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Apple unveils most powerful Xserve ever

post #1 of 27
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Alongside new Mac Pros, Apple on Tuesday also introduced the new Xserve, a 1U rack-optimized server that the company claims is up to twice as fast as its predecessor and includes an unlimited client license for Mac OS X Server Leopard.

Starting at just $2,999, the new Xserve has up to two Quad-Core 3.0 GHz Intel Xeon processors for 8-core performance, a new server architecture, faster front side buses, faster memory, up to 3TB of internal storage and two PCI Express 2.0 expansion slots for greater performance and flexibility.

“With the latest Intel processors and no client access licenses, Xserve offers unbeatable server performance and value for under $3,000,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “Xserve’s power, storage and Leopard Server make it ideal for supporting Mac clients and mixed platform workgroups.”

Xserve is configurable with up to two Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5400 series processors running up to 3.0 GHz with 12MB of L2 cache per processor and features a new high-bandwidth hardware architecture, dual-independent 1600 MHz front side buses and up to 32GB of 800 MHz DDR2 ECC FB-DIMM memory for a 64 percent increase in memory throughput. Two PCI Express 2.0 expansion slots provide up to four times the I/O bandwidth of the previous Xserve to support the latest high-bandwidth expansion cards including multi-channel 4Gb Fibre channel and 10Gb Ethernet cards.



Xserve now also includes built-in accelerated graphics to drive up to a 23-inch Apple Cinema Display and a new front-facing USB 2.0 port. Using Apple’s Server Monitor, an administrator can remotely turn Xserve on or off and manage server software from anywhere on the network. Each of Xserve’s three drive bays can be configured with 73GB or 300GB SAS drives or 80GB and 1TB SATA drives, providing a mix of high performance and vast storage capabilities for a wide range of server applications. Additionally, Apple offers a hardware RAID card option that delivers hardware RAID levels 0, 1 and 5 with 256MB of cache and an included backup battery for up to 72 hours of cached data protection. The Xserve RAID card delivers up to 251MB/s RAID 5 performance for the most demanding server workloads, without using a valuable PCI Express expansion slot, the company said.



The new Xserve also sports improves energy efficiency with Intel’s 45 nanometer core microarchitecture technology. The processors draw a maximum consumption of 80W, and drop as low as 4W when idle. Power supplies exceed Energy Star recommendations from the US Department of Energy and Apple’s thermal management technology cools the systems efficiently in a wide variety of environments while reducing power consumption.

Each Xserve ships with a preinstalled, unlimited client edition of Leopard Server software, offering true 64-bit support, easy-to-use management tools and support for Mac, Linux and Windows clients. Leopard Server is fully UNIX compliant and extends Apple’s legendary ease of use by introducing over 250 new features, including Podcast Producer, the ideal way to automatically publish podcasts to iTunes or the web; Wiki Server, allowing people to collaboratively create and modify their shared web sites with just a few clicks; and iCal Server, the world’s first commercial CalDAV standard-based calendar server.

Pricing & Availability

The new Xserve is shipping today and will be available through the Apple Store and Apple Authorized Resellers.

The Xserve standard configuration, with a suggested retail price of $2,999 (US), includes:a single 64-bit 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Xeon processor with 12MB of L2 cache and a 1600 Mhz front side bus2GB of 800 MHz DDR2 ECC FB-DIMM RAM, expandable up to 32GBa single 80GB SATA Apple Drive Moduledual Gigabit Ethernet on-boardinternal graphicstwo FireWire 800 and three USB 2.0 ports; andan unlimited client license for Mac OS X Server version 10.5 Leopard.In addition to the standard configuration, Xserve offers numerous build-to-order options and accessories including: dual 2.8 or 3.0 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors; 80GB and 1TB 7200 rpm SATA or 73GB or 300GB 15,000rpm SAS Apple Drive Modules; internal Xserve RAID card; Gigabit Ethernet, 4Gb Fibre Channel and U320 SCSI expansion card options, and a 750W redundant power supply.
post #2 of 27
In the past this announcement would have been the focus of a Steve Jobs Keynote. If this upgrade is such small potatoes that it happened without huppla, then that begs the question what great things are in store next week!!!
post #3 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Alongside new Mac Pros, Apple on Tuesday also introduced the new Xserve, a 1U rack-optimized server that the company claims is up to twice as fast as its predecessor and includes an unlimited client license for Mac OS X Server Leopard.

Starting at just $2,999, the new Xserve has up to two Quad-Core 3.0 GHz Intel Xeon processors for 8-core performance, a new server architecture, faster front side buses, faster memory, up to 3TB of internal storage and two PCI Express 2.0 expansion slots for greater performance and flexibility.

With the latest Intel processors and no client access licenses, Xserve offers unbeatable server performance and value for under $3,000, said Philip Schiller, Apples senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. Xserves power, storage and Leopard Server make it ideal for supporting Mac clients and mixed platform workgroups.

Xserve is configurable with up to two Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5400 series processors running up to 3.0 GHz with 12MB of L2 cache per processor and features a new high-bandwidth hardware architecture, dual-independent 1600 MHz front side buses and up to 32GB of 800 MHz DDR2 ECC FB-DIMM memory for a 64 percent increase in memory throughput. Two PCI Express 2.0 expansion slots provide up to four times the I/O bandwidth of the previous Xserve to support the latest high-bandwidth expansion cards including multi-channel 4Gb Fibre channel and 10Gb Ethernet cards.



Xserve now also includes built-in accelerated graphics to drive up to a 23-inch Apple Cinema Display and a new front-facing USB 2.0 port. Using Apples Server Monitor, an administrator can remotely turn Xserve on or off and manage server software from anywhere on the network. Each of Xserves three drive bays can be configured with 73GB or 300GB SAS drives or 80GB and 1TB SATA drives, providing a mix of high performance and vast storage capabilities for a wide range of server applications. Additionally, Apple offers a hardware RAID card option that delivers hardware RAID levels 0, 1 and 5 with 256MB of cache and an included backup battery for up to 72 hours of cached data protection. The Xserve RAID card delivers up to 251MB/s RAID 5 performance for the most demanding server workloads, without using a valuable PCI Express expansion slot, the company said.



The new Xserve also sports improves energy efficiency with Intels 45 nanometer core microarchitecture technology. The processors draw a maximum consumption of 80W, and drop as low as 4W when idle. Power supplies exceed Energy Star recommendations from the US Department of Energy and Apples thermal management technology cools the systems efficiently in a wide variety of environments while reducing power consumption.

Each Xserve ships with a preinstalled, unlimited client edition of Leopard Server software, offering true 64-bit support, easy-to-use management tools and support for Mac, Linux and Windows clients. Leopard Server is fully UNIX compliant and extends Apples legendary ease of use by introducing over 250 new features, including Podcast Producer, the ideal way to automatically publish podcasts to iTunes or the web; Wiki Server, allowing people to collaboratively create and modify their shared web sites with just a few clicks; and iCal Server, the worlds first commercial CalDAV standard-based calendar server.

Pricing & Availability

The new Xserve is shipping today and will be available through the Apple Store and Apple Authorized Resellers.

The Xserve standard configuration, with a suggested retail price of $2,999 (US), includes:a single 64-bit 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Xeon processor with 12MB of L2 cache and a 1600 Mhz front side bus2GB of 800 MHz DDR2 ECC FB-DIMM RAM, expandable up to 32GBa single 80GB SATA Apple Drive Moduledual Gigabit Ethernet on-boardinternal graphicstwo FireWire 800 and three USB 2.0 ports; andan unlimited client license for Mac OS X Server version 10.5 Leopard.In addition to the standard configuration, Xserve offers numerous build-to-order options and accessories including: dual 2.8 or 3.0 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors; 80GB and 1TB 7200 rpm SATA or 73GB or 300GB 15,000rpm SAS Apple Drive Modules; internal Xserve RAID card; Gigabit Ethernet, 4Gb Fibre Channel and U320 SCSI expansion card options, and a 750W redundant power supply.

Have to love shipping today,,, time to go shopping,,,

I have to agree that if they are announcing and shipping today, the announcements next week should be BIG releases and they don't want to overload Steve in one speech..
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by applestockholder View Post

In the past this announcement would have been the focus of a Steve Jobs Keynote. If this upgrade is such small potatoes that it happened without huppla, then that begs the question what great things are in store next week!!!

Nah, Xserve isn't big enough (sales-wise or consumer-interest-wise) to be a focus of a keynote. iTunes, iPods, iMacs, and MacBooks are. The Keynote will mention the new Xserves briefly, talk about Leopard sales, talk about iTunes, and announce Penryn chips coming soon to the rest of the lineup. Steve will outline plans for Blu-Ray support and iTunes movie rentals, and perhaps they'll announce AppleTV updates. "One more thing" will be a new subnotebook.

Note: all the above is just idle speculation.
post #5 of 27
Now that Apple is going with Sun's ZFS, isn't the RAID controller (but not the array itself)
a bit old-fashioned?
post #6 of 27
Besides Biolabs, isn't 8-cores in a server a bit overkill? I can't see an 8-core helping a XRAID SAN in a Final Cut Pro server situation... can it?
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by retiarius View Post

Now that Apple is going with Sun's ZFS, isn't the RAID controller (but not the array itself) a bit old-fashioned?

"Now"?

I must have missed it. Has apple made such an announcement?
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unicron View Post

Besides Biolabs, isn't 8-cores in a server a bit overkill? I can't see an 8-core helping a XRAID SAN in a Final Cut Pro server situation... can it?

Ever heard the term renderfarm? LOL - J/K. I don't know exactly how the cores would help FCP server situation, but encoding HD times are greatly increased. The Mac Pro site has some comparisons. All with FCP involved. You should check it out.
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post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by retiarius View Post

Now that Apple is going with Sun's ZFS, isn't the RAID controller (but not the array itself)
a bit old-fashioned?

Not until they actually do go with it.

And RAIDs will likely still be useful.
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlooker View Post

Ever heard the term renderfarm? LOL - J/K. I don't know exactly how the cores would help FCP server situation, but encoding HD times are greatly increased. The Mac Pro site has some comparisons. All with FCP involved. You should check it out.

You mean decreased, I hope.

But what industry and government wants is an Apple 2U server, and blades. I read this often enough.
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

You mean decreased, I hope.

But what industry and government wants is an Apple 2U server, and blades. I read this often enough.

Yup. The X-Serve is no longer viable in the render farm or clusters based on processor density, and almost nobody rolls out virtualization in a 1U format.

I half expected for Apple to convert the XServe into a SMB Server package with lower specs and a $2,200 price tag. There doesn't seem to be much of a market for the 1U servers elsewhere as time goes on.
post #12 of 27
Is the Xserve RAID still using ATA hard drives? When will it be upgraded to SATA or SAS?
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

Is the Xserve RAID still using ATA hard drives? When will it be upgraded to SATA or SAS?

They are using SATA.
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

They are using SATA.

Specs still list Ultra-ATA. I don't know if the backplane could support SATA/SAS, however
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by applestockholder View Post

In the past this announcement would have been the focus of a Steve Jobs Keynote. If this upgrade is such small potatoes that it happened without huppla, then that begs the question what great things are in store next week!!!

Power Macs (and Mac Pro) and Xserves are rarely announced at Macworld (if ever).
JLL

95% percent of the boat is owned by Microsoft, but the 5% Apple controls happens to be the rudder!
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post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonybrookadam View Post

Specs still list Ultra-ATA. I don't know if the backplane could support SATA/SAS, however

I looked before I posted. It said Serial ATA. and SAS.

http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPL...A&mco=96DF0B52
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLL View Post

Power Macs (and Mac Pro) and Xserves are rarely announced at Macworld (if ever).

In the old days they were.
post #18 of 27
Anyone know how to pick up a used xserve or one a model or two back?
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by balsi View Post

Anyone know how to pick up a used xserve or one a model or two back?

Look on Apple's site for refurbished ones.

eBay also has a few, here and there, though usually, I only see G5 models.
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I looked before I posted. It said Serial ATA. and SAS.

http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPL...A&mco=96DF0B52

Look again:

http://www.apple.com/xserve/raid/specs.html
post #21 of 27
I wait for the day when the headline readers "Apple unveils second most powerful Xserve ever"

I know it's not you guys at AI it's apple but I find it funny how they promote the hell out of the most obvious fact. Ever new version of an already established computer line has to be the most powerful, that's how it works.
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post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

Look again:

http://www.apple.com/xserve/raid/specs.html

I'm sorry. I didn't realize you were looking at the RAID unit. I thought you were referring to the server.
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

In the old days they were.

This is Apple's way of saying look for some big announcements at the show. I'm sure there will be plenty of software updates before the show.
post #24 of 27
Very nice server both on specifications and price. I wished that their ram upgrades were cheaper. It's crazy to order 32GB of ram on this thing: 9100 dollars!!!

It is weird in a sense that 2GB/stick memory is the most cost effective way to install FB-DIMM memory. That means, in a 32GB server, it is better to use a motherboard with 16 memory slots. At the current pricing, DDR2-800 memory is not commodity yet. So the ideal way to get memory is to order 1333FSB Harpertown(such as E5410/E5420/L5410) and get 16*2GB DDR2-667 FB-DIMMs(or 8x2GB in the case of the xserve) from ewiz for 72 dollars a pop.

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?p=D2-...ebbbeacb355c11

Basically you throw out the DDR2-800 memory on this server, and install 16GB of 2GB sticks in the Xserve, I am sure you will void the warranty. But hey, at least you get the ram for $560 dollars shipped.
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

In the old days they were.

No, they were updated later in January.

(unless you mean the really old days)
JLL

95% percent of the boat is owned by Microsoft, but the 5% Apple controls happens to be the rudder!
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post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

This is Apple's way of saying look for some big announcements at the show. I'm sure there will be plenty of software updates before the show.

That's what I'm thinking as well.
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLL View Post

No, they were updated later in January.

(unless you mean the really old days)

It's relative.

In the days before Jobs came back, Macworld Boston was a big show for Pro's as well as for consumers. The ADC was a small unpublicised event.

Even after he came back, for a few years, this continued.
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