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3U Xserve?

pgwalsh

macrumors 68000
Jun 21, 2002
1,639
218
New Zealand
3U seems big just for heat concerns. I could see a 2U, but with a 3U unit I'd imagine more Processors.. Maybe a 4 to 6 processor unit. I wonder how loud this unit will be?
 
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Laslo Panaflex

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2003
1,291
0
Tokyo
With the current size of the G5 heatsink the G5 xserve would have to be 3U. There is no way that they can make the current G5 in a 1U enclosure. But, they might be working on some sort of new way to cool the G5. . .
 
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dho

macrumors 6502
Sep 7, 2003
279
0
California
my next computer

quad 2.2 ghz g5 :)

If the can make a 2 or 3 u exserve more efficient(power/space/heat) than having 1u I'm sure they will not hold back. It will be disapointing if the do not keep a 1u for the lower end users.

we will just have to see
 
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JoeRadar

macrumors regular
May 28, 2003
153
0
G5 3 times bettern than G4?

If you are tight for space, would three G4-based Xserves be better than one G5-based Xserve? Or to put it differently, what is the compute power per cubic inch between a 1U G4 Xserve and a 3U G5 Xserve?
 
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pgwalsh

macrumors 68000
Jun 21, 2002
1,639
218
New Zealand
Originally posted by Laslo Panaflex
With the current size of the G5 heatsink the G5 xserve would have to be 3U. There is no way that they can make the current G5 in a 1U enclosure. But, they might be working on some sort of new way to cool the G5. . .
With the PowerMac setup they were concerned with noise so they put on massive heatsinks. This allowed them to avoid putting a fan on the heatsink. That's not the case with the xserve. Granted I'd think they'd like to make it quieter, but I don't think that's a real concern. Most server are very loud. It's all about performance.
 
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mustang_dvs

macrumors 6502a
Feb 9, 2003
691
12
Durham, NC
Yeah, have you ever heard an Xserve? It's like a pair of GE F404's spooling up to full military power.

Trust me, they make the wind tunnel MDD G4 sound like a whisper.
 
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Laslo Panaflex

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2003
1,291
0
Tokyo
Originally posted by pgwalsh
With the PowerMac setup they were concerned with noise so they put on massive heatsinks. This allowed them to avoid putting a fan on the heatsink. That's not the case with the xserve. Granted I'd think they'd like to make it quieter, but I don't think that's a real concern. Most server are very loud. It's all about performance.

Yeah, I understand, but you really think they can put a G5 in a 1U enclosure with your CURRENT knowledge of the G5, I don't think so. That's does not mean they don't have lower heat producing chips from IBM or a better way to cool the things. I just think that it is more feesable for apple to make a 3U xserve, considering if it comes out soon they would have to have been working on the designs for a while and have to design for the then current hardware. Sure will will see a 1U xserve, just not anytime soon.

-end opinion
 
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cubist

macrumors 68020
Jul 4, 2002
2,075
0
Muncie, Indiana
The current Xserves use blowers, not fans. They are more than adequate for cooling G5s. As a previous poster noted, they are very, very noisy. The cooling approach taken in the PowerMac G5 is very quiet, and that's why it takes so much space.Unless Apple's gotten some flak about the Xserve's noise, they wouldn't go to 3U just for cooling considerations.
 
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Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,859
57
Even a 1.0-1.33GHz G5 in the server would be a huge step up.

The increased I/O capacity would be a HUGE boost for the XServe.

A 2-4 PPC 970 IBM blade server with Mac OS X Server running on it, would be an interesting beast. ;)
 
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pgwalsh

macrumors 68000
Jun 21, 2002
1,639
218
New Zealand
Originally posted by Laslo Panaflex
Yeah, I understand, but you really think they can put a G5 in a 1U enclosure with your CURRENT knowledge of the G5, I don't think so. That's does not mean they don't have lower heat producing chips from IBM or a better way to cool the things. I just think that it is more feesable for apple to make a 3U xserve, considering if it comes out soon they would have to have been working on the designs for a while and have to design for the then current hardware. Sure will will see a 1U xserve, just not anytime soon.

-end opinion
Yes I think they can put a G5 in a 1U enclosure... The 1 Unit rack space is a huge selling point for the Xserve. That would be something big to give up. However if they put a couple G5's in it, they might want to add a nonstick tephlon top and a graphite spatula.
 
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backspinner

macrumors 6502a
Apr 29, 2002
548
0
Eindhoven
I'm in the market for a new server. I need decent storage, I mean not size but hot-swap and fail save. And I need a real server with a real service contract. The Xserve has that. But I have minor problems with the depth of the system. Maybe a 3U system will be less deep? That would be cool.
 
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peterjhill

macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2002
1,095
0
Seattle, WA
Look at dells rack server offerings. They are some of the best rack mounted pc's in the business. They have 1RU servers and larger 2 and 4 RU machines. The 2RU is a sweet spot, allowing 2 processors, a decent amount of disk, and a decent amount of expandability.

I would hope that apple could squeeze two G5s into 2RUs. One RU is asking too much, IMHO. I would rather see a product sooner rather than later. If they are doing 3 RU's I hope they have 4 procs and at least 4 disks. They could potentially mount the disks vertically and fit more than 4, how about 8 disks and 4 G5's, that would be a sweet machine.
 
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rsnyder@psu.edu

macrumors newbie
Feb 13, 2003
7
0
Beyond the hardware what do you think xGrid is?

The story focuses on the Xgrid project mailing list that slipped out. Personally, I am wondering if the xGrid has anything to do with Oracle's 10g (as in "Grid" computing). The word at Oracle World was that Oracle will release a full OS X version with the release of 10g. There was also speculation that this would require the G5.

Since both Oracle and now Apple are talking grid computing . . . . would be sweat to run Oracle on OS X now that Sun is in dumper.

I am holding two servers in my budget waiting for the G5 xServes. My goal is in three years to get off Sun and its overpriced hardware. The Apple reps know that there are more than a few like me holding off spending until the G5 xServe arrives.
 
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szark

macrumors 68030
May 14, 2002
2,886
0
Arid-Zone-A
Re: Beyond the hardware what do you think xGrid is?

Originally posted by rsnyder@psu.edu
Personally, I am wondering if the xGrid has anything to do with Oracle's 10g (as in "Grid" computing).

Possibly. I remember hearing another rumor that it had something to do with Sun's Grid Engine software.

Personally, I think a 3U is perfect for a blade server design, or a combination Xserve/Xserve RAID (one half RAID, one half server). :D
 
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DharvaBinky

macrumors member
Jul 18, 2002
89
0
Lafayette, LA
Apple G5 Blades

Blade Chassis are typically 3U high. Perhaps we're talking about a Blade system here. with OS X and remote desktop, Blades make perfect sense.

Additionally, we have a bunch of Dell server kit here in my office. Including 1U systems, 2U systems, and 7U systems. The 1U systems offer good density, but only support 3 HD and an optical (so you can barely do RAID 5 on them), if you ditch the optical, you can fit 4 drives in the Chassis (we have some Dell 1U NAS boxes that are done this way). A 3U Xserve would allow 7-8 3.5" hotswap drives with an optical drive and some front mounted ports (if they wanted), however, it seems to me that maybe we're not thinking "far-out" enough... Given Apple's recent prediliction for ATA drives in servers, how about this:

A 4 processor 3U Xserv with:
14!! x 2.5" 80Gb 7200RPM ATA100 Drives (stacked like in an xRAID but slightly shorter because of the 2.5")

at RAID 5 that would give you about a Terrabyte of storage. not bad for a standalone server with no external storage chassis.

I think that Apple would be wise to diversify their server offerings. Keep the Mobo and most of the internals exactly the same, just add 2U and 3U chassis that allow for internal expansion. people like to have storage in their servers w/o having to buy the external chassis.

Also, G5 blades would be just plain sweet!

Dharvabinky
 
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Rincewind42

macrumors 6502a
Mar 3, 2003
620
0
Orlando, FL
I think that Apple will stick with 1U. As has been said, the massive cooling project that is the PowerMac G5 is due primarily to it being a desktop system - it can't be excessively loud. However, I don't think we'll see a G5 Xserve soon - rather I think we'll see them when 90 nm G5 become common. Add to that 4 SATA drives, each on it's own channel and hot plug-able (yes, there is enough room on the hypertransport bus for that).

If Apple did want to make the Xserve bigger, then I would expect no larger than 2U, and then I would also expect quad CPU options at least. Apple's biggest advantage on the Xserve right now is density, if they give up that advantage then there had better be a damn good reason for it.
 
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ColdZero

macrumors regular
Aug 22, 2002
163
0
Originally posted by Rincewind42
I think that Apple will stick with 1U. As has been said, the massive cooling project that is the PowerMac G5 is due primarily to it being a desktop system - it can't be excessively loud. However, I don't think we'll see a G5 Xserve soon - rather I think we'll see them when 90 nm G5 become common. Add to that 4 SATA drives, each on it's own channel and hot plug-able (yes, there is enough room on the hypertransport bus for that).

If Apple did want to make the Xserve bigger, then I would expect no larger than 2U, and then I would also expect quad CPU options at least. Apple's biggest advantage on the Xserve right now is density, if they give up that advantage then there had better be a damn good reason for it.

There is 3.2gbps availible on the HT link in the G5. Thats gonna get filled up very quickly. You have 2 gigabit ethernet interfaces. 2 PCI-X slots that are going to take 2 gbps together. You're already over 3 gbps (assuming the 2nd ethernet is in a pci-x). 3.2 gbps is fast, but it could get overloaded in a server. As for 4 proc 2u machines, think again. I have never seen a 4 proc 2u machine before. Especially one that needs so much cooling like the g5. I think a 1u dual processor 1.8ghz g5 is where it's at. There will be no quad configs in 2u. Somebody even suggested 10 cpus in 3u, are you crazy? Apple isn't making something that big, even if they could manipulate the very fabric of space itself to fit 10 processors in 3u, they aren't a big enough player in the high end market for that kind of hardware yet. The Xserve and XRaid are nice, but they don't stand up to really big iron, they aren't made for it. When apple has to worry about making big iron, then I'll be happy.
 
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Jeff Harrell

macrumors regular
Apr 19, 2003
170
0
Originally posted by peterjhill
I would hope that apple could squeeze two G5s into 2RUs.
Have a look at SGI's Tezro/Origin 350/Onyx 4. (All the same thing, basically.) It squeezes four R16000 CPU's plus disk plus PCI-X into a two-rack-unit enclosure. Apple should, at least in theory, be able to do the same thing. The 970 is big and hot, but it's not that big and hot.
 
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Jeff Harrell

macrumors regular
Apr 19, 2003
170
0
Re: Beyond the hardware what do you think xGrid is?

Originally posted by rsnyder@psu.edu
Personally, I am wondering if the xGrid has anything to do with Oracle's 10g (as in "Grid" computing).
Okay, little tutorial here. "Grid computing" is a similar idea to cluster computing, but different in an important way. In cluster computing, you take a bunch of machines and arrange them, via hardware and software, so they can act like a single machine in some very limited ways. It usually involves some kind of task-master dolling out jobs to individual members of the cluster and receiving the results. Sometimes, though not always, clusters include special high-speed hardware to reduce inter-node latency.

Grid computing is just like cluster computing, only without the cluster. The term "grid" comes from the notion of an electrical grid. Nobody knows exactly where a given watt of electricity comes from (if you'll pardon the metaphor). We just plug our lamps in and they turn on.

With grid computing, networks of standalone computers form autonomous ad hoc clusters. When you send a compute task out into the grid, you don't know exactly where the CPU cycles to execute that job are coming from, nor do you care. You just send your job off, and then the results come back later.

Grid computing is neat because it maximizes IT ROI. Accounting's database server is idle in the middle of the night; use it to run CFD calculations for engineering. And so on.

The key to grid computing is in the software. It has to be smart enough to do all of that stuff I described by itself, without human intervention.

Guess what? It's already here. It's called Qmaster, and it's a part of both Shake and Compressor. Qmaster uses Rendezvous to assemble standalone computers into an autonomous ad hoc cluster. Because it's based on Rendezvous, it requires no setup or administration. When you take a bunch of machines running Shake and distribute rendering jobs across them with Qmaster, you're not using a cluster. You're using a grid.

Xgrid is almost certainly just going to be an extension and generalization of this basic idea, quite possibly using Qmaster to do it.

(Pardon me if I was pedantic at all. I had to look all this stuff up, see, so I was all excited about being able to share what I'd learned.)
 
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tam

macrumors newbie
Mar 23, 2003
9
0
Sweden
Originally posted by cubist
The current Xserves use blowers, not fans. They are more than adequate for cooling G5s. As a previous poster noted, they are very, very noisy. The cooling approach taken in the PowerMac G5 is very quiet, and that's why it takes so much space.Unless Apple's gotten some flak about the Xserve's noise, they wouldn't go to 3U just for cooling considerations.
I used to think so too, but then we got some hp dl360 g3 running linux without hp's special software. You can hear them through the wall of the server room, the five of them produce even more noise than the three huge cooling towers. Noise isn't that much of an issue in a server room, but they don't have to make it an issue like hp. Currently rack space isn't a problem for us, and I tend to think 1U machines are less sturdy compared to 2U. On the other hand we don't mind being able to mount it with less than four people because of the weight. :)
 
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