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Apple Receives Orders For 4000 Xserves, Begins Shipping (Updated)

Apple Receives Orders For 4000 Xserves, Begins Shipping (Updated)

by , 3:15 PM EDT, July 1st, 2002

[Updated: We misplaced a decimal place in our original story. The correct estimate on Xserve sales is included in the story below. Thanks to Observer Tom for alerting us to our error.]

Apple has begun shipping its rack mount server solution, the Xserve. Announced in April, the company is also touting orders for 4,000 Xserve units, though the company didn't break down how many of those 4,000 are heading into dealer inventory, and how many are direct customer orders. The Xserve is Apple's dedicated Mac OS X Server solution for IT departments, rendering farms, touring acts that run on Macs, and other environments where users need the convenience of a rack mount solution. With a median price of US$3,498.50 each, that's not quite US$14 million in sales. From Apple:

Apple® today announced that is has begun shipping Xserve™, its powerful new rack-mount server, and has received orders for over 4,000 Xserve servers since its introduction in May. Apple also announced that industry standard performance tests show Xserve outperforms more expensive, similarly configured server offerings in web serving, disk performance and running the mission-critical Biotech application BLAST.

"We introduced Xserve only a few weeks ago, and we've already received orders for over 4,000 of them," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president, Worldwide Product Marketing. "Xserve's G4 processing power, massive storage, incredible I/O performance and Mac OS X Server software with unlimited-client licenses are making it a hit with customers who want an affordable, powerful 1U rack-mount server."

Industry standard tests show Xserve delivers exceptional performance, out-classing more expensive, similarly configured servers from Dell, IBM and Sun. As measured side-by-side in web serving, BLAST implementation and disk performance, Xserve outperforms its competitors in the following ways:

  • Apache Web Server—Xserve can support 60 percent more connections on an Apache Web Server than an IBM eServer x330. Under industry standard WebBench* performance benchmarks, an Xserve 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. Xserve provides an affordable and robust server platform for even the most industrial strength web applications.
  • BLAST implementation—Xserve is up to 19 times faster than Sun for DNA searches running BLAST. This is based on a standard search of over 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. On a word length of 8, Apple's Xserve is nearly 8 times faster than IBM and over 19 times faster than Sun. On a word length of 40, Xserve is 5.8 times faster than IBM and 13.9 times faster than Sun. An Xserve running Apple/Genentech BLAST reduces search time from hours to minutes for the kinds of gene searches life sciences customers perform every day.
  • Disk performance—Apple's integrated hardware and software and a unique independent ATA drive architecture allow Xserve to offer higher disk performance at a lower cost than SCSI drive based servers. Xserve provides performance of over 110MB using a four way ATA RAID stripe compared with a Dell PowerEdge 1650 with hardware RAID controller with a three way SCSI RAID stripe which provides only around 70MB sustained throughput.

* WebBench(TM) is a trademark of Ziff Davis Publishing Holdings Inc., an affiliate of eTesting Labs Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. The test run by Apple used Ziff Davis Media's WebBench(TM) version 4.1 with the standard test suite STATIC_WB41.TST.

You can find more information on the Xserve at Apple's Web site, including pricing, configuration, and specifications.

The Mac Observer Spin:

US$14 million isn't enough to write home about to a company the size of Apple, but it's a HUGE first step in Apple's quest to bring Mac OS X Server into IT departments. 4,000 Xserves on the market represents a lot of eyeballs within the IT world looking at Mac OS X, and that has a significant untold value. In our opinion, this a great start for Apple.

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