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Apple introduces Nehalem-based Xeon Xserves

post #1 of 35
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As expected, Apple on Tuesday announced an updated family of Xserves that deliver an 89 percent improvement in performance per watt and up to twice the overall performance of the previous models by tapping Intel's "Nehalem" Xeon processors and a next generation system architecture.

The 1U rack-optimized servers are available with up to two 2.93 GHz Intel Xeon processors, each with an integrated memory controller with three channels of 1066 MHz DDR3 ECC memory that delivers up to 2.4 times the memory bandwidth while cutting memory latency up to 40 percent. Using high-efficiency power supplies and intelligent thermal management, the new models also deliver a 19 percent reduction in idle power use.

New storage capabilities include a 128GB SSD boot-drive option that requires a fraction of the power of a hard disk and delivers up to 48 times faster random access times without occupying a drive bay, according to Apple. The servers also include three 3.5 inch drive bays that support both 7200 rpm SATA and 15,000 rpm SAS drives and can be configured with up to 3TB of internal storage.

"The Xserve is the best workgroup server for our education, business and creative customers," said David Moody, Apple's vice president of Worldwide Mac Product Marketing. "With up to twice the performance, better power efficiency and an innovative SSD drive option, this is the best Xserve we've ever made."

Two PCI Express 2.0 x16 expansion slots provide wide I/O bandwidth to support the latest high-bandwidth expansion cards. An Xserve RAID card option delivered improved performance of up to 497MB/s in Apple's test and also supports RAID levels 0, 1 and 5 with 512MB of cache without using a valuable PCI Express expansion slot. A 72-hour backup battery is included for enhanced data protection.

Starting at $2,999 and available immediately, every Xserve ships with an unlimited client edition of Mac OS X Leopard Server, offering support for Mac, Linux and Windows clients without the added cost of client-access licenses.



Apple also touts the new Xserve as the latest hardware product in its portfolio geared towards setting new standards for environmentally friendly design. Xserve uses PVC-free internal cables and components, contains no brominated flame retardants and features a power supply with an average energy efficiency of 89 percent.



The Xserve standard configuration, with a suggested retail price of $2,999 (US), includes:
a single 2.26 GHz Quad-Core Xeon 5500 series processor with 8MB of fully shared L3 cache;3GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 ECC RAM;a single 160GB 7200 rpm SATA Apple Drive Module;dual Gigabit Ethernet on-board;two PCI Express 2.0 x16 expansion slots;Bonjour-enabled Lights-Out Management processor and Server Monitor Software;internal graphics with Mini DisplayPort output;two FireWire 800 and three USB 2.0 ports; andan unlimited client license for Mac OS X Server version 10.5 Leopard.
Build-to-order options and accessories for Xserve include: dual 2.26 GHz, 2.66 GHz or 2.93 GHz Intel Xeon processors; 160GB and 1TB 7200 rpm SATA Apple Drive Modules; 450GB 15,000 rpm SAS drives (third party option); internal Xserve RAID card; Gigabit Ethernet, 4Gb Fibre Channel cards and a 750W redundant power supply.

On March 31s, AppleInsider reported on Apple's plans to introduce new Nehalem-based Xserves within the following two weeks.
post #2 of 35
Nice upgrade, good to see that they are in front with the new CPU's.
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iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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post #3 of 35
12 DIMM slots, yet "System supports up to 32GB in Mac OS X Server v10.5" according to the tech specs. 12 x 4GB is 48GB. Either the Tech specs have a typo or Leopard has a memory limit that should be addressed with Snow Leopard.
post #4 of 35
Drool.

No 2-4 rack, still a good way to go for audio:video systems. Nice

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

As expected, Apple on Tuesday announced an updated family of Xserves that deliver an 89 percent improvement in performance per watt and up to twice the overall performance of the previous models by tapping Intel's "Nehalem" Xeon processors and a next generation system architecture.

The 1U rack-optimized servers are available with up to two 2.93 GHz Intel Xeon processors, each with an integrated memory controller with three channels of 1066 MHz DDR3 ECC memory that delivers up to 2.4 times the memory bandwidth while cutting memory latency up to 40 percent. Using high-efficiency power supplies and intelligent thermal management, the new models also deliver a 19 percent reduction in idle power use.

New storage capabilities include a 128GB SSD boot-drive option that requires a fraction of the power of a hard disk and delivers up to 48 times faster random access times without occupying a drive bay, according to Apple. The servers also include three 3.5 inch drive bays that support both 7200 rpm SATA and 15,000 rpm SAS drives and can be configured with up to 3TB of internal storage.

"The Xserve is the best workgroup server for our education, business and creative customers," said David Moody, Apple's vice president of Worldwide Mac Product Marketing. "With up to twice the performance, better power efficiency and an innovative SSD drive option, this is the best Xserve we've ever made."

Two PCI Express 2.0 x16 expansion slots provide wide I/O bandwidth to support the latest high-bandwidth expansion cards. An Xserve RAID card option delivered improved performance of up to 497MB/s in Apple's test and also supports RAID levels 0, 1 and 5 with 512MB of cache without using a valuable PCI Express expansion slot. A 72-hour backup battery is included for enhanced data protection.

Starting at $2,999 and available immediately, every Xserve ships with an unlimited client edition of Mac OS X Leopard Server, offering support for Mac, Linux and Windows clients without the added cost of client-access licenses.



Apple also touts the new Xserve as the latest hardware product in its portfolio geared towards setting new standards for environmentally friendly design. Xserve uses PVC-free internal cables and components, contains no brominated flame retardants and features a power supply with an average energy efficiency of 89 percent.



The Xserve standard configuration, with a suggested retail price of $2,999 (US), includes:
a single 2.26 GHz Quad-Core Xeon 5500 series processor with 8MB of fully shared L3 cache;3GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 ECC RAM;a single 160GB 7200 rpm SATA Apple Drive Module;dual Gigabit Ethernet on-board;two PCI Express 2.0 x16 expansion slots;Bonjour-enabled Lights-Out Management processor and Server Monitor Software;internal graphics with Mini DisplayPort output;two FireWire 800 and three USB 2.0 ports; andan unlimited client license for Mac OS X Server version 10.5 Leopard.
Build-to-order options and accessories for Xserve include: dual 2.26 GHz, 2.66 GHz or 2.93 GHz Intel Xeon processors; 160GB and 1TB 7200 rpm SATA Apple Drive Modules; 450GB 15,000 rpm SAS drives (third party option); internal Xserve RAID card; Gigabit Ethernet, 4Gb Fibre Channel cards and a 750W redundant power supply.

On March 31s, AppleInsider reported on Apple's plans to introduce new Nehalem-based Xserves within the following two weeks.
post #5 of 35
Wonder why a 256 GB Solid State drive is not an option.
post #6 of 35
This isn't a jab at Apple; I just want to understand. What's the point of buying an Xserve? What are people running on them? Are they competitive with Dell servers running Linux?
post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

This isn't a jab at Apple; I just want to understand. What's the point of buying an Xserve? What are people running on them? Are they competitive with Dell servers running Linux?

If you are trying to run Mac OS X Server, the Xserve dimply destroys the Dells running Linux

nothing to see here

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nothing to see here

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post #8 of 35
Come on, let's get real here. Apple is an innovative company. But the Xserve it's getting a little old. Where is a new lineup? A 2U system with more capacity, not all of us need/want a separate drive cage. I would also like to see the use of 2.5 SAS drives.

Apple, where is the forward thinking?????
post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbonner View Post

Wonder why a 256 GB Solid State drive is not an option.

Because it's a 1.8" drive so there's simply not enough density AFAICT


Quote:
Originally Posted by tjones1105 View Post

Come on, let's get real here. Apple is an innovative company. But the Xserve it's getting a little old. Where is a new lineup? A 2U system with more capacity, not all of us need/want a separate drive cage. I would also like to see the use of 2.5 SAS drives.

Apple, where is the forward thinking?????

Xserve = autopilot
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post #10 of 35
are X serves for webhosting or something, or just having a network of regular computers I really dont understand, can someone shine some light on the matter for me. I Have a decent knowledge and understand all the specs of this, But even though Im assuming that its to be a webserver a server can be many things to many peoplel
post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by talkshowonmute View Post

are X serves for webhosting or something, or just having a network of regular computers I really dont understand, can someone shine some light on the matter for me. I Have a decent knowledge and understand all the specs of this, But even though Im assuming that its to be a webserver a server can be many things to many peoplel

An Xserve is Apple's server. It can be an Open Directory Server (Think Active Directory in Win Server), be a simple file server, web server, mail server (for OS X Mail), etc. They have many uses just like any other server. It runs Mac OS 10.5 Server Edition. If you have lots of Macs in your network, its probably best to get an Xserve, not necessary but makes things a lot easier.

They can interact with Windows Server, even serve Windows clients as well as other Unix and Linux servers.

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post #12 of 35
Anyone know if the SSD drive options is a MLC or SLC SSD drive.

This makes a big difference to me, as SLC SSD drives tend to last 10x longer than cheaper MLC SSD drives.
post #13 of 35
Actually Apple's smart to stick with 1U but wastes this by not having a decent shared storage (SAN) solution for biz.

Like it or not external arrays are where the market is heading and servers are consolidating to huge 4U quad socket behemoths or Blade systems.

The Xserve still relying on 3.5" drives is positively old school design with so many applications like mail serving being more responsive as the spindles increase versus storage density.
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post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by polymnia View Post

If you are trying to run Mac OS X Server, the Xserve dimply destroys the Dells running Linux

how specifically ?
post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by cozagada View Post

how specifically ?

Well, you cannot run Mac OS X Server on a Dell...

nothing to see here

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nothing to see here

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post #16 of 35
two PCI Express 2.0 x16 expansion slots;

Yet, the Mac Pro doesn't have this feature. Something needs to change on the Pro.
post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Actually Apple's smart to stick with 1U but wastes this by not having a decent shared storage (SAN) solution for biz.

Like it or not external arrays are where the market is heading and servers are consolidating to huge 4U quad socket behemoths or Blade systems.

The Xserve still relying on 3.5" drives is positively old school design with so many applications like mail serving being more responsive as the spindles increase versus storage density.

XSan allows for 3rd party hardware.
post #18 of 35
apple had "xserve raid" as it's own san but discontinued it. in fact they offer a certified raid option for final cut pro users from a company called promise. And lo and behold there was an ad at the bottom of this page for more 3rd party raid solutions !

i think apple has lots of potential in the sbm market for enterprise level products which don't need enterprise class it management.

i like the fact that the redundant psu is optional (tho it'd be the 1st thing i'd add as a bto)

i preferred the symmetry that 4 drives offer which seems to have been done away with - the ssd drive as boot option is an interesting one tho. Wonder if there's an automatic failsafe which would allow it to boot from a 2nd drive should the 1st fail.
post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbonner View Post

Wonder why a 256 GB Solid State drive is not an option.

Simple. It's not necessary. Apple is promoting this as a boot drive, not where you are going to be storing your critical data. To give some perspective, I run Leopard Server in my home office off a elderly Powermac G4. Its boot drive is an old 30 gig ATA drive and I still have 10 gigs of space to spare. 128 gigs has to be plenty of storage for whatever applications that most of Apple's customers would ever want to put in the Applications folder. Real transactional data can be stored on SATA drives either on the unit, through fibre channel or other external SANs.
post #20 of 35
I have been waiting for this update! I have an XServe G4, XServe G5, XServe RAID all hosting mail, websites, databases and with this update I can get rid of my G4 and move it all to Leopard Server. Just waiting for Snow Leopard now before the purchase. And the 128GB SSD was pure genius!
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post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Actually Apple's smart to stick with 1U but wastes this by not having a decent shared storage (SAN) solution for biz.

Like it or not external arrays are where the market is heading and servers are consolidating to huge 4U quad socket behemoths or Blade systems.

The Xserve still relying on 3.5" drives is positively old school design with so many applications like mail serving being more responsive as the spindles increase versus storage density.

If they needed to, can't they just mount the smaller drives in the same module shells?

As far as I remember, the four socket machines are a lot smaller market, and they're a lot more expensive than two dual socket machines. Apple doesn't sell a lot of these things anyway. They seem to be in it so they can offer something for media creation departments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frogbat View Post

i preferred the symmetry that 4 drives offer which seems to have been done away with - the ssd drive as boot option is an interesting one tho. Wonder if there's an automatic failsafe which would allow it to boot from a 2nd drive should the 1st fail.

Apple hasn't offered four drives in an XServe since the G4 XServe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenfeet View Post

Simple. It's not necessary. Apple is promoting this as a boot drive, not where you are going to be storing your critical data. To give some perspective, I run Leopard Server in my home office off a elderly Powermac G4. Its boot drive is an old 30 gig ATA drive and I still have 10 gigs of space to spare. 128 gigs has to be plenty of storage for whatever applications that most of Apple's customers would ever want to put in the Applications folder. Real transactional data can be stored on SATA drives either on the unit, through fibre channel or other external SANs.

The computers can be a lot more flexible in their use than the marketing suggests. As the SSDs are exceeding the performance of the spindle drive, it would seem like you'd want the larger SSDs. But separating the boot device from data devices is a good idea.
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

two PCI Express 2.0 x16 expansion slots;

Yet, the Mac Pro doesn't have this feature. Something needs to change on the Pro.

PCI Express expansion

Three open full-length PCI Express expansion slots
One PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot
Two PCI Express 2.0 x4 slots
All slots provide mechanical support for 16-lane cards
300W combined maximum for all PCI Express slots

Which means are you really needing another 16 lane bandwidth slot? I think 2GB/s will do on the X4 slots.
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by hiimamac View Post

Drool.

iLife would just scream on this hardware.
post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by talkshowonmute View Post

are X serves for webhosting or something, or just having a network of regular computers I really dont understand, can someone shine some light on the matter for me. I Have a decent knowledge and understand all the specs of this, But even though Im assuming that its to be a webserver a server can be many things to many peoplel

Well I use an older 4 core Intel Xserve for file serving. It has half an Xserve RAID for the main storage and a huge Rorke RAID for the Time Machine drive and large project storage. It has a 4 port fiber Channel card and a 10 gig Small Tree ethernet card.

I have another one, an 8 core Intel that is used for a wide variety of uses including Cinema 4D render server, print server, Episode compression system, Red camera file processor and so on.

Xserve is a general purpose server that can do whatever you need it to do - including web hosting I suppose.
post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by fellaintga View Post

PCI Express expansion

Three open full-length PCI Express expansion slots
One PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot
Two PCI Express 2.0 x4 slots
All slots provide mechanical support for 16-lane cards
300W combined maximum for all PCI Express slots

Which means are you really needing another 16 lane bandwidth slot? I think 2GB/s will do on the X4 slots.

Yes, give me the extra lanes, when I want to deal with OpenCL on dual GPUs. Hell yes.
post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

An Xserve is Apple's server. It can be an Open Directory Server (Think Active Directory in Win Server), be a simple file server, web server, mail server (for OS X Mail), etc.

... calendar server, full multi-media AV chat server & (more importantly) stably, securely, concurrently for as many users as those Nehalems can handle and all for a $1,500 license (or $750/year assuming 24-month OS upgrade cycle)

McD
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post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by McDave View Post

... calendar server, full multi-media AV chat server & (more importantly) stably, securely, concurrently for as many users as those Nehalems can handle and all for a $1,500 license (or $750/year assuming 24-month OS upgrade cycle)

McD

What $1,500 license?
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Yes, give me the extra lanes, when I want to deal with OpenCL on dual GPUs. Hell yes.

The Mac Pro has 2 16-lane slots (one is occupied by the graphics card) and 2 4-lane. The Xserve has 2 16-lane slots open plus whatever it uses for it's desecrate graphics chip. I don't think the Mac Pro could get more PCI lanes without putting another controller chip on the motherboard thus increasing the price further (!).
post #29 of 35
More I/O bandwidth.

The new Xserve delivers up to 2x the I/O bandwidth of the previous generation via two 16-lane (x16) wide PCI Express 2.0 expansion slots. Because the slots are independent, bandwidth isnt shared between them. So you get all the bandwidth you need for the latest I/O cards, including 10Gb Ethernet and multiport 4Gb Fibre Channel cards.
post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by McDave View Post

... calendar server, full multi-media AV chat server & (more importantly) stably, securely, concurrently for as many users as those Nehalems can handle and all for a $1,500 license (or $750/year assuming 24-month OS upgrade cycle)

McD

Thanks for filling in the etc.

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post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

What $1,500 license?

Oops! US$999 (in fact NZ$1,449 not NZ$1,500) for the unlimited client license.

McD
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post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by McDave View Post

Oops! US$999 (in fact NZ$1,449 not NZ$1,500) for the unlimited client license.

McD

Are you referring to Xsan 2? That's $999.

Mac OS X Server v10.5 Leopard Unlimited-Client Edition is included.

Now if you want to buy Mac OS X Server unlimited client license for NON-XSERVE/Older XServe hardware, then be my guest.

Mac OS X Server v10.5.4 (Unlimited-client license) $999.

However, the new XServe includes that within the base price and thus they've absorbed the charge.
post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

Nice upgrade, good to see that they are in front with the new CPU's.

Anyone care to speculatewhy there is no 4 8 racks? I see many clients with 3-5 units. Why no, for example, a 4 rack unit?
post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Are you referring to Xsan 2? That's $999.

Mac OS X Server v10.5 Leopard Unlimited-Client Edition is included.

Now if you want to buy Mac OS X Server unlimited client license for NON-XSERVE/Older XServe hardware, then be my guest.

Mac OS X Server v10.5.4 (Unlimited-client license) $999.

However, the new XServe includes that within the base price and thus they've absorbed the charge.

That'll teach me not to read up! So how many concurrent users could I expect to serve up the basics to with one Xserve? (file, print, mail, calendar, basic intranet - not video or high-volume media)

McD
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post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by McDave View Post

That'll teach me not to read up! So how many concurrent users could I expect to serve up the basics to with one Xserve? (file, print, mail, calendar, basic intranet - not video or high-volume media)

McD

Good questions. That one would require some testing and research.
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