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New 1U Rackmount?

dstorey

macrumors 6502a
Dec 14, 2002
527
0
teo circular air intakes would look powerful anyway. Wonder if the move to serial ATA would mean they can get drive sizes for the tree bays to be compirable to what the current 4 drive bay model can get to?
 

Rincewind42

macrumors 6502a
Mar 3, 2003
620
0
Orlando, FL
3 bays

Somehow it wouldn't surprise me if it only had 3 external bays and one fixed bay internally. After all, it's not like on a current XServe you can eject the drive bay that the OS is running on and keep going, so by keeping one bay internal they can reduce that issue. The only downside is that it would reduce the "walk away" security, that is at the end of the day shutdown and take the startup disk with you.
 

backspinner

macrumors 6502a
Apr 29, 2002
548
0
Eindhoven
I don't think the "walk away" security feature is used widely. More important are the mounting problems smaller shops have with this beast. A two or three U system would be nice.
 

Rincewind42

macrumors 6502a
Mar 3, 2003
620
0
Orlando, FL
Originally posted by backspinner
I don't think the "walk away" security feature is used widely. More important are the mounting problems smaller shops have with this beast. A two or three U system would be nice.

Yea, I wouldn't think so either =). But what mounting problems do you refer to? I understand the current XServe is a huge machine and practically requires 2 people to get it in the rack, but I don't know of any other problems.

From my bit of experience though, small businesses tend to have more issues finding space for racks or paying for additional racks. Place I used to work at virtually filled a rack with 4x3U equipment + KVM + Monitor + Power Supply, at most they could add 1 more 3U to that before having to buy a new rack. Equivalent 1U equipment would still give them room for 9+ more units, which given space and budget constraints would have been much nicer.
 

RalphNumbers

macrumors newbie
May 9, 2003
29
0
Originally posted by dstorey
teo circular air intakes would look powerful anyway. Wonder if the move to serial ATA would mean they can get drive sizes for the tree bays to be compirable to what the current 4 drive bay model can get to?
I'd guess they could get more in the 3 SATA bays. 3x250GB SATA drives = 750GB > 4x180GB = 720GB in current XServe.

And 300GB drives may be out by the time they release it, bringing it up to .9TB in 3 drives.

All arround this sounds like a good design compromise to me.
 

ColdZero

macrumors regular
Aug 22, 2002
163
0
Serial ATA drives are no larger in capacity than PATA drives. If anything, PATA has larger capacities and is much easier to find than SATA because of its marketshare. (For Now) Also, Apple uses a different connector in the XServe to provide hotswap capabilities. SATA or PATA, they still have to go through this connector anyways making the connection size savings of SATA useless. It would piss a lot of people off if they changed this, that would make all the past XServes unable to use the new modules. I'd have a feeling that Apple would suddenly stop selling the old modules as well making past xserves unable to take on more storage. Plus if you're moving and storing so much data that you need .9 TB, I'd rather have it in an XRaid using hardware RAID rather than OSX's software stuff.
 

dho

macrumors 6502
Sep 7, 2003
279
0
California
Re: 3 bays

Originally posted by Rincewind42
Somehow it wouldn't surprise me if it only had 3 external bays and one fixed bay internally. After all, it's not like on a current XServe you can eject the drive bay that the OS is running on and keep going, so by keeping one bay internal they can reduce that issue. The only downside is that it would reduce the "walk away" security, that is at the end of the day shutdown and take the startup disk with you.

Very good point. That would leave a lot of space to employ their cheese grater cooling :)
 

Rincewind42

macrumors 6502a
Mar 3, 2003
620
0
Orlando, FL
Originally posted by ColdZero
Serial ATA drives are no larger in capacity than PATA drives. If anything, PATA has larger capacities and is much easier to find than SATA because of its marketshare. (For Now) Also, Apple uses a different connector in the XServe to provide hotswap capabilities. SATA or PATA, they still have to go through this connector anyways making the connection size savings of SATA useless. It would piss a lot of people off if they changed this, that would make all the past XServes unable to use the new modules.

Somehow I doubt that Apple will keep PATA in the Xserve line after putting it in the PowerMac line. While the savings on connector size may be irrelevant in that format, the fact that SATA is a faster protocol makes it more than a match for the Xserve.

What would be nice however is if Apple got their head out of the sand and sold the drive carriers separately so people can expand their Xserves with the drives they want to use instead of the ones that Apple wants to ship.
 

ffakr

macrumors 6502a
Jul 2, 2002
617
0
Chicago
Originally posted by ColdZero
Also, Apple uses a different connector in the XServe to provide hotswap capabilities. SATA or PATA, they still have to go through this connector anyways making the connection size savings of SATA useless. It would piss a lot of people off if they changed this, that would make all the past XServes unable to use the new modules. I'd have a feeling that Apple would suddenly stop selling the old modules as well making past xserves unable to take on more storage. .
Right.. Apple sells long term support contracts for xServe so It is obvious that they would stop manufacturing upgrade and replacement parts for them. I mean, Apple enterprise customers probably just expect that when they call in for Apple to honor their support contract, Apple will just say "Oh, sorry, we stopped making parts for that model".
right.
BTW.. Let's just forget the enterprise support that Apple is legally bound to provide.. when has Apple ever said 'sorry, you have to buy a new computer because we don't support that anymore'? Call up an Apple service center and ask them what it would cost to replace a first Gen G4 motherboard. You won't like the price, but you can get the part installed.

saying that Apple would screw over enterprise customers just when they are trying to make inroads into the enterprise is silly FUD. Apple doesn't treat normal customers like this and No vendor treats server buyers like this. I could buy parts for an IBM 486 server if I wanted to... from IBM. Apple isn't dumb enough to be that clueless about enterprise support.
 

ColdZero

macrumors regular
Aug 22, 2002
163
0
Somehow I doubt that Apple will keep PATA in the Xserve line after putting it in the PowerMac line. While the savings on connector size may be irrelevant in that format, the fact that SATA is a faster protocol makes it more than a match for the Xserve.

Find me a single drive (not static ram) that can max out a PATA interface and I'll give you $5000. They don't exist. Most drives top out at 60MB/s which is not a problem for the interface they are using right now. I do agree that Apple should sell the carriers by themselves. I'd like to fill up this XServe with drives and not pay over $1200 for it.

Right.. Apple sells long term support contracts for xServe so It is obvious that they would stop manufacturing upgrade and replacement parts for them. I mean, Apple enterprise customers probably just expect that when they call in for Apple to honor their support contract, Apple will just say "Oh, sorry, we stopped making parts for that model".
right.
BTW.. Let's just forget the enterprise support that Apple is legally bound to provide.. when has Apple ever said 'sorry, you have to buy a new computer because we don't support that anymore'? Call up an Apple service center and ask them what it would cost to replace a first Gen G4 motherboard. You won't like the price, but you can get the part installed.

saying that Apple would screw over enterprise customers just when they are trying to make inroads into the enterprise is silly FUD. Apple doesn't treat normal customers like this and No vendor treats server buyers like this. I could buy parts for an IBM 486 server if I wanted to... from IBM. Apple isn't dumb enough to be that clueless about enterprise support.

Did you read my post? I said nothing of having parts for service agreements, I said that Apple would stop selling them. There is a difference between keeping parts for supporting contract agreements and selling the parts to the general public. I'm sure there are people who purchased a 1.42GHz G4 and have a 3 year agreement on it. I'm sure apple has processor modules to support those agreements. I don't see Apple selling 1.42GHz G4s anymore. And like you said, I could call up support and buy one, and assuming they didn't want me to generate the broken part, I coudl buy one, but I wouldn't like the price. This is the first time in a long time that apple has been a true server vendor, they have to prove they won't drop support for things like they have been known to in the past.
 

Toe

macrumors 65816
Mar 25, 2002
1,101
2
Originally posted by ffakr
Right.. Apple sells long term support contracts for xServe so It is obvious that they would stop manufacturing upgrade and replacement parts for them. I mean, Apple enterprise customers probably just expect that when they call in for Apple to honor their support contract, Apple will just say "Oh, sorry, we stopped making parts for that model".
right.
(snip)
Apple isn't dumb enough to be that clueless about enterprise support.
I have a first generation Xserve, and Apple screwed me over this way.

We bought the Xserve with two 120 Gig modules with the express intention of moving those modules to the Xserve RAID when it came out.

We then bought the Xserve RAID and found that the modules in the first gen Xserve simply do not fit in the RAID. No dice.

Called Apple, and they said "Too bad, eh?" Period. No luck. Nor any chance of their taking back or replacing the modules. We're just stuck with $1000 of wasted drives.
 

Toe

macrumors 65816
Mar 25, 2002
1,101
2
Could this be the iServe?

Sure, a G5 Xserve is long overdue... but so is a consumer rack-mount server.

Sound stupid? Not with Panther it doesn't. Panther supports multiple logins, Wifi, Bluetooth, and network login. Add these together, and you get an awesome home scenario.

You put your iServe in the closet, plug your high-speed internet connection into it and never look at it again. It manages all your user accounts, and distributes internet connectivity and user identities to all your other devices.

Each person in your household sets up an account on the server (or migrates their current account over to it, just copy over their User's Home folder). Each Mac in your house can then become that person's computer if they simply log in to their server-based account.

Set up another account solely for use by your iStereo (which would be a piece of hardware that looks just like iTunes, but real, not on a screen). Your iStereo could then play songs from your server to any speakers in your house, or any user could borrow those songs for their use on the computer they happen to be using at that time.

Tablet computers would then make sense. Just grab a tablet, switch to your user, and compute. Or use any bluetooth device.

TVs could have accounts too. Capture a movie to a Quicktime movie on your server. Or play a Quicktime movie to your TV. Or a DVD. Or whatnot.

There are endless possibilities. Once you imagine a home server with Panther, and think about all the awesome stuff it could do, it seems like Apple would be absolutely remiss not to develop one.

Apart from some of the extra cool hardware I mentioned, almost all of this technology is already completely developed. Apple would just need to streamline OS X Server with an Assistant that makes it a snap to set up for these specific purposes. Nothing to it.

Would you buy one?
 

backspinner

macrumors 6502a
Apr 29, 2002
548
0
Eindhoven
Re: Could this be the iServe?

Originally posted by Toe Sure, a G5 Xserve is long overdue... but so is a consumer rack-mount server.
They better not make it a full depth rack mount, since that doesn't fit in most cheap racks and normal closets...
 

Doraemon

macrumors 6502
Aug 31, 2001
487
0
Europe (EU)
Re: Could this be the iServe?

Originally posted by Toe
Sure, a G5 Xserve is long overdue... but so is a consumer rack-mount server.

A consumer rack-mount server?
One word: NEVER

That's just the complete opposite of a good consumer computer. What you're describing is a high-end server which needs extensive administration (imagine setting up all the features you'd like to see).

Besides, what whould a beast like this cost? Definitely not within the range of a 'consumer'!
 

ffakr

macrumors 6502a
Jul 2, 2002
617
0
Chicago
Re: Could this be the iServe?

Originally posted by Toe
Sure, a G5 Xserve is long overdue... but so is a consumer rack-mount server.

Sound stupid? Not with Panther it doesn't. Panther supports multiple logins, Wifi, Bluetooth, and network login. Add these together, and you get an awesome home scenario.

You put your iServe in the closet, plug your high-speed internet connection into it and never look at it again.
Sorry, but yes this does sound stupid.
Have you ever worked on a rack mounted server? The dimensions of a rack are quite deep. Rack mounted servers are expected to be on a rack... and they should be on rails. Typically you need to pull the whole top off to get at anything (a few models slide out of the case, but the case then becomes the rails).

OK, now to your scenereo... And I'll think of my hall closet to illustrate. I take a rack server, 17.8" wide (19 with the ears) and 28" deep (plus room for cables). It needs a network cable and a power line. My closet... I think it's got a 24" door so it's wide enough. It's slightly deeper than a coat is wide... that is coats touch the back, and there is like 4" of room between coats and closed door. It _may_ be 28" deep but I doubt it... and you certainly wouldn't be able to plug in a power cable to the back of it. But wait.. it's a freaking closet... It doesn't have a power plug! And what fool designed my closet without a phone cable?
So, I as an average consumer buy a rack server for my closet yet I have no rails in the closet, no power, and no phone line... and I probably can't get the machine in there if I want to actually plug it in. Sounds like the perfect consumer device. Not to mention that the current xServes run about 25-30lbs that I'd probably have to put on that little shelf over the cloths bar (which is less than half the depth of my closet so the xserve would tip off).

Believe it or not, the rack mounted server was designed for function above all. It's designed for the maximum of function when you need to cram large numbers of computers into open rooms with highish ceilings. A good rack installation will have room to walk behind the rack to access cables, and it will allow for enough room in front of the rack to pull a server completely out and stand around to hold the server up... It should have room for 2 or three people to work around it as larger servers are very heavy. This doesn't sound like a closet does it.

Now.. specifically to the rack server design. They are generally designed to minimize vertical space. They are also designed with redundancy and reliability in mind. In other words, rack servers are as small as possible and as a result of redundant, reliable cooling and power they are as loud as they need to be. They are, after all, designed to go into dedicated server rooms (with chillers and no offices,... or dens, or living rooms, or bed rooms..)

You don't want a consumer rack server. That's a very silly idea.
What you want is something I wrote about a while ago.
Think of a Tivo. It's a very easy to use computer that records TV as MPEG2 on hard disks and plays it back on demand. Now think of a Mac consumer set top box that :
- stores TV and Movies
- stores MP3 libraries with iTunes
- stores photos with iPhoto
- shares all of the above with Rendzvous
- supports bluetooth, Firewire (for expandable space), USB 2...
- shares your internet connection with wireless and 2 internal network ports.
- Runs your on line game servers for you LAN parties
- Plays games on your TV.. If developers support the resolutions on the SVIDEO out
- runs your web site to share your photos and movies (if your ISP allows)
- shares your files amongst your home machines.
- run your VPN to work so you can access the corporate servers through your gateway
- X10 home automation, accessable via Bluetooth... manage your house from your phone.. turn on lights when you pull up in the driveway.
- Order goods, browse mail,.. from TV if you really want to. Certainly access the iTunes store from your entertainment center.

Now package this as a headless Mac with a modified version of Panther (tweaked for low rez tvs). Put the required ports on it.. bluetooth, 802.11G, USB, SVIDEO, composite, optical and RCA audio out, maybe a VGA port for diagnostics and config with a high rez pc monitor.
You could easily put this into a box that wouldn't be any larger than a home stereo receiver and you could probably sell it for $800.

ffakr.

By the way, since I posted the same thing a while back on rumor forums that Apple snoops in... I'd be happy to relinquish any IP claims as long as Apple sent me one signed by SJ. ;-) maybe put "Ffakr" inside the case .. like the designer names on the original Macs :p
 
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