Apple Computer has today updated its professional rack mounted server platform using the IBM supplied G5. The server offers either single or dual 2GHz G5 processors, the dual delivering about 60 percent more power than the G4 based unit.
Along with the new computational strength comes new architectural improvements that build on the G5 tower specifications. From the Apple press release:
Xserve G5 includes a new system controller with up to 8GB of PC3200 error correcting code (ECC) memory; three hot-plug Serial ATA drive modules that deliver up to 750GB of storage; optional internal hardware RAID; dual PCI-X slots, supporting 133 MHz PCI-X cards with over 1 GBps of throughput; and dual on-board Gigabit Ethernet for high-performance networking.
Also like the G5 tower, there has been significant design effort made to ensure proper cooling and heat monitoring.
An innovative copper heat sink design effectively removes heat from the processors while eight high-performance fans provide airflow for cooling the system. The fans are individually managed and monitored by a dedicated fan control processor; if a single fan fails the others speed up to compensate. The 1U enclosure has an array of over 30 sensors, including eight dedicated to temperature control, that continually monitor all critical system functions throughout the server.
The redesigned Xserve has already garnered praise and support from many traditional software developers including Oracle, Sybase, Macromedia and Quark. Due in no small part to the highly touted Virginia Tech supercomputer project, the new server is also receiving attention for higher end computing. According to Wolfram Research co-founder Theodore Gray, "Our customers appreciate the power and elegance of Xserve for the same reason they appreciate the power and elegance of Mathematica?it lets them get to work. One Mathematica on one Xserve G5 is a force to be reckoned with, and multiplying that power onto a cluster of eight, 16, or more G5 processors with gridMathematica on Xserve will give new meaning to the word supercomputer.?
Xserve RAID, the companion storage solution to the Xserve, has also been improved showcasing a massive 3.5 terabytes (TB) of storage capacity, performance of up to 210 MBps throughput and the industry?s most aggressive price for storage of just over $3 per gigabyte.
Not wanting to limit its market to just Macintosh servers, Apple has now taken steps to certify Xserve RAID for many popular platforms.
Customers with mixed platform networks and non-Apple servers can now take advantage of the incredible price performance of Xserve RAID. Apple has worked with leading storage network vendors to certify Xserve RAID compatible with popular hardware and software common in heterogeneous storage networks. These certifications include; VERITAS Volume Manager storage management; Candera SCE 510 network storage controllers; Chapparal RAIDar Provisioning Services; Host Bus Adapter vendors LSI Logic and ATTO Technologies and leading Fibre Channel switch vendors Brocade, QLogic and Emulex. Additional supported operating systems now include: Microsoft Windows 2003 Server; Red Hat Enterprise Linux v.2.1 and v.3; and Yellow Dog Linux.
The Xserve G5 will ship in February with an unlimited client version of OS X 10.3 "Panther" pre-installed and comes in three configurations.
- a single 2.0 GHz PowerPC G5 processor with 512MB of PC3200 ECC RAM, a single 80GB Apple Drive Module with expandability for up to 750GB, dual Gigabit Ethernet on-board, FireWire? 800 and USB 2.0, and an unlimited client license of Mac OS X Server for a suggested retail price of $2,999 (US);
- dual 2.0 GHz PowerPC G5 processors with 1GB of PC3200 ECC RAM, a single 80GB Apple Drive Module with expandability for up to 750GB, dual Gigabit Ethernet on-board, FireWire 800 and USB 2.0, and an unlimited client license of Mac OS X Server for a suggested retail price of $3,999 (US); and
- cluster-optimized dual 2.0 GHz PowerPC G5 processors with 512MB of PC3200 ECC RAM, a single 80GB Apple Drive Module, dual Gigabit Ethernet on-board, FireWire 800 and USB 2.0, and a 10-client license of Mac OS X Server for a suggested retail price that starts at $2,999 (US) per cluster node.
The Xserve RAID is available today through Apple Authorized Resellers and is available in three standard configurations ranging from $5,999 to $10,999 (US) or can be built to order.
More information about Xserve G5 and Xserve RAID can be found on Appleis Web page.