First Look: Apple’s Xserve

By Michael Singer

Apple Computer recently announced the release of its 1U rack-mount server. The company said it has already received orders for more than 4,000 units since its introduction in May.

The Macintosh maker said the server compliments its UNIX-based Mac OS X Server software and supports dual 1 GHz PowerPC G4 processors (each with 2MB of Double Data Rate (DDR) level-3 cache. In addition, the company is boasting that Xserve is the first 1U server to use DDR SDRAM memory with up to 2GB capacity. It would offer four hot-plug ATA/100 drives (independent channels with up to 120GB in each bay), two Gigabit Ethernet ports and two 64-bit/66MHz PCI slots.

The rack-mount dedicated server, which starts at $3,000 has been bundled with software for SMP and is available in two models – the 1GHz/256MB/60GB, priced at $2,999; and dual-1GHz/512MB/60GB priced at $3,999. Both models include an unlimited-client license to Mac OS X Server software.

Apple says that their tests show that Xserve beats more expensive, similarly configured servers from Dell, IBM and Sun. For example, Apple said its server running Apache on Mac OS X Server can support 4,051 web connections per second compared to 2,547 connections per second on an IBM eServer x330 running Apache on Linux.

As for running complex programs like BLAST (Basic Local Alignment Search Tool), Apple says Xserve is up to 19 times faster than Sun for DNA searches based on a standard search of more than 34MB of data, with Xserve running Apple/Genentech BLAST, a Sun Fire V100 running NCBI BLAST on Solaris and an IBM x330 running NCBI BLAST on Linux.

Apple also says its ATA drive architecture makes it a better buy than SCSI drive based servers such as a Dell PowerEdge 1650 with hardware RAID controller and a three way SCSI RAID stripe.

Apple also announced the acquisition of Emagic for an undisclosed amount. More than 200,000 musicians around the world actively use Hamburg, Germany-based Emagic’s most popular Mac and PC product, Logic. The company will operate as a wholly owned division of Apple. Emagic and rival Steinberg lead the pack in sequencing software for computers. The acquisition by Apple essentially makes Steinberg the leader in the PC market.

Reprinted from

Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing addresses the technology needs of small businesses, which are defined as businesses with fewer than 500 employees and/or less than $7 million in annual sales.

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