Apple Divulges Storage Details

Apple Divulges Storage Details

Evan Koblentz

Apple Computer Inc. Monday announced technical details and March availability for its delayed RAID appliance and announced upgrades to the Xserve rack-mounted computer.

Xserve RAID has three models, with 720GB at $5,999, 1.26TB at $7,499, and 2.5TB at $10,999, officials said. All of the models have 8MB of on-drive cache; dual 2G-bps Fibre Channel ports; a dedicated bus for each ATA drive; and support for Apple-developed hardware acceleration of RAID levels 0, 1, 3, 5 and 0+1, they said. Its Fibre Channel cards, using technology from LSI Logic Corp., cost $499 each.

The 3U Xserve RAID uses drives from Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Inc., and has logical unit number masking. Storage switches from Vixel Corp. are certified, with qualifications for Brocade Communications Systems Inc. and QLogic Corp. coming soon, officials said. However, Xserve RAID itself doesn’t yet support storage-area networking, officials of Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple said.

Companies like Charismac Engineering Inc., CommandSoft Inc. and Rorke Data Inc. already offer SAN software for the Macintosh operating system.

Other features of Xserve RAID include hot-swappable power and cooling modules; Java-based administration software with e-mail alerting; support for Apple’s Rendezvous networking technology; and add-on options for extra drive bays, cache and cache batteries, officials said.

Also Monday, Apple announced upgrades for Xserve itself, the company’s 1U rack-mounted server that shipped last summer. There are two new configurations. Users can buy a single 1.33GHz PowerPC G4 processor with 256MB RAM and ATA/133 drives, for $2,799, or dual-processor versions with 512MB RAM for $3,799. Prior versions had 1GHz processors and were more expensive. Apple also offers custom-built options for more memory, storage, optical drives, video cards and Fibre Channel/SCSI drives.

Copyright © 2004 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in eWEEK.