Apple Computer Inc. on Tuesday introduced a new
configuration specifically designed for customers seeking clustering capabilities. Available for US$2799, the new Xserve configuration keeps the high-end power, but loses equipment not necessary for the clustering marketplace.
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The Cluster Node Xserve comes with dual 1.33GHz PowerPC G4 processors; 2MB L3 cache per processor; 256MB DDR333 SDRAM; 60GB ATA/133 ADM; Mac OS X Server (10 client); and Gigabit Ethernet. This configuration does away with the video card and the expansion hard drive bays found in the normal Xserve, making this a completely headless machine.
“This configuration is tailored to bring the Xserve form factor with dual processing power in at a lower price point,” Doug Brooks, Xserve Product Manager, told MacCentral. “This machine is really streamlined for the price/performance in this market.”
Designed for the life sciences market, the Cluster Node Xserve can be used for applications such as BLAST, Shake and other processor intensive applications. Apple also expects more interest from the creative markets to handle distributed rendering and distributed compositing.
Until today organizations that wanted to use an Apple server for these types of intensive applications had to purchase an Xserve, which had more than the customer needed. The Cluster Node brings the power of the Xserve, but at a $1,000 savings.
“This configuration is tailored to bring the Xserve form factor with dual processing power in at a lower price point,” said Brooks. “This machine is really streamlined for the price/performance in this market.”
The Cluster Node comes with a Mac OS X Server 10 client license instead of the unlimited license normally associated with an Xserve. Brooks explained that this is to allow remote administration of the server and that an unlimited license wouldn’t be needed for these types of applications.
Apple also sees an opportunity to expand its reach with the introduction of the Cluster Node machine in a market where many people use Linux.
“We think this configuration will accelerate adoption and allow us to be more competitive with some of the Linux machines,” said Brooks.