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Apple Unveils Xserve RAID Storage System

Apple CEO Steve Jobs today unveiled the company’s

Xserve RAID storage system

, a 3U high-availability, rack storage system that delivers 3.5 terabytes of storage capacity, performance of up to 210 MBps throughput and a price for storage of just over $3 per gigabyte. Xserve RAID is available immediately. With the Xserve RAID announcement, Apple also introduced support for

Windows and Linux-based computing environments

, industry standard Small Form-factor Pluggable (SFP) connectors and broad industry support from 11 companies including Microsoft, Veritas, Red Hat, Brocade and QLogic.

“For the first time, customers running Windows and Linux can take advantage of Xserve RAID’s incredible price performance and breakthrough technology,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “Less than a year after we shipped the first Xserve RAID, we’re now offering more power and more storage at an even lower price per gigabyte. With prices starting at just $5,999, we’re offering an incredible storage solution at just a fraction of the cost of Sun, HP, Dell or EMC.”

The architecture of Xserve RAID delivers massive storage density and exceptional performance. Designed with 14 independent ATA/100 drive channels, Xserve RAID provides up to 3.5TB of storage capacity, while the dual independent RAID controllers offer sustained throughput of over 200 MBps — high enough to support uncompressed 10-bit HD video editing using protected RAID level 5.

The Apple Xserve RAID has qualified under the

Microsoft Designed for Windows Logo Program

. Apple successfully completed all of the tests necessary for qualification for the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 operating system.

“This is the first time we are certifying an Apple product on our

Red Hat Enterprise Linux platform

,” said Mike Evans, vice president of Channel Sales and Development at Red Hat. “This combination delivers one of the most aggressively priced storage solutions available on Linux today.”

“We are pleased that the Apple Xserve RAID has successfully completed Fabric Aware testing with Brocade fabric switches in multi-vendor SAN environments,” said Jay Kidd, Brocade’s vice president of Product Management. “Storage area networks are being deployed worldwide at a rapid rate as a scalable, high-performance networking foundation for storage environments. The

Fabric Aware program

is an example of our continued commitment to delivering end-to-end interoperability to SAN customers.”

“The certification of Xserve RAID with QLogic

SANbox2-64

and

SANbox 5200

Fibre Channel switches provides a smart and cost-effective choice for data availability and reliability within storage area networks,” said Frank Berry, vice president of Marketing, QLogic Corp. “For the first time, customers can take advantage of Apple’s compelling performance, density and value to deliver networked storage that is simple to set up and manage with Apple’s legendary ease of use.”

RAID Admin

, Apple’s Java-based management and monitoring utility, has been enhanced with new features to make administration even easier.

RAID Set Slicing

allows administrators to partition RAID sets into smaller segments allowing storage to be distributed on up to 16 servers, and

RAID Set Expansion

makes adding hard drives a simple task with no downtime required. RAID Admin also features enhanced testing and repair tools and a more intuitive user interface.

Xserve RAID connects to any Xserve or Power Mac using the dual-channel 2GB

Apple Fibre Channel PCI Card

, sold separately for $499. This high-speed storage interface offers dedicated bandwidth with a throughput of up to 210 MBps. Apple’s PCI card comes with two high-speed 2.9-meter copper fibre channel SFP-to-SFP cables and accepts SFP optical transceivers for use with fiber optic cables.

Customers with mixed platform networks and non-Apple servers can now take advantage of Xserve RAID. Apple has worked with leading storage network vendors to certify Xserve RAID compatible with popular hardware and software common in heterogeneous storage networks. These certifications include:

Additional supported operating systems now include Microsoft Windows 2003 Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux v.2.1 and v.3, and Yellow Dog Linux.

Apple offers a choice of services and support programs for Xserve RAID including four-hour on-site response, 24×7 technical support, AppleCare Service Parts Kits and the AppleCare Professional SupportLine and Tools program.

Xserve RAID is available today. Xserve RAID comes in three standard configurations, and can be fully customized to meet specific customer requirements. Build-to-order options can include additional Apple Drive Modules, additional cache memory and cache battery modules.

The $5,999 Xserve RAID option includes:

  • Dual independent RAID controllers with 128MB cache per controller with support for up to 512MB cache per controller
  • Dual 2GB Fibre Channel SFP ports with 200 MBps throughput per channel
  • Four 250GB ATA/100 Apple Drive Modules
  • 1TB RAID 0 total available storage
  • 8MB on-drive cache.

The $7,499 Xserve RAID option includes:

  • Dual independent RAID controllers with 128MB cache per controller with support for up to 512MB cache per controller
  • Dual 2GB Fibre Channel SFP ports with 200 MBps throughput per channel
  • Seven 250GB ATA/100 Apple Drive Modules
  • 1.75TB RAID 0 total available storage
  • 8MB on-drive cache.

The $10,999 Xserve RAID option includes:

  • Dual independent RAID controllers with 128MB cache per controller with support for up to 512MB cache per controller
  • Dual 2GB Fibre Channel SFP ports with 200 MBps throughput per channel
  • fourteen 250GB ATA/100 Apple Drive Modules
  • 3.5TB RAID 0 total available storage
  • 8MB on-drive cache.
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