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Claiming an 89 percent improvement in performance per watt, Apple today
announced immediate availability of its updated Xserve server that uses Intel’s
Nehalem Xeon 5500 processor. It’s a message that Apple hopes will resonate with
customers in education, business and creative services, where Apple is
targeting the workgroup server. 

Resellers contacted by Channel Insider say that the education market remains
one of the strong verticals in 2009 so far.

The new Nehalem-based Apple Xserve is available through authorized Apple
resellers and through the Apple Store. The price for the Xserve starts at
$2,999, which includes an unlimited-client license for Mac OS Xserver Version
10.5 Leopard that provides support for Mac, Linux and Windows clients without
the added cost of client licenses, according to Apple.

“With up to twice the performance, better power efficiency and an innovative SSD
(solid state drive) option, this is the best Xserve we’ve ever made,” says David
Moody, Apple’s vice president of worldwide Mac product marketing, in a prepared
formal statement issued by the company.

Performance per watt marks one of the major features Nehalem delivers,
according to Intel, which launched
the server or Xeon version
of its Nehalem
processor last week
amid support announcements from other server
manufacturers such as HP, Dell and IBM. 

Apple’s 1U rack-optimized Xserve is available with up to two 2.93GHz Intel Xeon
processors and storage options that include the low-power SSD.
Each Xeon processor comes with an integrated memory controller with three
channels of 1,066MHz DDR3 ECC
memory, which Apple says delivers up to 2.4 times the memory bandwidth while
cutting memory latency up to 49 percent.  In addition, the use of
high-efficiency power supplies and intelligent thermal management enables
Xserve to deliver a 19 percent reduction in idle power use, Apple says.

Xserve’s storage includes a 128GB SSD
boot-drive option. In addition, Xserve offers three 3.5-inch drive bays that support
both 7,200-rpm SATA and 15,000-rpm SAS drives and can be configured with up to
3TB of internal storage, according to Apple. The new Xserve also offers two PCI
Express 2.0 x16 expansion slots. In addition, a 72-hour backup battery is
included for enhanced data protection.

On the software side, Leopard Server includes Podcast Producer, Wiki Server and
iCal Server, a commercial CalDAV standard-based calendar server, Apple says.
Also, Leopard Server is fully Unix-compliant and provides LDAP and Active Directory
support.

Xserve also offers dual Gigabit Ethernet on-board, Server Monitor Software, and
two FireWire 800 and three USB 2.0 ports

Apple says it is also offering build-to-order options and accessories for
Xserve including dual 2.26GHz, 2.66GHz or 2.93GHz Intel Xeon processors; 160GB
and 1TB 7,200-rpm SATA Apple Drive Modules; 450GB 15,000-rpm SAS drives (third-party
option); an internal Xserve RAID card; Gigabit Ethernet; 4GB Fibre Channel
cards; and a 750W redundant power supply.