A PC-based 1U rack mounted server can become a real administration headache. Not so with Appleis Xserve, according to Tom Yager at InfoWorld. The Xserve is a glorious antithesis to the PC server.
"With Xserve, Apple designed and engineered everything in-house, from the logic and firmware to the chassis and OS and admin tools. Support issues are not finger-pointed out to Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, or GNU," Mr. Yager noted, clearly echoing previous experience.
Mr. Yager noted that one expects a lot, and gets it, when big iron is bought from, say, IBM, HP or Sun for US$20,000. However, if you want to spend $5,000 and still get eight 64-bit cores, you go to Apple. And with virtualization, the server can still deliver up Windows and Linux servers operating in parallel with Mac OS X and its terrific admin tools.
The hallmark features of consistency and continuity were pointed to in the review. In addition, Apple brilliantly engineers each generation so that prices keep going down, and instead of soaking the customer, Apple shares that windfall with them.
Next up was a very technical discussion and details that only a server administrator could love. Mr. Yager covered whatis new in the latest Xserve, its ease of use in a small business setting, storage, RAID, virtualized OSes, and pricing and performance options, related to the reader with admiration and awe.
"The pleasant surprise is the price of a fully loaded Xserve," Mr. Yager concluded. "Harpertown Xserve with eight 3GHz cores, 3TB of internal hardware RAID storage, and 32GB of RAM cruises in at under $10,000. There are 1U x86 rack servers with smaller price tags, to be sure, but none that can be taken so far in one chassis as Xserve for the money, and no PC server carries pervasive big iron design to the mainstream as Xserve does."