-client licenses are making it a hit with customers who want an affordable, powerful 1U rack-mount server.”
According to Apple, industry standard test shows the Xserve out-performed similarly configured severs from Dell, IBM and Sun. As measured side-by-side in web serving, BLAST implementation and disk performance, Xserve outperforms its competitors in the following ways:
Apache Web Server — Xserve can support 60 percent more connections on an Apache Web Server than an IBM eServer x330. Under industry standard WebBench performance benchmarks, an Xserve running Apache on Mac OS X Server can support 4,051 web connections per second compared to 2,547 connections per second on an IBM eServer x330 running Apache on Linux. Xserve provides an affordable and robust server platform for even the most industrial strength web applications.
BLAST implementation — Xserve is up to 19 times faster than Sun for DNA searches running BLAST. This is based on a standard search of over 34MB of data, with Xserve running Apple/Genentech BLAST, a Sun Fire V100 running NCBI BLAST on Solaris and an IBM x330 running NCBI BLAST on Linux. On a word length of 8, Apple’s Xserve is nearly 8 times faster than IBM and over 19 times faster than Sun. On a word length of 40, Xserve is 5.8 times faster than IBM and 13.9 times faster than Sun. An Xserve running Apple/Genentech BLAST reduces search time from hours to minutes for the kinds of gene searches life sciences customers perform every day.
Disk performance — Apple’s integrated hardware and software and a unique independent ATA drive architecture allow Xserve to offer higher disk performance at a lower cost than SCSI drive based servers. Xserve provides performance of over 110MB using a four way ATA RAID stripe compared with a Dell PowerEdge 1650 with hardware RAID controller with a three way SCSI RAID stripe which provides only around 70MB sustained throughput.
“This data goes a long way in giving Apple credibility as a server vendor,” Tim Deal, an analyst with Technology Business Research told MacCentral. “There is going to be some apprehension from people in adopting the Xserve — seeing data like this will help give Apple the credibility that it needs.”
When the Xserve was first announced many people were surprised with Apple’s decision to install ATA drives instead of the SCSI implementation normally found in industrial strength servers. Some thought the lower disk performance would be enough to keep people from buying the product, but the benchmarks seem to indicate that Apple may have made the correct decision.
“We knew the disk performance would be better, but everyone asked whether we were sure ATA would better than SCSI — the numbers proved to be fantastic,” said Alex Grossman Apple’s Director of Server and Storage Marketing.
Xserve is available immediately through the
and through Apple Authorized Resellers.