Apple introduces Nehalem-based Xeon Xserves

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,097member
    Nice upgrade, good to see that they are in front with the new CPU's.
  • Reply 2 of 34
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 34
    hiimamachiimamac Posts: 584member
    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.



  • Reply 4 of 34
    rbonnerrbonner Posts: 635member
    Wonder why a 256 GB Solid State drive is not an option.
  • Reply 5 of 34
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    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?
  • Reply 6 of 34
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 894member
    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
  • Reply 7 of 34
    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?????
  • Reply 8 of 34
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,129member
    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
  • Reply 9 of 34
    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
  • Reply 10 of 34
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,669member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 34
    adamwadamw Posts: 114guest
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 34
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,129member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 34
    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 ?
  • Reply 14 of 34
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 894member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cozagada View Post


    how specifically ?



    Well, you cannot run Mac OS X Server on a Dell...
  • Reply 15 of 34
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,182member
    two PCI Express 2.0 x16 expansion slots;



    Yet, the Mac Pro doesn't have this feature. Something needs to change on the Pro.
  • Reply 16 of 34
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,182member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 34
    frogbatfrogbat Posts: 66member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 34
    sevenfeetsevenfeet Posts: 390member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 34
    o4blackwrxo4blackwrx Posts: 382member
    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!
  • Reply 20 of 34
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    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.
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