Apple Introduces Xserve RAID With Up To 2.52 Terabytes Of Storage

Is the 720GB of hard drive space in your Xserve not cutting it? Fear not! Today, Apple introduced the long-awaited Xserve RAID. Appleis Xserve RAID unit can hold up to 14 Apple Drive Modules, with a total capacity of 2.52 terabytes. Each of the 14 drives has its own ATA100 channel. All of the ATA100 channels are tied into two RAID controllers with up to 1GB cache, which are in turn connected to two Fibre Channel controllers. The Xserve RAID supports RAID level 5, which allows for real-time HD 1080i video editing.

The Xserve RAID was announced last year when the Xserve was announced (see TMOis full coverage on todayis Xserve update), and has been eagerly anticipated since that time. Todayis announcement completes the stated professional rackmount server product line as laid out by Apple.

From Apple:

Apple today introduced Xserve RAID, the first 3U rack storage system with a massive 2.5TB storage capacity, blazing performance of up to 400 MB/s and the industryis most aggressive price point of just over $4 (US) per gigabyte.

A unique architecture delivers the massive storage density and incredible performance of Xserve RAID. Fourteen independent ATA/100 drive channels provide up to 2.5TB of storage. Dual independent RAID controllers with up to 1GB controller cache memory provide fully-redundant storage. And a dual 2Gb Fibre Channel host interface delivers unprecedented performance. Each 180GB Apple Drive Module uses a dedicated drive channel, maximizing the 400 MB/s industry standard Fibre Channel host connection. Xserve RAID scales in capacity and performance by adding more drives, or more Xserve RAID systems for virtually unlimited expansion. And, in an industry first, Xserve RAID provides RAID level 5 throughput that supports affordable real-time HD 1080i video editing.

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The unique serviceability and redundancy features of Xserve RAID are delivered by an accessible enclosure, modular component design and continual visual feedback for local monitoring. Redundant hot swap power and cooling modules can be replaced in seconds without any interruption of service and in the event of a drive failure, access to data remains unaffected while data is automatically rebuilt on a spare drive. The indicator lights on the front and rear panels display status at a glance for all system components and a built-in audible alarm provides local failure notification.

With Appleis legendary ease of use, the included Java-based RAID Admin software provides detailed event information about the system and in the event of a problem automatically sends e-mail notification. RAID Admin provides an intuitive interface for setting up, managing and monitoring multiple Xserve RAID systems from anywhere on the Internet over TCP/IP through a secure encrypted password. In addition, using Appleis new Rendezvous networking technology, RAID Admin can also automatically discover and connect to Xserve RAID systems over any IP network.

Xserve connects easily to Xserve RAID using the dual channel 2Gb Apple Fibre Channel PCI Card sold separately at an industry breakthrough price of $499 (US) (SRP.) This high-speed industry standard storage interface offers dedicated bandwidth with a throughput of up to 400MB/s. Appleis PCI card comes with two high-speed 2.9-meter copper cables and accepts SFP (Small Form-factor Pluggable) copper or optical transceivers for use with fiber-optic cables.

You can find more information at Appleis Xserve RAID page. The Xserve RAID will be available in March. Pricing will be US$5999 for 720GB, US$7499 for 1.26TB, and US$10999 for 2.52TB.