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Apple updates Xserve RAID

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Apple today updated its Xserve RAID storage system, a 3U high-availability, rack storage system to deliver a massive 7 terabytes (TB) of storage capacity at an aggressive price of just $1.86 per GB.

Apple also upgraded its Xserve 1U rack optimized server with up to three 500GB drives, achieving 1.5TB of storage. Prices for Xserve start at $2,999 and prices for Xserve RAID at $5,999.

"Apple has shipped an impressive 76 petabytes of Xserve RAID storage in the last two years," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "We are now offering our users more capacity at an even lower price per gigabyte."

Designed with 14 independent 500GB Ultra ATA drive channels, Xserve RAID provides up to 7TB of storage capacity with pricing as low as $1.86 per GB, while the dual independent RAID controllers with 512 MB cache per controller offer sustained throughput of over 385MBps -- high enough to support the most demanding media production environments using protected RAID level 5. Xserve RAID is certified to run in Mac OS X, Windows, NetWare, SUSE and Red Hat Linux environments.

The Xserve 1U rack optimized server can now hold up to three 500GB drives to achieve 1.5TB of hot-plug storage. With dual 64-bit 2.3 GHz PowerPC G5 processors that deliver over 35 gigaflops of processing power per system and the industry's fastest front side 1U server system bus, running at up to 1.15 GHz with up to 9.2 GBps of bandwidth per processor and Mac OS X Server version 10.4 "Tiger" installed, it is the ideal server for everything from file and print serving to computational clusters.

Xserve RAID connects easily to any Xserve server or Power Mac desktop system using the dual-channel 2GB Apple Fibre Channel PCI-X card sold separately for $499 and works seamlessly with Xsan, Apple's 64-bit cluster file system for Mac OS X to deliver a powerful, easy-to-manage, enterprise class SAN solution at a breakthrough low price that enables organizations to consolidate storage resources and provide multiple computers with concurrent file-level read/write access to shared volumes over Fibre Channel.

Apple offers a choice of services and support programs for Xserve RAID including 4-hour on-site response, 24x7 technical support, AppleCare Service Parts Kits and the AppleCare Professional SupportLine and Tools program.

Pricing & Availability

The new Xserve RAID is available today through the Apple Store and Apple Authorized Resellers. Xserve RAID comes in three standard configurations, or can be fully customized to meet specific customer requirements. Build-to-order options can include additional Apple Drive Modules and cache battery modules.

Xserve RAID with a suggested retail price of $5,999 (US) includes:
1TB RAID 0 total available storagedual independent RAID controllers with 512MB cache per controllerdual 2GB Fibre Channel SFP ports with 200MBps throughput per channelfour 250GB ATA Apple Drive Modules; and
8MB on-drive cache.

Xserve RAID with a suggested retail price of $8,499 (US) includes:
3.5TB RAID 0 total available storagedual independent RAID controllers with 512MB cache per controllerdual 2GB Fibre Channel SFP ports with 200MBps throughput per channelseven 500GB ATA Apple Drive Modules; and8MB on-drive cache.

Xserve RAID with a suggested retail price of $12,999 (US) includes:
7TB RAID 0 total available storagedual independent RAID controllers with 512MB cache per controllerdual 2GB Fibre Channel SFP ports with 200MBps throughput per channelfourteen 500GB ATA Apple Drive Modules; and8MB on-drive cache.
post #2 of 5
Apple still needs to update the text on their hardware page:

http://www.apple.com/hardware/

As of 6.45 PST, this page doesn't reflect the XServes which are linked on the next page.
post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally posted by gruth
Apple still needs to update the text on their hardware page:

http://www.apple.com/hardware/

As of 6.45 PST, this page doesn't reflect the XServes which are linked on the next page.

Its been fixed now.
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Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everyone else.
-Margaret Mead

When I'm working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I...
Reply
post #4 of 5
I am not familiar with all the RAID configurations but I do understand a few:

RAID 0 - The contents of files are spread/striped across multiple disks so reading and writing is faster, but if a disk fails the files become useless. At least two disks are used.

RAID 1 - Files are written to multiple disks so that if a disk fails then the
"backup" disk with the same files are used so no data is lost. An even number of disks are used.

RAID 0+1 - Two sets of striped disks are used giving you the speed of RAID 0 while providing the safety of RAID 1. At least four disks are used and the number of disks are even.

What RAID configuration would be used with three drives (XServe) where files 'A', 'B', and 'C' are saved to the disks in the following manner?

disk1: 'A', 'C'
disk2: 'B', 'A'
disk3: 'C', 'B'

This setup seems like it would be a combination of RAID 0 and 1 without being RAID 0+1 because:

1 - Files are mirrored (RAID 1).
2 - A disk failure does not result in data loss (RAID 1).
3 - Fast disk reads (RAID 0). If a file uses ten clusters then five can be read from one disk at the same time the other five clusters are read from the other disk.
4 - An odd number of disks can be used (RAID 0).

Is there a RAID where disks 1 & 2 (80GB each) are striped and disk 3 (160GB) is written to and used as a backup? This seems like a better solution than the senario I have listed above because:

1 - less disk space is wasted.
2 - read and writes to the backup drive will not interfere with the read and writes of the striped drives.
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally posted by troberts
What RAID configuration would be used with three drives (XServe) where files 'A', 'B', and 'C' are saved to the disks in the following manner?

disk1: 'A', 'C'
disk2: 'B', 'A'
disk3: 'C', 'B'

You've basically described RAID5 - stripe set with parity - only it's not entire files that are spaced across disks, it's smaller chunks of files that are broken up over disks, plus parity information to reconstruct the bytes. In RAID5, loss of any 1 disk has no effect on the array - all data can be reconstructed on the fly with a degradation in performance - most RAID controllers can then hot-swap in a spare or new drive and reconstruct across. fast reads, slightly slower writes.

Quote:
Is there a RAID where disks 1 & 2 (80GB each) are striped and disk 3 (160GB) is written to and used as a backup? This seems like a better solution than the senario I have listed above because:

You can use RAID10 as a combination - mirrored stripe sets. But you have to mirror the entire array, and it's best to have a second controller the second set, etc. spensive.
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