Xserve

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A small Xserve cluster with an Xserve RAID

Xserve is a line of rack unit computers designed by Apple Inc. for use as servers. When the Xserve was introduced in 2002, it was Apple's first designated server hardware design since the Apple Network Server in 1996. (In the mean time, ordinary Power Macintosh G3 and G4 models were rebranded as Macintosh Server G3 and Macintosh Server G4 with some alterations to the hardware, such as added Gigabit Ethernet cards, UltraWide SCSI cards, extra large and fast hard drives etc. and shipped with Mac OS X Server software.) It initially featured one or two PowerPC G4 processors, but was later switched over to the then new PowerPC G5, and subsequently switched again to two quad-core Intel Nehalem microprocessors.[1]

The Xserve can be used for a variety of applications, including file server, web server or even high-performance computing applications using clustering – a dedicated cluster Xserve, the Xserve Cluster Node, without a video card and optical drives was also available. On November 5, 2010, Apple announced that the Xserve line would be discontinued on January 31, 2011[2] and replaced with the Mac Pro Server and the Mac Mini Server.

Xserve G4
Xserve G4.jpg
The original Xserve G4
Second-generation Xserve G4
The second-generation Xserve G4
Xserve Cluster Node.jpg
The Xserve G4 Cluster Node
Developer Apple Inc.
Type Rackmounted Server
Release date May 14, 2002
Discontinued January 6, 2004
CPU Single or dual PowerPC G4,
1 GHz – 1.33 GHz

Xserve G4[edit]

Apple introduced the Xserve on May 14, 2002 (released in June). Initially, two configuration options were available: a single-processor Xserve at US$2999 and a dual-processor Xserve at US$3999. Xserves sold before August 24, 2002 shipped with Mac OS X v10.1 "Puma" Server, while those sold after shipped with Mac OS X v10.2 "Jaguar" Server.

On February 10, 2003, Apple released an improved and expanded Xserve lineup. Improvements included one or two 1.33 GHz PowerPC G4 processors, faster memory, and higher capacity Ultra ATA/133 hard disk drives. The front plate was redesigned for a slot-loading optical drive. A new model, the Xserve Cluster node was announced at the same price as the single-processor Xserve, featuring two 1.33 GHz processors, no optical drive, a single hard drive bay, no video or Ethernet cards, and a 10-client version of "Jaguar" server.

On April 2, 2003 the Xserve RAID was introduced, providing a much higher capacity and higher throughput disk subsystem for the Xserve.

Component Xserve G4 Xserve G4 (Slot Load) Xserve G4 Cluster Node
Model identifier RackMac1,1 RackMac1,2
Processor 1 GHz or Dual 1 GHz 1.33 GHz or Dual 1.33 GHz Dual 1.33 GHz
CPU cache 64 KB L1, 256 KB (1:1) L2, 2 MB L3 (Per Processor)
Front side bus 133 MHz 167 MHz
Memory 256 MB of PC2100 DDR SDRAM (1 GHz)
512 MB of PC2100 DDR SDRAM (DP 1 GHz)
Expandable to 2 GB
256 MB of PC2700 DDR SDRAM (1.33 GHz)
512 MB of PC2700 DDR SDRAM (DP 1.33 GHz)
Expandable to 2 GB
256 MB of PC2700 DDR SDRAM
Expandable to 2 GB
Graphics ATI PCI Graphics with 32 MB of DDR SDRAM
Optional ATI Radeon 8500 (AGP 4x)
ATI PCI Graphics with 32 MB of DDR SDRAM
Optional AGP 4x card with 64 MB of DDR SDRAM
None
Hard drive 60 or 120 GB 7200-rpm ATA
Up to 4x 120 GB (480 GB)
60 GB 7200-rpm ATA
Up to 4x 180 GB (720 GB)
60 GB 7200-rpm ATA
Ultra ATA/100 (Optional Ultra 160 SCSI)
Four Internal Bays
Ultra ATA/133
Four Internal Bays
Ultra ATA/133
Optical drive CD-ROM
Tray-loading
CD-ROM or CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo Drive
Slot-loading
None
Connectivity 2x Gigabit Ethernet (One on PCI card) 1x Gigabit Ethernet
Expansion 2x 64-bit 66 MHz PCI slots
1x 66 MHz PCI/AGP slot (Used for gigabit ethernet card)
2x 64-bit 66 MHz PCI slots
Peripherals 2x USB 1.1
3x Firewire 400
1x RS-232 serial
2x USB 1.1
1x Firewire 400
2x Firewire 800
1x RS-232 serial
Video out VGA VGA or (VGA, DVI and S-Video) with AGP 4x card None
Maximum Operating System Mac OS X Server version 10.5.8 "Leopard"
Weight 11.8 kg (26 Pounds)

Xserve G5[edit]

Xserve G5
Xserve G5.jpg
The Xserve G5
Xserve Cluster Node.jpg
The Xserve G5 Cluster Node
Developer Apple Inc.
Type Rackmounted Server
Release date January 6, 2004
Discontinued November 2006
CPU Single or dual PowerPC G5,
2 GHz – 2.3 GHz

On January 6, 2004 Apple introduced the Xserve G5, a redesigned higher-performance Xserve. The 32-bit PowerPC G4s were replaced with one or two 64-bit PowerPC 970 processors running at 2 GHz. Ventilation issues restricted it to three SATA hot-swap drive bays, with the original space for the fourth drive bay used for air vents. The front plate and slot-loading optical drive were retained from the last Xserve G4. The higher memory capacity and bandwidth as well as the stronger floating-point performance of the PowerPC 970 made it more suitable for high-performance computing (HPC) applications. System X is one such cluster computer built with Xserves.

Three configuration options were available: a single-processor model at US$2999, a dual-processor model at $3999, and a dual-processor cluster node model (with an unchanged appearance from the G4 cluster node) at US$2999.

On January 3, 2005, Apple updated the Xserve G5 with faster processors in the dual-processor configurations. 400 GB hard disks were made available for up to 1.2 TB of internal storage. The slot-loading optical drive was upgraded to a combination DVD-ROM/CD-RW standard, DVD-/+RW optional. Soon after, Apple updated the Xserve and Xserve RAID to allow the use of 500 GB Hard Drives.

Xserve G5 models before April 2005 shipped with Mac OS X v10.3 "Panther", after April 2005 shipped with Mac OS X v10.4 "Tiger".

Component Xserve G5 Xserve G5 Cluster Node
Model identifier RackMac3,1
Processor 2 GHz, Dual 2 GHz, or Dual 2.3 GHz Dual 2 GHz or Dual 2.3 GHz
CPU cache 512 KB L2
Front side bus 1 GHz (2.0 GHz SP or DP)
1.15 GHz (2.3 GHz DP)
Memory 512 MB or 1 GB of 400 MHz PC3200 ECC DDR SDRAM
Expandable to 16 GB
512 MB of 400 MHz PC3200 ECC DDR SDRAM
Expandable to 16 GB
Graphics None
Optional PCI card
Hard drive 80 GB
Up to 3x 500 GB (1.5 TB)
80 GB
Serial ATA 7200-rpm
Three Internal Bays
Serial ATA 7200-rpm
Optical drive CD-ROM, CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo Drive or DVD-RW SuperDrive
Slot-loading
None
Connectivity 2x Gigabit Ethernet
Expansion 2x 64-bit PCI-X slots
Peripherals 2x USB 2.0
2x Firewire 800
1x Firewire 400
1x RS-232 serial
Video out None (VGA with optional PCI card)
Maximum Operating System Mac OS X Server 10.5.8 "Leopard"
Weight 15.1 kg (33 Pounds)

Intel Xserve[edit]

Xserve "Xeon"
Xserve G5.jpg
The Intel Xserve
Developer Apple Inc.
Type Rackmounted Server
Release date November 2006
Discontinued January 31, 2011
CPU Single or Dual Intel Xeon Dual or Quad Core CPUs, 2.0 GHz – 3.33 GHz
Website apple.com/xserve

The Intel-based Xserves were announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference on August 7, 2006, and are significantly faster compared to the Xserve G5. They use Intel Xeon ('Woodcrest') processors, DDR2 ECC FB-DIMMs, ATI Radeon graphics, a maximum storage capacity of 2.25 TB when used with three 750 GB drives, optional redundant power supplies and a 1U rack form factor. The Intel Xserves now had on board video, freeing up an expansion slot.

On January 8, 2008 Xserve was updated to use Intel Xeon ('Harpertown') processors faster memory, and a maximum storage capacity of 3 TB when used with three 1 TB drives. The front mounted FireWire 400 port featured in previous models was also replaced with a USB 2.0 port. The Xserve RAID was discontinued on February 19, 2008.

On April 7, 2009 Xserve was updated to use Intel Xeon ('Gainestown') processors (DDR3 memory, and NVIDIA graphics with Mini DisplayPort output. The update also saw an increase to the maximum storage capacity, bringing it to 6 TB when used with three 2 TB drives. An option to add a SSD boot-drive that does not occupy a drive bay was also implemented. The addition of the SSD boot drive allows all drives to be swapped whilst the server remains online. It was also Apple's first Xserve to use PVC-free internal cables and components and contain no brominated flame retardants.

On August 28, 2009 Xserve was updated to ship standard with Mac OS X Server 10.6 Unlimited Client Server. In addition to improved functionality Mac OS X 10.6 Server added support for up to 96 GB of RAM (a configuration which is not currently supported by the Xserve system-board).[3]

On November 5, 2010, Apple announced that it would not be developing a future version of Xserve. While accepting orders for the current model until January 31, 2011, and "honoring" all Xserve warranties and extended support programs, the company suggested users switch to Mac Pro Server or Mac Mini Server.[2]

Component Xserve (Late 2006) Xserve (Early 2008) Xserve (2009)
Model identifier Xserve1,1 Xserve2,1 Xserve3,1
Processor Dual 2 GHz, Dual 2.66 GHz, or Dual 3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon 5100 2.8 GHz, Dual 2.8 GHz, or Dual 3 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5400 2.26 GHz, Dual 2.26 GHz, Dual 2.66 GHz, or Dual 2.93 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5500
CPU cache 1 MB L2 (Per Processor) 2 MB L2 (Per Processor) 4MB L3 (Per Processor)
System bus 1333 MHz Front side bus (Per Processor) 1600 MHz Front side bus (Per Processor) QPI
Memory 1 GB of 667 MHz PC2-5300 Fully Buffered ECC DDR2 SDRAM
Expandable to 32 GB
2 GB of 800 MHz PC2-6400 Fully Buffered ECC DDR2 SDRAM
Expandable to 32 GB
3 GB of 1066 MHz PC3-8500 ECC DDR3 SDRAM
Expandable to 24 GB (Quad Core) or 48 GB (Eight Core)
Unofficially 48 GB (Quad Core) or 96 GB (Eight Core)
[4]
Graphics ATI Radeon X1300 with 64 of GDDR3 SDRAM
Optional ATI Radeon X1300 with 32 MB of DDR2 SDRAM
ATI Radeon X1300 with 64 of GDDR3 SDRAM NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 with 32 MB of GDDR3 SDRAM
Hard drive 80 GB SATA
SATA: Up to 3x 750 GB (2.25 TB)
SAS: Up to 3x 300 GB (900 GB)
80 GB SATA
SATA: Up to 3x 1 TB (3 TB)
SAS: Up to 3x 450 GB (1.35 TB)
160 GB SATA
SATA: Up to 3x 2 TB (6 TB)
SAS: Up to 3x 450 GB (1.35 TB)
Serial ATA 5400-rpm or SAS 15000-rpm
Three Internal Bays
Serial ATA 7200-rpm or SAS 15000-rpm
Optional 32 GB SSD Boot Drive
Three Internal Bays
Optical drive
Slot loading
CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo Drive or DVD-RW DL SuperDrive DVD-RW DL SuperDrive
Connectivity 2x Gigabit Ethernet
Expansion 1x PCIe ×8
1x configurable slot (PCIe ×8 or 133 MHz PCI-X)
1x PCIe 2.0 ×16
1x configurable slot (PCIe 2.0 ×8 or 133 MHz PCI-X)
2x PCIe 2.0 ×16 (1x 6.6" length and 1x 9.25" length)
Peripherals 2x USB 1.1
2x Firewire 400
1x Firewire 400
1x RS-232 serial
3x USB 2.0
2x Firewire 800
1x RS-232 serial
Video out Mini-DVI (VGA with adapter)
Dual-Link DVI with optional ATI video card
Mini DisplayPort
Maximum Operating System Mac OS X "Server" 10.7.5 "Lion" OS X 10.10 "Yosemite"
Weight 14.4 kg (31.7 Pounds) 14 kg (30.86 Pounds)

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Apple Network Server
Xserve
May 14, 2002
Succeeded by
Mac Mini Server
Mac Pro Server