Apple Computer Inc. on Tuesday announced that it is shipping the single processor
Xserve G5, the updated 1U rackmount server first introduced at Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco, Calif. this past January. The Xserve was originally scheduled to ship in February, but its release was delayed until now. The dual 2GHz model will not ship until next month, the company said today.
Industry analysts were not concerned with the delays of Apple’s enterprise server platform, noting that customers in this market often plan installations over years.
“Maybe that’s good,” IDC Analyst Roger Kay, told MacCentral. “Serious commercial customers are fine with small delays — they tend to understand the reason for the delays is to make the product better. They would rather have that than have it 2 months early. If you were contemplating a large installation, a month of product delays is not going to bother you too much. These people are planning installations for years in some cases.”
Aberdeen Group analyst, Peter Kastner agreed, saying that it’s a good thing for customers that Apple is making sure the machines are ready before they ship. While the G5 Xserve may appeal to a specialized market, Kastner said that for small and medium size businesses the G5 is powerful and easy to manage.
“I’m really happy to see Apple back in the server marketplace,” said Kastner. “To see them come back in a focused way with leadership products is exciting for anyone that cares about Apple and industry competition as a whole.”
Apple also announced today that Princeton University has chosen the G5 Xserve over the compeition to build its cluster.
“We chose a 64-node Xserve G5 cluster over an AMD-based cluster running Linux,” said Jonathan Cohen, director of the Center for the Study of Brain, Mind and Behavior at Princeton University. “Apple is known not only for the ease of use, support and innovative engineering of its products, but also for the creative spirit that it is now bringing directly to bear on the needs of high-end scientific computing. “
In related news, Apple unveiled the Apple Workgroup Cluster for Bioinformatics, a turnkey, high-performance computing cluster that allows any scientist to configure, operate and maintain the system. The workgroup cluster includes iNquiry, a 3rd-party bioinformatics package from The BioTeam that provides 200 ready-to-use bioinformatics applications optimized for the Xserve G5.
Apple Vice President of Worldwide Developer Relations Ron Okamoto, told MacCentral in an interview yesterday that sciences would play a bigger role in the company’s upcoming
Worldwide Developer Conference.
The new G5 Xserve features either single or dual 2.0GHz G5 processors, a new system controller with up to 8GB of PC3200 error correcting code (ECC) memory, up to 750GB of storage, dual onboard GigaBit Ethernet, optional internal hardware RAID, dual PCI-X slots that support 133MHz PCI-X cards with over 1GBps of throughput, and FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 ports.
The Xserve ships with Mac OS X Server v10.3 and unlimited user licenses. The single processor model is US$2,999 and the dual processor model is $3,999.
In an interview with MacCentral today, Apple declined to comment further on what caused the delays with the dual 2GHz Xserve.
Updated: This story has been updated with information taken from interviews with Apple and industry analysts.