Apple Xserve

Apple Xserve

Apple Xserve

Vendor's description:

More up front.

Xserve features a front-panel USB 2.0 port, making it easier to connect and access a USB keyboard, mouse, or mass storage device.

Quick look.

Get an at-a-glance view of power, the enclosure lock, Ethernet links, the system identifier, and all network activity. The lock secures the ports, drives, and enclosure.

Power supply. Times two.

Xserve has optional dual redundant power supplies. Hot swappable and load sharing, they provide enhanced redundancy — and easy serviceability in case of a failure.

Keeping it cool.

Xserve features an active cooling system that intelligently manages fan speeds. Each fan has two independent counter-rotating blades and is individually monitored and controlled by over a dozen temperature sensors. This ensures that each fan runs only as fast as it needs to in order to cool the system — perfectly — over a wide range of environmental conditions. And lower fan speed means lower power consumption. Learn more about Xserve energy efficiency

Xserve ID.

System vital statistics are printed on the system identification card on the back of Xserve for asset tracking and support. And there’s room for your site-specific information such as host name and IP address.

Fits right in.

Xserve fits into all types of standard racks and cabinets, so you can use what you already have or buy new racks right off the shelf to meet your specific requirements. There’s no need for a special “Apple rack.” You can install the server in any of several kinds of racks, including open four-post racks and cabinets from 24 to 36 inches deep.

Introducing Intel Xeon “Nehalem.”

Many quad-core processors are composed of two separate dies, which means some cached data has to travel outside the processor to get from core to core. That’s an inefficient way to access information. Enter the Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Nehalem” processor. Its single-die, 64-bit architecture makes 8MB of fully shared L3 cache readily available to each of the four processor cores. The result is fast access to cache data, reduced traffic between processors, and greater application performance. Combine that with the other technological advances and you get an Xserve that’s up to 2x faster than the previous generation.

Integrated memory controller.

System memory is often connected to a processor through a separate I/O controller. But each Intel Xeon “Nehalem” processor features an integrated memory controller that connects memory directly to the processor, reducing memory latency by up to 40 percent. The integrated memory controller provides three channels of fast 1066MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM. And when you configure the new Xserve with eight processing cores, you double your memory resources to six channels and 12 physical DIMM slots. The result is up to a 2.4x increase in memory bandwidth over the previous-generation Xserve.2

Increased performance per watt.

The new Xserve delivers a 19 percent reduction in idle power consumption and provides 89 percent better performance per watt over the previous generation when running server workloads.3 How do you get more performance with less energy? For starters, the Intel Xeon “Nehalem” processor is built on an industry-leading 45-nm process technology that reduces leakage and improves switching times. Integrated power gates in the processor design allow an advanced power management system to dynamically manage cores, threads, cache, and interfaces to deliver outstanding energy efficiency and performance on demand. These power management enhancements, coupled with smart system design in Xserve, mean a server that’s less expensive to power and cool.

More I/O bandwidth.

The new Xserve delivers up to 2x the I/O bandwidth of the previous generation via two 16-lane (x16) wide PCI Express 2.0 expansion slots. Because the slots are independent, bandwidth isn’t shared between them. So you get all the bandwidth you need for the latest I/O cards, including 10Gb Ethernet and multiport 4Gb Fibre Channel cards.

Built-in graphics.

Thanks to a built-in NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 graphics card, it’s easy to manage your system using a keyboard, mouse, and display, without taking a valuable expansion slot. The 2D/3D acceleration of the GPU enhances rendering and video processing, a valuable feature for Apple’s professional applications and server-side video processing tools such as Podcast Producer in Mac OS X Server. An optional VGA adapter supports connection to standard VGA devices and KVM (keyboard-video-mouse) switches.

Industry-leading storage.

Xserve offers three 3.5-inch drive bays supporting up to 6TB of internal storage. That’s a rarity, considering that many popular 1U servers can only handle two 3.5-inch drives or four lower-capacity 2.5-inch drives. But Xserve doesn’t stop there. With support for RAID 5 via an optional RAID card, along with a new solid-state drive option, it ups the ante in server storage capability.

Solid-state of the art.

A new 128GB solid-state drive option provides an ultrafast, low-power boot drive alternative.1 Operating at under 1 watt — versus 12 to 18 watts for a typical spinning drive — this solid-state drive delivers random-access performance that’s up to 20x faster than a SAS drive and up to 48x faster than a SATA drive.2 All with read and write performance that’s about the same as a typical 3.5-inch SATA drive. And since this 1.8-inch drive is installed in a dedicated location, it doesn’t take up a valuable drive bay, leaving all three bays available for primary storage and RAID applications.

Optional hardware RAID.

Trust Xserve to deliver the ultimate reliability for critical server environments. For enhanced dataprotection and performance up to 497MB/s,2 a new optional Xserve RAID Card provides hardware RAID 0, 1, and 5 with 512MB of cache and a 72-hour battery backup.

Flexible drive options.

Xserve Serial ATA (SATA) Apple Drive Modules pack up to 6TB in a 1U form factor. Rated 24/7 for server-class reliability and performance, these drives are an outstanding dollar-per-gigabyte value. Or add 15,000-rpm Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) drive modules and enjoy the highest disk performance available today. SAS drives deliver higher sequential performance (up to 163MB/s2), outstanding random-access performance, and best-in-class mean time between failure (MTBF) ratings for the most demanding applications.

Simply powerful.

Mac OS X Server brings its enhanced multicore performance, astounding system improvements, and powerful features to Xserve. You can easily set up and manage servers, add new clients to the network, share calendars, schedule meetings, manage remote access, and more. Mac OS X Server also offers incredibly smart and efficient services for your network, including Address Book Server, iCal Server 2, Wiki Server 2, and Podcast Producer 2. Learn more about Mac OS X Server

No CALs.

With Mac OS X Server, you don’t have to pay extra for client access licenses. That’s right: Every Xserve comes with an unlimited Mac OS X Server client license. Mac OS X Server even supports 64-bit addressing and large LUNs without requiring you to buy a special enterprise version. Everything you need to get Mac OS X Server up and running comes with Xserve.

UNIX foundation. Mac OS X Server is built on a fully compliant UNIX foundation. This rock-solid core provides the stability, performance, and security that organizations require — and full UNIX conformance ensures compatibility with existing server and application software. An Open Brand UNIX 03 Registered Product, Mac OS X Server can compile and run all your existing UNIX code. So you can deploy it in environments that demand full conformance, complete with hooks to maintain compatibility with existing software.

Windows and Linux clients welcome.

Xserve isn’t just for the Mac. With out-of-the-box support for Mac, Windows, UNIX, and Linux clients, Xserve is the easiest way to provide powerful, innovative network and Internet services for multiplatform workgroups. Active Directory support, for example, makes it easy to add Xserve to your Windows-based IT environment to support an expanding population of Mac clients.

Working with workgroups.

With Xserve and Mac OS X Server, workgroups of any size on any platform can benefit from the management, system imaging, security, and collaboration features that integrate seamlessly with the desktop user experience.

The ultimate remote control.

Power on, power off, and reboot from anywhere there’s a network connection. Xserve unchains you from the server room with integrated lights-out management hardware and Apple’s Server Monitor application. Enhanced with Bonjour discovery, Server Monitor makes it easy to manage and monitor Xserve systems remotely from your Mac OS X desktop. It features a smart and simple GUI application that keeps a close eye on things and can send email notifications if it detects a problem. Using the IPMI 2.0 standard, each management session is securely encrypted to ensure that your private data stays private.

Next steps:

The Computerworld Find a Server Tool is a first step to get you on the right path. However, before proceeding with any purchase you should always consult the vendor or partner to see if the server is right for you, verify the price of your configuration for the device and check the server specifications in more detail.

Visit the Apple website for more information on this server

For additional resources see our Buyers’ Guides or check out some Server Reviews.

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