First Look: Apple Xserve 1U Rack-Mount Server

By SmallBusinessComputing Staff | Posted May 21, 2002
p>Apple introduced Xserve, a 1U rack-mount server that's designed to be simple to set up and remotely manage. Designed from the ground up as a complement to Apple's UNIX-based Mac OS X Server software, Xserve may appeal to business and education customers.

According to the company, Xserve provides exceptional performance in a compact 1U rack-mount server. Its dual 1 GHz PowerPC G4 processors each have 2MB of Double Data Rate (DDR) L3 cache, and Xserve is the first 1U server to use DDR SDRAM memory with up to 2GB capacity. Xserve offers storage, with up to 480GB on four hot-plug ATA/100 drives, and networking with standard dual Gigabit Ethernet ports. Xserve includes an unlimited user license to Mac OS X Server software that supports file/print services, video streaming, database applications, computational clustering and web and mail serving.

The company says that Xserve is perfect for I/O intensive applications such as digital video, high-resolution digital imagery and large scientific datasets. Xserve delivers 15 gigaflops of computational power and nearly a half terabyte of hot-plug storage. With four independent ATA/100 drive channels, Xserve may offer nearly double the performance of other 1U servers that utilize more expensive Ultra3 SCSI drives.

Xserve features several new capabilities designed to make server set up and remote management easier than ever before. Server Admin, a new services monitoring and remote management tool, should help administrators set up and manage all key Mac OS X Server network services remotely. Server Monitor, a new hardware monitoring tool, should allow system administrators to remotely monitor one or many servers, obtain detailed subsystem views, and produce reports and receive system notification alerts via text capable email, pager, cell phones or PDAs.

Apple is offering a choice of services and support programs including 4-hour onsite response, 24x7 technical support, AppleCare Service Parts Kits and the AppleCare Professional SupportLine and Tools program.

Additional Xserve features include: - single or dual 1 GHz PowerPC G4 processors;
- 2MB DDR L3 cache per processor;
- three PCI slots, two of which are 64-bit, 66 MHz PCI slots for high performance I/O-the fastest ever in a Mac;
- up to 2GB of DDR high-performance memory running at 266 MHz-the first DDR main memory in a Mac;
- software RAID mirroring for protection of important data and RAID striping for additional performance; - a VGA graphics card that supports headless booting and enables easy connectivity to industry standard cross-platform devices;
- an optional AGP 4X graphics card to connect displays, keyboards and a mouse for "Mac-in-a-rack" solutions;
- three 400Mbps FireWire ports with two accessible on the back panel and one on the front panel for quick access;
- two USB ports, one DB-9 serial console port and an optional Ultra3 SCSI card for connecting to external storage and backup devices;
- an optional fiber Gigabit Ethernet adapter;
- Mac OS X Server software featuring QuickTime Streaming Server, WebObjects and the latest advancements from the Open Source community such as Apache, Samba, PHP, MySQL and Tomcat; and
- Native protocol support for AFP over TCP/IP, SMB/CIFS, FTP and NFS enables easy integration into existing Mac, UNIX or Windows networks.

Pricing & Availability
Xserve will be available in June 2002, and customers can place orders through the Apple Store (www.apple.com) and through Apple Authorized Resellers. Xserve will come in two standard configurations, or can be customized to meet specific customer requirements. The two standard configurations are:

- single 1 GHz PowerPC G4 processor, 256MB DDR RAM, 60GB ATA/100 Apple Drive Module, dual Gigabit Ethernet, CD-ROM and Mac OS X Server with unlimited clients for a suggested list price of $2,999 (US); and
- dual 1 GHz PowerPC G4 processors, 512MB DDR RAM, 60GB ATA/100 Apple Drive Module, dual Gigabit Ethernet, CD-ROM and Mac OS X Server with unlimited clients for a suggested list price of $3,999 (US).

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