Federal Computer Week
, Maggie Biggs
reviews Apple’s Xserve 1U rackmount server. Running the server through various tests, Biggs was impressed with the machine overall, but notes a couple of things she would like to see changed.
“I was amazed at what Apple has done with its first server offering, Xserve,” said Biggs. “Agencies should consider it as a platform that can easily handle middle-tier and back-end business-critical operations.”
Biggs tested a dual 1GHz model with four 120GB drives and 2GB of memory. Noting that Apple doesn’t require end-user licensing fees, unlike Microsoft, Biggs said that agencies “may want to test Xserve and consider it as a vehicle to reduce overall licensing costs.”
“Xserve was highly capable of handling everything I threw its way,” Biggs said. “I first made the Xserve assume the role of a back-end database server by installing an Oracle Corp. 9i database on it. I then used a transactional load generation application to process massive amounts of requests to the Oracle database. Although not a scientific benchmark, my experience showed that the Xserve is up to the task of processing huge amounts of data.”
The downsides to the Xserve according to Biggs were Apple’s use of PowerPC G4 technology, which may or may not affect agency consideration; and the lack dual power supplies and cooling system redundancy. “Although Apple has crammed a lot of power into its small-footprint Xserve, the company should consider adding those features because they are standard for most server-class systems.”
Overall Biggs liked the Xserve and how it performed, recommending agencies give it a second look when considering their server choices.
“As a server platform solution, Xserve and Mac OS X are worthy of attention and evaluation as an offering that could easily fulfill either a middle-tier role or act as a back-end server.”