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Apple Unveils 1U Rack-Mount Server

Computer maker Apple on Tuesday fixed its eyes on the mainstream server market, announcing the release of the Xserve 1U rack-mount server for business and education customers.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple, better known for its snazzy computer designs, said the Xserve 1U server would complement the UNIX-based Mac OS X Server software and would offer support for dual 1 GHz PowerPC G4 processors (each with 2MB of Double Data Rate (DDR) level-3 cache.

The company said Xserve was the first 1U server to use DDR SDRAM memory with up to 2GB capacity. It would offer four hot-plug ATA/100 drives (independent channels with up to 120GB in each bay), two Gigabit Ethernet ports and two 64-bit/66MHz PCI slots.

"Xserve includes an unlimited user license to Mac OS X Server software, offering users a combination for file/print service, video streaming, database applications, computational clustering and web and mail serving," Apple said in a statement.

The rack-mount dedicated server, which starts at $3,000 has been bundled with software for SMP and is available in two models -- the 1GHz/256MB/60GB, priced at $2,999; dual-1GHz/512MB/60GB priced at $3,999.

"Xserve is super easy to set up, and is easily integrated into existing networks. Plus, with its unlimited-user software license at no extra cost, Xserve is a tremendously cost effective server with real UNIX under the hood," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said.

The company said the rack-mount server would be perfect for I/O intensive applications such as digital video, high-resolution digital imagery and large scientific datasets.

Xserve, which will go up against server products from tech giants like IBM, Sun, Dell and HP, said Xserve would be available in June 2002 and would be sold as standard configurations or would be customized for specific customers.

"With four independent ATA/100 drive channels, Xserve offers nearly double the performance of other 1U servers that utilize more expensive Ultra3 SCSI drives. Xserve features several new capabilities designed to make server set up and remote management easier than ever before," the company raved.

It said the Server Admin would provide a monitoring and remote management tool to allow administrators to set up and manage all Mac OS X Server network services remotely. It includes the Server Monitor hardware monitoring tool which lets system administrators remotely monitor one or many servers, get detailed subsystem views, produce reports and receive system notification alerts via text capable email, pager, cell phones or PDAs.

Separately, Apple showcased its new RAID storage product featuring 2Gb Fiber Channel, which it plans to introduce later this year.