By incorporating the new Nehalem processors into the Xserve Apple has given their servers the same benefits the processors delivered to the new Mac Pros, more power with less energy. While the additional oomph is nice for desktops users, the injection of speed and performance at the server level can increase productivity across an entire workgroup. The new quad-core processors are remarkably efficient, utilizing every last bit of productivity of the processor and cache, and removing bottlenecks to significantly improve “memory bandwidth.” The enhanced speed will benefit those running a wide variety of applications, from mail and calendar to web and database applications, as well as video and audio editing applications. We can’t wait to test one out; it looks really, really fast and it is reported to be extremely quiet.
Along with Sever-class 7200-rpm SATA drives, and 15,000-rpm SAS drives, the new Xserve offers a $500 2.5 inch, 128 GB SSD option (an SSD is essentially solid-state memory acting as a hard drive).
SSD provides an ultra-fast, low-power boot drive alternative. 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. 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.
Businesses that have been waiting to upgrade their current servers until they saw what Apple was going to offer should be pleased. The quad-core model starts at $2,999 and the 8-core at $3,599.