Infoworld Likes G5, Says Xserve More Manageable Than Linux, Cheaper Than Windows

by , 10:00 AM EDT, August 19th, 2003

Infoworld has published a very complimentary pieces on Apple's server offerings, Xserve and Xserve RAID, as well as a separate article on Apple's new Power Mac G5. Infoworld is a print magazine aimed at IT professionals, and has recently begun to feature expanded coverage of Apple's Unix-based Mac OS X offerings.

P. J. Connolly penned a feature piece for the magazine on Apple's efforts to move back into the Enterprise market. Saying that it wasn't so long ago that people looking at Apple would be mocked in the corporate space, but that Xserve and its accompanying Xserve RAID has changed all that. More importantly, the article specifically says that Apple's Xserve is "more manageable out of the box than a Linux system and less expensive than Windows." From the article:

The argument for the current Xserve model is fairly straightforward: it's a compact 1U package with an OS that's more manageable out of the box than a Linux system and less expensive than Windows, and it makes even the drabbest server room look cutting-edge. Improvements over the original version include faster G4 processors running at 1.33GHz, enhanced cooling systems that take advantage of the G4's load-based power consumption, some less-elaborate cooling improvements including more holes in the front of the case, and more efficient hexagonal holes in the rear. A new optical drive features a slot-load mechanism instead of the original Xserve's tray-load drive. The introduction of Apple's first serious mass-storage system in the Xserve RAID gives users the ability to address up to 2.5TB of data as a single system that's easily managed and neatly integrated with the OS.

The article has a lot of technical information on both the Xserve and Xserve RAID, including ratings of 8.3 (out of 10) for both products. The Xserve scored 9s in both Manageability and Configuration, and 8s on Performance, Scalability, and Value. The unit was awarded a 7 for Expandability, for a weighted average of 8.3. The Xserve RAID got 9s in Capacity, Reliability, Scalability, and Value, 8s in Interoperability and Performance, and a 7 in Manageability, also for a weighted average of 8.3.

Check out the full article, which we deem a very interesting read.

Another article at Infoworld, this one by Tom Yager, takes a positive look at the new Power Mac G5. From Mr. Yager:

The key to this machine's success will be throughput. The specs of all of the interconnects -- between the two CPUs, between CPUs and memory, to and from the support chip set, and between the chip set and I/O busses -- scream by desktop PC standards. Each processor has its own 1GHz bus. Memory bandwidth is 6.4GB per second. The 64-bit expansion bus runs at 133MHz and conforms to the PCI-X standard commonly reserved for servers. The graphics accelerator is fed by an 8X AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) Pro bus for maximum speed and an ample supply of electrical power. In the Power Mac G5, data does not spend much time on the bench waiting for the bus.

IBM handed Apple the gift of a lifetime with its PowerPC 970 (dubbed G5 by Apple as a follow-on to its current G4) processor. Based on the potent Power4 core used in IBM's high-performance computers, the 970 is the first PowerPC chip capable of running 64-bit software. By extension, the Power Mac G5 is Apple's first 64-bit computer, and the first 64-bit desktop machine to hit the market. It can address more memory (the first G5 holds up to 8GB of RAM) and store more and larger floating-point numbers in the CPU. The processor's internal capacity for data storage (small data blocks called registers) has been markedly expanded, as has the pipeline for instructions awaiting execution.

He begins the article with some positive comments on Apple's industrial design, and ends it with the cautious, and realistic, note that "it's too early to start heaping praise or finding fault" with the Power Mac G5. The full article is a good read.

Thanks to Observer AaronRun for the heads up on both articles.

The Mac Observer Spin:

That's a nice, solid review for Apple's server offerings, and do we need to mention those very favorable comparisons to Linux and Windows? Not that Linux is the bad guy by any means, but this piece should give Apple some added muscle when talking to corporate buyers. As we have said recently, Apple's battle for market share and mind share in the IT world will be a long one, and in such a battle, slow and steady wins the race. We do ask your forgiveness for the mixed metaphors, but the point is that it's all about making one step at a time, and exposure like this from a magazine like Infoworld should make the next step or two a bit easier.

We also enjoyed the article on the G5. There wasn't much new in it, per se, but it's yet more exposure for Apple to a crowd that doesn't normally hang out at TMO or subscribe to Macworld, MacAddict, or MacDesign. If we were lemmings, or perhaps Unix professionals, that article would make us think a bit more seriously about the G5, and you can't ask much more than that.