Apple | Xserve | Specifications | Apple Xserve Specifications

Xserve G5
Technology Overview
January 2004
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
Page 3
Page 4
Product Overview
Key Features
Rack-Optimized Server Design
High-Density Cluster Node Configuration
Page 7
Performance Overview
Processor Performance
Networking Throughput
Page 11
PowerPC G5 Processor
Apple and IBM Partnership
64-Bit Computing Power
Next-Generation PowerPC Architecture
Page 13
High-Bandwidth Server Architecture
Gigahertz Frontside Bus
Point-to-Point System Controller
Advanced ECC Memory Technology
High-Performance PCI-X Expansion
Dual Onboard Gigabit Ethernet
Additional Connectivity
Page 17
Affordable, Scalable Storage
SATA Drive Technology
Software and Hardware RAID Options
Page 20
Integrated Hardware Monitoring
Page 22
Mac OS X Server Version 10.3
Optimized for the PowerPC G5
Built-in Network Services
Innovative Remote Management
Page 24
Service, Support, and Training Options
Page 26
Purchasing Information
Page 28
Technical Specifications
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
What’s New?
• Single or dual 2GHz PowerPC G5 processors
using 90-nanometer process technology
• Gigahertz frontside bus with independent
data paths in and out of the processor
• Two independent frontside buses on dual
processor systems
• Point-to-point system controller
• Support for up to 8GB of 400MHz
ECC memory
• Fast 133MHz PCI-X bus for Fibre Channel,
RAID, SCSI, or cluster interconnect cards
• Dual Gigabit Ethernet interfaces on the main
logic board
• Up to three 80GB or 250GB Serial ATA (SATA)
Apple Drive Modules1
In May 2002, Apple introduced Xserve, a high-density, 1U rackmount server that
was applauded for its value and versatility. In 2003, we built on that success with
performance enhancements, more storage, and flexible build-to-order options. Now
in its third generation, this highly acclaimed server gets a huge burst of power from
the 64-bit PowerPC G5 processor—accelerating a wide range of intensive server
chores and High Performance Computing (HPC) applications.
The groundbreaking PowerPC G5 made its debut in Apple’s Power Mac G5, enabling
computer users to tackle projects never before possible on a desktop system. In fact,
its performance was so remarkable that Virginia Tech chose the G5 processor as the
engine for its newest supercomputing facility, ranked third most powerful in the
world.2 With the introduction of Xserve G5, the same processing performance is
packed into a slim 1U form factor. Combine the superefficient PowerPC G5 with highbandwidth, server-optimized system I/O and fast internal storage, and Xserve G5
outperforms today’s fastest 1U Xeon- and Opteron-based systems.3
In addition to robust hardware features, Xserve G5 comes complete with an unlimitedclient license for Mac OS X Server software, a host of powerful network services, and
integrated remote management and monitoring tools. Easy to set up and easy
to maintain, Xserve G5 with Mac OS X Server dramatically reduces the complexity
of system administration and minimizes maintenance costs. For added peace of mind,
Apple offers enterprise-class service and support products for Xserve G5 hardware
and Mac OS X Server software, with a single vendor to call.
This uniquely Apple integration results in superior performance, unparalleled manageability, and increased uptime—enabling organizations to lower their total cost of
ownership and reduce the pressure on network administrators. Whether in small or
large business, higher education or K–12 schools, creative departments, or science and
technology research centers, the affordable Xserve G5 is the perfect server for today’s
new breed of UNIX-based solutions.
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
Product Overview
Key Features
Xserve G5
Apple’s new Xserve packs high-density
PowerPC G5 computing power and fast,
affordable storage in a 1U rack-optimized
enclosure. Customers can choose from
two standard server configurations and
one cluster node configuration, as well as
from an array of build-to-order options.
Xserve G5 combines 64-bit processors, a high-bandwidth system architecture, and
massive storage with Apple’s legendary ease of use. The following features make Xserve
a robust, versatile server solution for businesses and institutions everywhere.
Single or dual 2GHz processors. Each 64-bit PowerPC G5 processor features an
optimized Velocity Engine unit, two floating-point units, and robust branch prediction
logic. To get more work done faster, its superpipelined, superscalar architecture can
handle large numbers of complex operations in parallel.
Gigahertz frontside bus. The industry’s fastest frontside bus maximizes processor
performance by transferring instructions and data at rates of up to 8GB/s. In dual
processor systems, each PowerPC G5 has a dedicated frontside bus for a combined
throughput of up to 16GB/s.
Advanced ECC memory technology. A 128-bit memory controller speeds data in and
out of main memory at up to 6.4GB/s. Today’s Xserve G5 supports 8GB of fast, 400MHz
RAM with Error Correction Code (ECC) protection.
Xserve RAID
Connect Xserve to Apple’s affordable
Xserve RAID storage solution for enormous
capacity—up to 3.5TB1—and advanced data
protection in a high-availability 3U enclosure.
High-bandwidth I/O. Two open 64-bit PCI-X slots provide throughput of up to 1GB/s for
PCI devices. Dual onboard Gigabit Ethernet interfaces and FireWire 800 ports offer highperformance connectivity and deployment flexibility.
Flexible storage. Three drive bays hold up to 750GB of fast, internal Serial ATA (SATA)
storage1 in hot-plug Apple Drive Modules.4 Fast PCI-X slots and optional cards allow
connection to external storage devices, including Apple’s Xserve RAID storage system.
Innovative hardware monitoring. Dedicated monitoring hardware integrates with
industry-leading software for remote monitoring of one or many Xserve G5 systems.
The software can even send automatic notifications via email or pager.
UNIX-based operating system. An unlimited-client license for Mac OS X Server,4
complete with easy-to-use open source workgroup and Internet services, is included at
no additional cost. Built on open standards, Mac OS X Server integrates seamlessly into
enterprise infrastructures. What’s more, Apple has written the latest version of Mac OS X
Server to maximize the computing power of the 64-bit PowerPC G5.
Server-class support products. To minimize downtime, Apple offers a suite of
enterprise-class support products, including onsite hardware repairs, advanced software
support, and convenient spares kits.
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
Rack-Optimized Server Design
With enormous processing power and ample storage in a compact 1U-high, 19-inchwide enclosure, Xserve G5 is designed from the ground up for performance, serviceability, and easy integration into a wide range of computing environments. All the
necessary rackmounting hardware is in the box, including rack rails with sliders,
mounting brackets for industry-standard four-post racks and telco center-post racks,
and complete setup instructions. For trouble-free servicing, the power cord connection
has a cable-locking clip, and a cable management arm keeps cables with the system
when you slide it out of a four-post rack.
Xserve G5 Server Configuration
Front view
Back view
Indicator lights. Xserve G5 gives you continuous feedback
on the status and activity of hardware components. Indicator
lights display the health and status of power, enclosure lock,
drives, Ethernet links, and processor, as well as drive and
processor activity.
System identifier. Duplicate buttons on the front and back
can be turned on manually or by using remote monitoring
software, making it easy to locate a particular server in a rack.
The buttons also illuminate if a system event occurs.
FireWire and USB ports. Xserve G5 has two FireWire 800
ports on the back and one FireWire 400 port on the front for
high-speed connectivity to storage, backup devices, and other
servers. Two USB 2.0 ports on the back connect to industrystandard peripherals.
Air ducts. A robust cooling system provides front-to-back
airflow over high-performance system components. It uses
large air ducts and an array of eight fans managed by a
microcontroller. For minimal noise and power consumption,
the fans run only as required to cool the system effectively.
If a single fan fails, the others speed up to compensate.
Drive bays. Three bays support up to 750GB1 of hot-plug
SATA internal storage on three independent channels.4 Hotplug support allows you to add storage without bringing
down the server. Apple Drive Modules have LEDs that indicate
drive status and health using Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and
Reporting Technology (SMART) data.
Optical drive. The slot-loading 24x-speed CD-ROM drive is
convenient for software installation and recovery. Or choose
the optional Combo drive for reading DVD data and backing
up files on CDs.4
Gigabit Ethernet interfaces. Xserve G5 comes with dual
Gigabit Ethernet links on the main logic board. These fast
interfaces operate independently to provide deployment
flexibility and support for large numbers of clients.
Serial port. The DB-9 serial port allows for system access
through a serial console session, even when the network
is down.
PCI-X slots. Two open 64-bit PCI-X slots allow you to add one
card running at up to 133MHz or two cards running at up to
100MHz. Throughput of up to 1GB/s maximizes performance
of transaction-intensive applications and high-performance
networking and storage systems.
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
High-Density Cluster Node Configuration
Most innovative HPC hardware
HPCwire, a leading journal of High
Performance Computing, gave Apple its
Editors Choice award for the hardware
vendor delivering the most innovative
overall HPC technology in 2003.
With the compute performance of two superscalar 2GHz PowerPC G5 processors, the
Xserve G5 cluster node configuration is ideal for High Performance Computing (HPC)
in scientific and technical environments, as well as for workgroup clusters and render
farms. One dual processor node can execute over 9 billion double-precision floatingpoint operations per second, or 9 gigaflops per U. That means a rack filled with Xserve
G5 systems can offer over 378 gigaflops of processing power. Single-precision floatingpoint performance is also remarkable: With a dual-pipeline Velocity Engine on each
processor, the Xserve G5 cluster node can execute over 30 gigaflops. Best of all, by
eliminating the cost of unneeded components, Apple has made this high-density 1U
system extremely affordable.
For more information about Apple solutions for computational clusters, see
Xserve G5 Cluster
An Xserve G5 cluster uses a dedicated server system as the head node,
which can manage hundreds of Xserve cluster nodes. Apple’s Xserve RAID
adds high-performance, high-availability storage. Each cluster node has
these robust features:
• Computational power. Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5 processors provide highperformance computation and superior scalability.
• Fast PCI-X. Two PCI-X slots support cluster interconnect technologies, such
as InfiniBand and Myricom’s Myrinet.
• Dual Gigabit Ethernet. Two onboard high-speed interfaces enable independent gigabit connections to the head node for network services and
to the cluster interconnect for loosely coupled cluster environments.
• FireWire 800. Two FireWire 800 ports support small clusters using TCP/IP
over FireWire. FireWire Target Disk Mode allows easy cloning of system
• Advanced cooling system. An array of eight fans keeps air flowing over
high-performance processing components. Intelligent management of the
fan array keeps noise and power consumption to a minimum.
• Indicator lights. Xserve G5 provides continuous, at-a-glance information
about the health and status of all the systems in the rack.
• Built-in sensors. Hardware sensors integrate with Server Monitor to provide
easy monitoring of hundreds of systems from a single, intuitive interface.
• Automatic setup. Mac OS X Server makes it easy to set up an entire rack
of systems automatically from a directory on the network or a USB or
FireWire disk.
• Startup options. Front Panel Mode allows the system identifier button
to be used for selecting startup options, such as booting from a network
server or restoring default system settings.
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
Performance Overview
Apple’s new Xserve G5 is designed to deliver phenomenal performance with industryleading ease of use. Thanks to 64-bit processing power, server-optimized I/O, and a
high-throughput storage architecture, Xserve G5 is optimized for demanding server
and cluster operations.
Apple compared preproduction Xserve G5 units with currently available, top-selling
1U servers. The following results are based on benchmark testing performed in January
2004 by Apple in a laboratory setting using publicly available software. These server
configurations were tested:
• Apple Xserve G5. Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5, 1GB PC3200 SDRAM, two 250GB Apple Drive
Modules, dual Gigabit Ethernet, Mac OS X Server v10.3.2.
• Dell PowerEdge 1750. Dual 3.2GHz Xeon,1GB PC2100 SDRAM, three 36GB Ultra320 SCSI
drives, dual Gigabit Ethernet, Red Hat Linux 9.0.
• IBM eServer x335. Dual 3.2GHz Xeon,1GB PC2100 SDRAM, two 36GB Ultra320 SCSI
drives, dual Gigabit Ethernet, Red Hat Linux 9.0 (unless otherwise indicated).
• IBM eServer x325. Dual 2GHz Opteron,1GB PC2700 SDRAM, two 36GB Ultra320 SCSI
drives, dual Gigabit Ethernet, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 (AMD 64-bit version).
For each system, Apple installed the operating system on one drive and used the
other drive or drives to create a data volume. On the Xserve and Dell systems, the
two remaining drives were configured as a single volume using RAID 0. The Xeonand Opteron-based systems used 15,000-rpm drives.
Processor Performance
Featuring a dual-pipeline Velocity Engine and two double-precision floating-point
units on each 64-bit PowerPC G5 processor, Xserve G5 can manage complex calculations crucial to users in image processing, media encoding, and scientific computing
environments. In fact, the Velocity Engine on dual processor Xserve G5 systems can
execute over 30 billion single-precision floating-point operations per second, or 30
gigaflops per U, compared with 19 gigaflops on the G4-based Xserve.
To demonstrate this superior processor performance, Apple tested Xserve G5 using
popular benchmarks in the scientific computing community.
Computers use double-precision floating-point mathematics to perform calculations
requiring great numerical magnitude or extremely high decimal accuracy. Apple used
the LINPACK benchmark to illustrate the benefits of the G5 processor’s two floatingpoint units. LINPACK measures double-precision floating-point performance by running
a program that solves a dense system of linear equations.
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
LINPACK: Double-Precision Calculations
$333 per gigaflop
Apple offers compute power at the
lowest cost per gigaflop of any tierone vendor—only $333 per gigaflop,
or $333,000 per teraflop.5
Xserve G5
Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5
9 gigaflops
Dell PowerEdge 1750
Dual 3.2GHz Xeon
IBM eServer x335
Dual 3.2GHz Xeon
IBM eServer x325
Dual 2GHz Opteron
Billions of floating-point operations per second (gigaflops)
Two double-precision floating-point units enable the dual 2GHz Xserve G5 to perform
the linear equations 8 percent faster than the 3.2GHz Xeon-based servers and 50 percent
faster than the 2GHz Opteron-based server.
To demonstrate the advantages of Xserve G5 for processor-intensive scientific analysis,
Apple used Basic Local Alignment Search Tool, or BLAST. BLAST is a popular open
source biotechnology application used by life science researchers to find matches in
DNA and protein sequences. BLAST searches are based on word size, or the number
of nucleotide pairs specified by the researcher to register as a match. Different word
sizes are used for different kinds of research, and users can adjust word size to the
sensitivity appropriate to their needs. With long-word-size, or high-performance,
searches, the researcher is looking for similarities between DNA sequences that are
nearly identical. For short-word-size searches (fewer than 11), the researcher is comparing more distantly related sequences; these searches require high resolution to
find the small matches between dissimilar sequences.
BLAST: DNA Sequence Matching
Millions of nucleotides per second
A/G BLAST is a version of NCBI BLAST
developed by Apple in collaboration with
Genentech. Optimized for dual PowerPC G5
processors, the Velocity Engine, and the
symmetric multiprocessing capabilities of
Mac OS X, A/G BLAST makes a wide variety
of searches available at higher speeds.
Dual 2GHz Xserve G5
Dual 2GHz IBM eServer x325
Dual 3.2GHz IBM eServer x335
Dual 3.2GHz Dell PowerEdge 1750
Word length
In common searches using a word size of more than 11, Xserve G5 far outperformed
the Xeon-based servers. Even at word size 11, for which NCBI BLAST has been extensively
optimized, Xserve G5 performed on par with the competition.
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
HMMer 2.3.3
HMMer is another application that demonstrates the advantages of Xserve G5
with Velocity Engine for processor-intensive scientific analysis. HMMer is a genome
sequence–matching application that uses Hidden Markov Models (HMMs) to identify
similarities in genetic structures. The core routines of HMMer repeatedly perform the
same operation on large amounts of data. To test the performance of the HMMer
code, Apple searched for an HMM created from a 358-residue sequence in the protein
databank (PDB) and measured the time to search the entire PDB.
HMMer: Genome Sequence Matching
Xserve G5
Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5
69% faster
Dell PowerEdge 1750
33% faster
Dual 3.2GHz Xeon
IBM eServer x335
27% faster
Dual 3.2GHz Xeon
IBM eServer x325
Dual 2GHz Opteron
Percent faster than Opteron-based system
The dual 2GHz Xserve G5 performed the HMMer search up to 33 percent faster than the
3.2GHz Xeon-based servers and 69 percent faster than the 2GHz Opteron-based server.
Networking Throughput
To minimize bottlenecks and ensure maximum data throughput, Xserve G5 features
a high-performance I/O architecture optimized for server tasks.
NetBench SMB
Xserve G5 provides the best balance of processor, network, and disk performance—
critical for delivering file services to large numbers of network clients.
NetBench SMB: Windows File Serving
Xserve G5
with Mac OS X Server
Megabits per second
IBM eServer x335
with Windows Server 2003
Simultaneous clients
With more than 12 NetBench clients, Xserve G5 with Mac OS X Server delivers Windows
file services significantly faster than the Xeon-based server with Windows Server 2003,
and its performance remains high even as clients are added to the network.
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
For fast network throughput, Xserve G5 features dual onboard Gigabit Ethernet controllers, as well as optimized network drivers and a high-performance BSD network
stack in Mac OS X Server. Apple used WebBench from eTesting Labs to demonstrate
the superior web server performance of Xserve G5 based on the number of connections each server can support.
WebBench: Apache Web Serving
Dual 2GHz Xserve G5
Dual 2GHz IBM eServer x325
Requests per second
Dual 3.2GHz IBM eServer x335
Simultaneous clients
Xserve G5 easily supports a large number of network connections. With more than
16 WebBench clients, it outperforms the Xeon- and Opteron-based servers, and its
performance advantage increases as clients are added to the network.
Apple performed the NetBench and WebBench tests without the supervision or verification of eTesting Labs, which makes
no representation or warranty of the results. eTesting Labs WebBench version 4.1 was used with the standard test suite
STATIC_WB41.TST, with the threads variable set to 5 and with 28 client computers. For the WebBench test, Xserve G5 ran
Apache 1.3; the IBM systems ran Apache 2.0.
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
PowerPC G5 Processor
The breakthrough performance of the 64-bit PowerPC G5 is now available to Apple
server customers. With 64-bit-wide data paths and registers, this revolutionary processor can address vast amounts of main memory, while handling multiple 64-bit
integer and double-precision floating-point math calculations in a single pass. Its
wide execution core manages immense operations in parallel, supporting up to 215
in-flight instructions.
Apple and IBM Partnership
The PowerPC G5 is the product of a long-standing partnership between Apple and
IBM, two companies committed to innovation and customer-driven solutions. In 1991,
they co-created a PowerPC architecture that could support both 32-bit and 64-bit
instructions. Leveraging this design, Apple went on to bring 32-bit RISC processing to
desktop and portable computers, while IBM focused on developing 64-bit processors
for enterprise servers. The new PowerPC G5 represents a convergence of these efforts:
Its design is based on the PowerPC instruction set, as well as the POWER Architecture
that drives IBM’s top-of-the-line enterprise servers.
32-bit processing
Postcard =
24 in.2 (155 cm2)
The PowerPC G5 is fabricated in IBM’s new $3 billion, state-of-the-art facility in East
Fishkill, New York. To get electronics so small requires miniaturization breakthroughs,
and IBM’s dedication to scientific research has made these advances possible. With
industry-leading build, assembly, and test technology, IBM uses a 90-nanometer
process to produce the PowerPC G5. More than 58 million silicon-on-insulator (SOI)
transistors and eight layers of copper interconnects enable this new processor to
deliver tremendous performance. The use of these advanced technologies also means
the PowerPC G5 draws less power and produces less heat—allowing Apple to pack
two 64-bit 2GHz processors in a 1U form factor.
64-bit processing
Manhattan =
22 mi.2 (57 km2)
4.3 billion times bigger
To grasp the enormous leap from 32-bit
to 64-bit processing, imagine equating the
range of numbers a processor can express
with a two-dimensional area. A 32-bit
processor can express a range of integers
equal to the size of a postcard, while a 64-bit
processor can express a range of integers
larger than the island of Manhattan.
64-Bit Computing Power
The labels “32-bit” and “64-bit” characterize the width of a microprocessor’s data
stream, which is a function of the sizes of its registers and the internal data paths
that feed the registers. A 64-bit processor moves data and instructions along 64-bitwide data paths—compared with the 32-bit-wide paths on 32-bit processors, such
as the Pentium 4 and Xeon. In addition, 64-bit processors have wide registers that
can store 64-bit numbers as well as 32-bit numbers.
The leap from 32-bit to 64-bit processing represents an exponential advance in
computing power. With 32-bit registers, a processor has a dynamic range of 232, or
4.3 billion—which means it can express integers from 0 to 4.3 billion. With 64-bit
registers, the dynamic range catapults to 264, or 18 billion billion—4.3 billion times
larger than the range of a 32-bit processor.
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
Support for more memory in
Mac OS X Server
The latest version of Mac OS X Server
makes the most of the expanded memory
capabilities of the PowerPC G5. With up
to 4GB of memory allocated per application, each server task can have dedicated
space in the system’s generous memory.
Vast amounts of addressable memory
The move to 64-bit processing results in a similarly dramatic leap in the amount of
memory supported. A memory address is a special kind of integer, and each address
points to one byte in memory. Since memory addresses are computed in 64-bit registers capable of expressing 18 billion billion integers, the PowerPC G5 can theoretically
address 18 exabytes (18 billion billion bytes) of virtual memory.
In practice, memory addressing is defined by the physical address space of the processor. The PowerPC G5, with 42 bits of physical address space, supports a colossal 242
bytes, or 4 terabytes, of system memory. Although it’s not currently feasible to purchase
4 terabytes of RAM, the advanced architecture of this new processor allows for plenty
of growth in the future.
Multiple high-precision calculations
With 64-bit-wide data paths and registers, the PowerPC G5 can execute multiple
instructions on 64 bits of data—including huge integer calculations and doubleprecision floating-point mathematics—in a single pass. In contrast, a 32-bit processor
has to split up any data larger than 32 bits and process it in multiple passes. This leap
in performance, from 32-bit to 64-bit processing, brings previously unmanageable
tasks into the realm of practicality, facilitating highly accurate calculations required
for scientific analysis, technical research, 3D effects, and video encoding.
Next-Generation PowerPC Architecture
Apple and IBM built the PowerPC G5 processor for maximum efficiency and performance. Its architecture features processing innovations that optimize the flow of data
and instructions, including a high-bandwidth execution core with dual floating-point
units and dual integer units. For more information about the PowerPC G5 architecture,
PowerPC G5 Architecture
The execution core contains 12 discrete
functional units:
• The Velocity Engine uses two large queues
and dedicated 128-bit registers for vector
• Two 64-bit double-precision floating-point
units provide the speed and accuracy required
for highly complex computations.
• Two 64-bit integer units perform calculations
for a broad range of computing tasks.
• Two load/store units manage data as it is
processed, keeping the processor’s large
registers filled for faster operations.
• The condition register stores the results of
branch predictions to improve the accuracy
of future predictions.
• The branch prediction unit uses innovative
three-component logic to maximize processor
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
High-Bandwidth Server
The PowerPC G5 is only part of the Xserve performance story. Xserve G5 features the
industry’s fastest frontside bus to keep data moving in and out of the processor, and
a superefficient point-to-point system controller allows data to move directly between
all subsystems. Bandwidth is further enhanced by a 400MHz, 128-bit memory bus and
a high-speed HyperTransport interface that connects the PCI-X controller and the I/O
subsystems to the system controller. Together these advanced technologies provide
the power and throughput for demanding Internet applications, robust network infrastructure solutions, and high-performance computational clustering environments.
Server-Optimized Architecture
Gigahertz frontside bus. Provides up to 8GB/s bandwidth between the processor and the rest of the system.
Dual independent frontside buses. Provide up to
16GB/s aggregate bandwidth in dual processor systems.
Advanced system controller. Uses a point-to-point
architecture to enable data to pass directly between
400MHz ECC memory. Uses a 128-bit-wide data path to
support high-speed PC3200 SDRAM with Error Correction
Code (ECC) protection.
PCI-X expansion. Supports two high-performance
100MHz PCI-X cards or one 133MHz PCI-X card, providing
total throughput of up to 1GB/s.
Dual onboard Gigabit Ethernet. Provides two independent ports, as well as hardware support for VLAN, jumbo
frames, and TCP, IP, and UDP hardware checksum.
High-performance I/O controller. Integrates three
fast Serial ATA (SATA) drive controllers and FireWire 800
interfaces using a HyperTransport interconnect.
Serial ATA storage. Supports up to 750GB of affordable
hot-plug internal storage1 using three independent,
high-performance 150MB/s SATA drive controllers.4
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
Gigahertz Frontside Bus
PowerPC G5
PowerPC G5
Industry’s fastest frontside bus
The dual-channel frontside bus allows data to
travel to and from the PowerPC G5 processor
at the same time. On dual processor systems,
each PowerPC G5 has its own dedicated
interface to maximize throughput—compared with dual Xeon-based systems, in
which the processors must share a single bus.
To harness the power of the G5 processor, a 64-bit Double Data Rate (DDR) frontside
bus speeds up communication between the PowerPC G5 and the memory controller.
Unlike conventional processor interfaces, which carry data in only one direction at
a time, this dual-channel frontside bus has two 32-bit point-to-point links: One link
travels into the processor and another travels from the processor, which means no
wait time while the processor and the system controller negotiate which will use the
bus or while the bus switches direction. This elastic interface self-tunes during startup
for optimal signal quality.
On the 2GHz PowerPC G5, the frontside bus operates at 1GHz for a total theoretical
bandwidth of up to 8GB/s. Dual processor systems get an even greater performance
boost, because each PowerPC G5 has a dedicated frontside bus. This unique feature
results in a maximum aggregate raw bandwidth of 16GB/s on dual 2GHz Xserve G5
systems. This is well over twice the 6.4GB/s maximum throughput of Itanium 2–based
systems and almost four times the 4.3GB/s throughput of Xeon-based systems.
Because there’s a dedicated data path in each direction, transaction-intensive server
operations execute fast and without contention for data—so the processor doesn’t
sit idle, waiting for data to arrive.
On dual processor systems, the two independent frontside buses allow each PowerPC
G5 to handle its own tasks at maximum speed with minimal interruption. They also
enable each processor to discover and access data in the other processor’s caches,
a technique called intervention, or snooping. Cache intervention guarantees cache
coherency, which ensures that the processor always fetches the correct data, even if
the data has been modified and is stored in the cache of the other processor.
Point-to-Point System Controller
A new system controller is central to the overall performance of Xserve G5. This
revolutionary application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC)—built using advanced IBM
technology—is one of the industry’s fastest. A superefficient point-to-point architecture provides each primary subsystem with dedicated throughput to main memory,
so massive amounts of data can traverse the system without contention for bandwidth. In contrast, subsystems on Xeon-based servers must share bandwidth, which
can result in time-consuming arbitration while they negotiate for access across a
common data path.
Advanced ECC Memory Technology
Xserve G5 maximizes the efficiency of its computing power with an advanced 128-bit
DDR memory architecture and support for up to 8GB of RAM. This high-speed, highcapacity memory architecture enables video encoding, transaction-intensive networking, and scientific applications to perform radically faster. What’s more, it works with
ECC logic in the system controller to protect data from corruption or errors.
Double Data Rate (DDR) memory
Xserve G5 features a memory controller that supports 400MHz, 128-bit DDR SDRAM.
With fast DDR memory and a wider 128-bit interface that addresses two banks of
SDRAM at a time, Xserve G5 can reach a memory throughput of up to 6.4GB/s—more
than double the throughput of the G4-based Xserve. For even greater performance,
direct memory access (DMA) works with the point-to-point system controller, so
subsystems can access main memory without needing to interact with the processor.
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
Support for up to 8GB of RAM
Xserve G5 comes standard with 512MB or 1GB of DDR SDRAM. Main memory is scalable
up to 8GB in eight DIMM slots, allowing you to increase memory as application and
networking requirements increase. More main memory enables the system to run
strenuous processes simultaneously and to accommodate spikes in demand. Enormous
files and data sets can be loaded into RAM for rapid processing by the PowerPC G5—
without having to access disk storage. Data is transferred to memory 40 times faster
than to the hard drive. In fact, accessing the first critical word of data from memory is
60,000 times faster than from a hard drive, so manipulation and analysis of data can be
performed at remarkable speeds.
ECC protection
Xserve G5 uses Error Correction Code (ECC) logic to protect the system from data
corruption and transmission errors. Each DIMM has an extra memory module that
stores checksum data for every transaction. The system controller uses this ECC data
to identify single-bit errors and corrects them on the fly, preventing unplanned system
shutdowns and protecting data integrity. In the rare event of multiple-bit errors, the
system controller detects the error and triggers a system notification to prevent bad
data from corrupting further operations.
For additional protection, the ECC modules on the DIMMs integrate with Server Monitor
software. If error rates exceed a defined threshold, which typically indicates a hardware
problem, Server Monitor can alert the administrator for fast resolution.
High-Performance PCI-X Expansion
PCI expansion options
Built-to-order Xserve G5 configurations can
include the following:
Apple Fibre Channel PCI Card
Hardware RAID PCI card
Apple PCI-X Gigabit Ethernet Card
Dual-channel Ultra320 SCSI PCI-X card
VGA video card
Xserve G5 features the latest 133MHz PCI-X expansion protocol with throughput of up
to 1GB/s. PCI-X operates more efficiently than PCI, resulting in more usable bandwidth
at any PCI-X bus speed—ideal for connecting to high-performance networking, storage,
and backup devices using optional SCSI and Fibre Channel cards. For fast data access,
the PCI-X bus connects to the system controller using a high-speed, dual-channel
HyperTransport bus with a throughput of up to 4.8GB/s (2.4GB/s each way).
Two open 64-bit PCI-X slots allow you to add one card running at up to 133MHz
or two cards running at up to 100MHz. The PCI-X specification is designed to support
3.3V signaling and is compatible with Universal 33MHz and 66MHz PCI cards.6
Dual Onboard Gigabit Ethernet
Apple extends the networking performance of Xserve G5 with a high-performance
Ethernet controller on the main logic board. This advanced controller includes two
independent 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet interfaces, each with its own interrupt, on a
dedicated 64-bit, 133MHz PCI-X bus. The result is tremendous networking bandwidth
and no contention for data with the I/O subsystems.
In addition, the Gigabit Ethernet controller provides these networking features:
• Hardware-generated TCP, IP, and UDP checksum detects packet corruption and
transmission errors.
• 802.1q VLAN (Virtual LAN) tags allow Xserve G5 to be a member of multiple virtual
networks and to provide unique network services to each one.
• A large 64K packet buffer per interface supports jumbo frames, or packets up to 9K,
to reduce system overhead and increase throughput of all network activities.
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
Dual Gigabit Ethernet ports deliver near-line-rate throughput of up to 980Mb/s per
port, alleviating bottlenecks even with very large files and expediting mail, web, file,
and printer sharing services. Together with the multihoming function in Mac OS X
Server, dual network ports enable Xserve G5 to serve more client systems; provide
redundant links; or support an isolated management network that is independent of
a client services network. Dual Gigabit Ethernet also enables the high-speed network
interconnect required by many computational cluster deployments.
Additional Connectivity
The Xserve G5 architecture uses the HyperTransport protocol to connect the I/O
controller to the system controller. The Serial ATA controller, optical drive, and
FireWire, USB 2.0, and serial ports are all integrated through a bidirectional 800MHz
HyperTransport interconnect for a maximum throughput of 1.6GB/s.
Xserve G5 offers industry-standard interfaces for connecting I/O devices:
• Dual FireWire 800 ports. Two FireWire 800 ports on the back panel and one FireWire
400 port on the front panel connect to high-bandwidth FireWire (IEEE 1394) devices,
such as storage devices and audio and video input devices. In addition, TCP/IP over
FireWire can be used to create small clusters, and FireWire Target Disk Mode allows
easy cloning of system configurations.
• DB-9 serial port. An industry-standard 9-pin serial port allows for system access
through a serial console session.
• Two USB 2.0 ports. USB ports on the back panel connect to keyboards, mice,
speakers, and other industry-standard peripheral devices.
• Optical drive. For software installation and recovery, a slot-loading 24x-speed CD-ROM
drive comes standard on server configurations. A Combo drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) is
available as an alternative for customers who need to read DVD data and back up data
on CDs.
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
Affordable, Scalable Storage
Exponential growth in the creation and distribution of digital content is driving the
need for high-capacity storage in business and education. Large databases, digital
video footage, immense scientific data sets, and uncompressed audio all place
enormous demands on server storage resources.
Up to 750GB of storage
Each Xserve G5 has three drive bays for
up to three hot-plug Apple Drive Modules.4
Xserve G5 addresses these growing requirements by providing up to 750GB of affordable internal storage capacity.1 With each Apple Drive Module on an independent
Serial ATA (SATA) drive channel and connected to a high-speed I/O system, the Xserve
storage subsystem scales without compromising performance. This unique architecture
delivers the best balance of performance, reliability, capacity, and price.
Internal storage comparison
Xserve G5
PowerEdge 1750
eServer x335
Sun Fire V60x
Maximum internal
storage capacity
(three 250GB drives) (three 146GB drives) (two 146GB drives) (three 73GB drives)
Onboard disk controller
for internal drives
Three independent
Ultra320 SCSI
Ultra320 SCSI
Ultra320 SCSI
Hot-plug drives
Cost of additional
Cost per GB
* Based on suggested retail prices published on manufacturers’ websites as of December 21, 2003.
Xserve G5 offers affordable internal storage that scales to nearly twice the capacity of most other
1U servers on the market.
SATA Drive Technology
Xserve G5 features sophisticated 150MB/s SATA drive controllers, each with a dedicated
SATA bus to a single Apple Drive Module. In the original Xserve—and before Serial
ATA became available—Apple pioneered a point-to-point storage architecture using
Parallel ATA. This innovative design eliminated the single-threaded operation of the
typical ATA master/slave configuration and delivered superior performance at a much
lower cost than that of SCSI-based systems.
Xserve G5 advances to a SATA-based storage subsystem that provides the same multithreaded system operation. Multithreading enables the system to send commands to
multiple drives at once for the fastest possible throughput. An independent drive
architecture also isolates the drives electrically, preventing a single drive failure from
causing unavailability or performance degradation of the surviving drives—a common
problem with multidrive SCSI implementations.
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
Xserve Storage Scalability
Read 165MB/s
Three drives
Write 139MB/s
Two drives
One drive
Megabytes per second
Apple tested the scalability of Xserve G5 storage using Bonnie++, an open source
benchmark that measures drive throughput. This test shows that both read performance
and write performance improve as drives are added to the system.
Apple Drive Module
Xserve G5 uses reliable, high-performance
Apple Drive Modules to provide costeffective, high-capacity system storage.
Hot-plug Apple Drive Modules
The three Xserve drive bays 4 provide affordable storage expansion using 80GB or
250GB SATA Apple Drive Modules.1 Apple Drive Modules feature robust hot-plug
connectors called Single Connector Attachment (SCA) II that protect the connecting
pins from bending when drives are inserted or removed. Hot plugging allows administrators to add storage without bringing down the server: Insert a new Apple Drive
Module at any time and it’s instantly available to the server. This flexibility is made
possible by tight integration between system hardware and software. The three
independent drive controllers detect when a drive is unplugged, so removing the
drive doesn’t mean risking data loss or a system crash. When the drive is plugged back
in, its controller instantly recognizes that it’s back online—without requiring cycles or
resets to reinitiate communication between the drive and the controller, as in other
storage architectures.
Apple Drive Modules feature a unique handle design for fast, easy installation and
a positive locking mechanism to hold them tightly in place after insertion. The new
drive carrier employs a drive mounting technique that increases drive isolation and
reduces vibration. Carefully tested and qualified to ensure maximum performance
and reliability, Apple Drive Modules work seamlessly with the sophisticated Xserve
monitoring sensors and Server Monitor remote monitoring software.
Monitoring of drive health
Xserve hardware and software work together to provide industry-leading remote
monitoring and alert capabilities. The server operating system reads Self-Monitoring,
Analysis, and Reporting Technology (SMART) data from each hard drive. SMART data
allows the drive to report its health and enables Server Monitor software to warn the
administrator of a prefailure condition—providing the opportunity to back up critical
data and replace the hard drive before a failure occurs. For local monitoring, each
Apple Drive Module has two LEDs, one for drive activity and one for drive health.
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
Software and Hardware RAID Options
Affordable and easy-to-install drive modules make it simple to expand Xserve systems
to meet growing storage needs over time. For even greater storage capacity or to
share storage among multiple servers, high-throughput PCI-X slots enable users to
connect to external rackmount storage and backup systems, including SCSI devices
and Apple’s Xserve RAID.
Software RAID in Mac OS X Server
Using software RAID built into Mac OS X Server, the three Apple Drive Modules can be
striped or mirrored for improved performance or data redundancy.4
• RAID 0, or striping. Increases storage performance dramatically by distributing data
across two or three Apple Drive Modules and enabling the drives to read and write
data concurrently. Drive striping takes full advantage of the three independent drive
channels and utilizes the I/O capabilities of Mac OS X Server.
• RAID 1, or mirroring. Provides a high level of data protection by creating a real-time
exact duplicate of the contents of one Apple Drive Module on a second drive. With
the new volume promotion feature in Mac OS X Server v10.3, you can upgrade a
single drive to a RAID 1 mirror without needing to back up and reformat the drive. If
a mirrored drive fails, the system can rebuild the array in the background, while continuing to serve data. The independent drive architecture and software RAID combine
to provide RAID 1 protection with no performance penalty.
For additional protection or higher performance, Mac OS X Server on Xserve can boot
from a mirrored or striped volume.
Optional hardware RAID PCI card
For enhanced storage performance and data protection, the hardware RAID PCI
card provides RAID levels 0, 1, and 5 using a hardware RAID controller and 64MB
of battery-backed, ECC cache memory. When Xserve is configured with three 250GB
Apple Drive Modules and the hardware RAID PCI card, it offers half a terabyte of
internal, RAID 5–protected storage in a 1U form factor—unmatched in the industry.
This compact solution provides affordable protected RAID storage for small to
medium-size storage requirements.
Apple Fibre Channel PCI Card
Xserve RAID connects to a host Xserve
G5 system using the dual-port 2Gb Apple
Fibre Channel PCI Card (sold separately),
for easy integration into copper or optical
Xserve RAID storage solution
For massive capacity and advanced data protection and availability features, Xserve
connects to the Xserve RAID storage system using the Apple Fibre Channel PCI
Card. Xserve RAID holds up to 14 hot-swap Apple Drive Modules, for up to 3.5TB1
of storage in a rack-optimized 3U enclosure. The innovative Apple-designed architecture combines affordable, high-capacity ATA drive technology with a dual 2Gb Fibre
Channel SFP interface for fast, reliable data access, even at distances of up to 500
meters. Redundant components further increase data protection and system availability. With easy-to-use tools for remote setup and management, this powerful
RAID system provides a cost-effective answer to the growing storage requirements
of businesses and institutions.
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
Integrated Hardware
Xserve G5 includes built-in remote monitoring capabilities that enable network
administrators to stay in touch with their Xserve systems from anywhere on the
network or over the Internet. Xserve monitoring tools run over TCP/IP using robust
password authentication to protect management data and server deployments from
unauthorized access.
Remote monitoring
Server Monitor allows administrators to
review information on hundreds of Xserve
systems from any Internet-connected
Mac OS X system.
With 38 sensors in the enclosure, Xserve G5 is the most instrumented server in its
class. Embedded hardware sensors integrate with Apple’s sophisticated Server Monitor
software to check the condition of all critical subsystems, such as memory, fans, power
supplies, and Ethernet links. Temperature measurements for hard drives, processors,
memory, PCI, power supply, and incoming ambient temperature are processed using
three dedicated microcontrollers and three dedicated communication buses on the
logic board.
To maximize server uptime, Server Monitor aids in the early identification and easy
diagnosis of system problems. This powerful application uses data from the hardware
sensors to continuously report on the status of all Xserve subsystems, for all servers on
the network. If operating conditions for any component exceed predefined thresholds,
Server Monitor can instantly send notification via email or email-capable pager, so
network administrators can respond quickly to prevent or repair the problem.
Server Monitor can monitor hundreds of servers using a single, intuitive interface. Each server
is identified by name and IP address (or DNS host name), and at-a-glance summary information
(green—OK, yellow—warning, red—error) indicates the status of individual components. A click
on any icon displays detailed status and performance information.
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
Server Monitor provides instant access to status and performance details, including
these individual server attributes, subsystems, and system variables:
• Info. Lists key attributes of the server: name, IP address, device kind, operating system
version, processor type, amount of memory, firmware version, uptime, last monitoring
update, and hardware serial number.
• Memory. Displays the size, speed, and type of memory installed in each system, as
well as ECC error counts.
• Drives. Provides the status of each of the server’s hard drives, including SMART data
for predictive failure notification.
Automatic notifications
Server Monitor can send a customized
email to alert specified individuals when
operating conditions exceed predefined
thresholds. Short text messages can be
sent to email-capable pagers, cell phones,
or PDAs; full-text details can be sent to
email clients or full-function PDAs.
• Power. Shows the current, voltage, and processor power, as well as a historical line
graph for each supply rail. It also provides Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
information and status when available.
• Network. Indicates the status of active network links, network stack, and link settings
and provides a historical line graph for each link.
Xserve Remote Diagnostics
Xserve G5 includes a new set of server-class
diagnostic tools that support hardware
profiling and advanced diagnostics, as well
as remote, headless operation.
• Temperature. Provides the values of the ten enclosure and processor temperature
sensors, as well as a historical line graph for each sensor reading.
• Blowers. Shows the revolutions per minute and status of the eight fans, including a
historical line graph for each one. In the case of a single blower failure, the other fans
speed up to compensate, allowing the server to continue to run, while also notifying
the system administrator.
• Security. Displays the security status of the Xserve enclosure. Xserve G5 features a
hardware enclosure lock that prevents drives from being removed, as well as softwarebased I/O port security that allows administrators to disable CD mounting, removal of
hard drives, or use of USB and FireWire devices.
In addition, Server Monitor records a log of activities and messages for each monitored
Xserve. The log provides the times Server Monitor attempted to contact the server and
whether a connection was successful. It also shows changes in server status. For asset
tracking or support logging, a System Profiler report can be saved for a selected server
or multiple servers.
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
Mac OS X Server
Version 10.3
New in Mac OS X Server version 10.3
The latest release of Mac OS X Server has
more than 150 new features, including:
PowerPC G5–optimized kernel and
numerical libraries
Automatic Setup for configuring multiple
Server Admin application for easy setup
and monitoring of services
Open Directory 2 for delivering enterprise
directory and authentication services
Single sign-on using Kerberos v5
Samba 3 for supporting Windows users
Postfix mail server for Mac and Windows
VPN server for Mac and Windows users
JBoss application server for running
J2EE-based applications
New in Mac OS X Server for Xserve G5
• 802.1q VLAN support
• Background rebuilding of software
RAID mirrors
• RAID volume promotion
• Enhanced UPS support
• Enhanced Server Monitor
• Customizable keyboard and mouse
security options
• Xserve Remote Diagnostics
Xserve G5 ships with Mac OS X Server version 10.3, the fourth major release of Apple’s
award-winning server operating system. Mac OS X Server provides open source,
standards-based workgroup and Internet services without the complexity inherent
in Linux and other UNIX-based solutions. Hardware and software work together to
deliver powerful, scalable solutions for supporting Mac, Windows, and Linux workgroups; deploying powerful Internet services; and hosting enterprise applications—all
with an ease of use that is uniquely Macintosh. And with the unlimited-client license,
there are no additional per-seat fees for connecting more users.4 This kind of power
has never been easier to put to work—or easier to integrate into your organization.
Optimized for the PowerPC G5
On all systems, Mac OS X Server features a high-performance 64-bit file system that
supports HFS+ (and HFS+ journaled) file systems up to 16TB, so you can create very
large, single file systems for massive databases, image archives, and digital video
storage. In addition, Apple has written version 10.3 to take maximum advantage of the
PowerPC G5, enabling current 32-bit applications to benefit immediately from the key
advances of 64-bit processing. On PowerPC G5–based systems, Mac OS X Server can
utilize the processor’s 64-bit instructions and registers. It also includes 64-bit math
and vector libraries that accelerate audio, video, and image processing, as well as large
number operations—so existing applications that use these built-in libraries get an
automatic performance boost.
Mac OS X Server v10.3 can address the 4TB of physical memory supported by the
PowerPC G5. To ensure binary compatibility with existing 32-bit applications, Mac OS
X manages access to the 64-bit physical memory space using a 32-bit virtual memory
manager. This enables each Mac OS X application to access 4GB of address space,
allowing multiple memory-intensive applications to run concurrently. For improved
performance, data-intensive applications that require more than 4GB of memory can
map pages of memory using the built-in mmap function.
Performance gains are even more dramatic when applications, particularly computeintensive applications, are recompiled for the PowerPC G5. Using Xcode and GCC (GNU
Compiler Collection) version 3.3, developers can get improved code generation that
keeps the processor’s integer and floating-point units constantly fed with instructions.
Built-In Network Services
Mac OS X Server includes a complete suite of robust solutions for file and print,
Internet and web, networking, workgroup management, and directory services. Apple
has integrated and tested the latest open source technologies—such as OpenLDAP,
Postfix, Apache, and JBoss—making them easy to deploy right out of the box.
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
Built on open standards, Mac OS X Server is compatible with existing network and
computing infrastructures. Samba 3, the new version of the popular open source
SMB/CIFS server, provides reliable file and printer sharing for Windows clients, as well
as support for NT Domain services. The built-in directory services architecture is based
on LDAPv3, allowing Mac OS X Server systems to host LDAP directory services or integrate with any network that uses LDAP directory services. In addition, Mac OS X Server
includes compatibility with legacy directory service solutions such as NIS, as well as
proprietary solutions such as Active Directory. What’s more, the open source UNIXbased foundation makes it easy to port and deploy existing tools to Mac OS X Server.
Innovative Remote Management
Mac OS X Server comes with innovative remote management tools that provide a
consistent, unified interface for setting up and managing the built-in services. The new
Server Admin application enables network administrators to securely manage services
on multiple servers at the same time—all from the same easy-to-use application.
Administrators can use Server Admin on any Internet-connected Mac OS X computer to install
software updates (including system software), set preferences, and configure workgroup and
Internet services—such as Samba 3, Apache, DHCP, Postfix, and QuickTime Streaming Server.
High-availability services
To minimize downtime and maximize data
protection, Mac OS X Server includes highavailability features such as software RAID,
directory replication, file system journaling, a
two-node IP failover service, and “watchdog”
features such as automatic restart of the
server and individual services.
Mac OS X Server also makes it easy to monitor services remotely. Server Admin
displays the current status of all services running on Xserve systems. Administrators
can read access and error logs, view charts of traffic patterns, and graph the performance of individual network services and file throughput—providing valuable
information for planning and allocating network resources.
For administrators who prefer to manage from a terminal, Mac OS X Server includes
Secure Shell (SSH2) technology for encrypted and authenticated login. Xserve G5 is
equipped with a DB-9 (9-pin) serial port, giving UNIX-savvy administrators a way to
access the system through a serial console session even when network services are
down. Command-line tools allow administrators to remotely install software, run
Software Update, or set system and network preferences. In addition, Mac OS X Server
supports industry-standard Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) for integrating with third-party products, such as HP OpenView.
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
Service, Support, and
Training Options
Every Xserve G5 comes with a one-year limited warranty and 90 days of up-and-running
telephone support. In addition, the AppleCare website publishes in-depth product information, training on hardware and software installation and configuration, and technical
resources, including the AppleCare Knowledge Base, discussions, and downloadable
software on Apple’s Featured Software site.
For critical server deployments, Apple also offers a comprehensive range of service and
support options for Xserve hardware and Mac OS X Server software. For more information about these AppleCare products, see
AppleCare Premium Service and Support Plan
This server-class support product provides up to three years of up-and-running telephone and email support and onsite hardware service. Apple technical support experts
are available 24 hours a day to help you determine whether you’re experiencing a hardware failure or a Mac OS X Server configuration issue. In either case, Apple will work to
get systems up and running quickly. And because Apple hardware and software are
uniquely integrated, there’s only one vendor to call.
The AppleCare Premium Service and Support Plan delivers up-and-running telephone
and email support within 30 minutes—24 hours a day, seven days a week. The hardware
repair coverage provides onsite response within four hours during business hours and
next-day onsite response when you contact Apple after business hours (terms apply).7
For added peace of mind, you’ll have the assurance that Apple-authorized technicians
will perform repairs using genuine Apple parts.
The AppleCare Premium Service and Support Plan can be purchased at any time while
Xserve G5 is still under its original one-year warranty. However, since coverage ends
three years after the hardware purchase date, you’ll get maximum advantage when you
make both purchases at the same time.
AppleCare Service Parts Kit
Convenient replacement modules
Problem resolution is fast with AppleCare
Service Parts Kits for Xserve G5 (sold
Xserve G5 is designed for quick and easy swapping of crucial parts; no special tools or
training certifications are needed. AppleCare Service Parts Kits let system administrators
keep key components handy to address the most common hardware failures. Each kit
has a logic board, a power supply, a PCI fan unit, and a fan array module. When the
AppleCare Premium Service and Support Plan is combined with an AppleCare Service
Parts Kit, technical support experts can often help troubleshoot and fix systems right
over the phone—day or night—eliminating the need for an onsite technician.
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
Mac OS X Server Software Support
Apple also offers support programs for Mac OS X Server that extend beyond the upand-running support provided by the AppleCare Premium Service and Support Plan.
Apple technical support experts can provide consultative phone and email support for
Mac OS X Server integration and migration issues, as well as help with command-line
Mac OS X Server Maintenance Program
This subscription program makes it easy
to manage software expenditures while
benefiting from the latest technologies
and improvements. With one easy payment,
you’ll receive major Mac OS X Server software
upgrades for three years.
Three levels of Mac OS X Server Software Support are available, depending on the
number of incidents supported and desired response time. Each plan provides one
year of coverage.
• Select covers up to 10 incidents with 4-hour response for priority 1 issues (server
down), 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.7 Support for additional incidents can be
purchased as needed.
• Preferred covers an unlimited number of incidents with 2-hour response for priority
1 issues, 12 hours a day, 7 days a week,7 and assigns a technical account manager
to the organization.
• Alliance covers an unlimited number of incidents at multiple locations with 1-hour
response for priority 1 issues, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.7 This plan includes an
onsite review by an Apple technical support engineer.
Training and Certification Programs
Apple offers comprehensive instruction on Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server, covering
such topics as client management, system troubleshooting, and cross-platform network
configuration. A combination of lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on exercises,
classes are taught by Apple Certified Trainers with real-world experience and dynamic
presentation skills. Classes are offered at Apple Authorized Training Centers, as well as
at customer locations.
Once IT professionals have acquired the requisite skills, Apple certification programs
provide tangible evidence of their technical expertise. For more information about
Apple training and certification programs, visit
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
Purchasing Information
Standard Configurations
Xserve G5 is available in three standard configurations to meet the needs of server
and cluster deployments in education and business.
Cluster node
Single-processor server
Dual processor server
Order number
Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5
2GHz PowerPC G5
Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5
Frontside bus
1GHz per processor
1GHz per processor
PC3200 DDR memory
(400MHz ECC)
Hot-plug Apple Drive
80GB Serial ATA1
80GB Serial ATA1
80GB Serial ATA1
Storage expansion
Three drive bays supporting up to 750GB, using
80GB and/or 250GB drives
Optical drive
Slot-loading CD-ROM
Two onboard Gigabit Ethernet interfaces (10/100/1000BASE-T)
PCI expansion
Two open 64-bit PCI-X slots supporting one card at up to133MHz or two cards
at up to 100MHz
Two FireWire 800, two USB 2.0, one DB-9 (back panel); one FireWire 400
(front panel)
Mac OS X Server software 10-client edition
Unlimited-client edition
Slot-loading CD-ROM
Unlimited-client edition
Also included
Mounting screws with M5 and 10/32-inch threads; caged nuts; cable
management arm for four-post racks; agency-approved 12-foot power cable
Service and support
90 days of free telephone support and one-year limited warranty; optional
extended service and support products
Build-to-Order Options
Customers can order a custom-configured Xserve G5 with the following options.
Memory: 512MB, 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 6GB, 8GB
Internal storage: 80GB and 250GB Apple Drive Modules1
Optical drive: Combo drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW)
PCI cards: Apple Fibre Channel PCI Card (includes SFP to SFP cables), hardware RAID
PCI card, Apple PCI-X Gigabit Ethernet Card, dual-channel Ultra320 SCSI PCI-X card,
VGA video card
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
Related Products
Xserve RAID, available in 1TB, 1.75TB, and 3.5TB configurations1
AppleCare Premium Service and Support Plan
AppleCare Service Parts Kit
Mac OS X Server Maintenance Program
Third-party products, including racks, switches, and UPS devices
For up-to-date information on these and other products that enhance Xserve
deployments, visit or call 800-MY-APPLE.
Apple Workgroup Cluster for Bioinformatics
Compute power with Macintosh
ease of use
The Apple Workgroup Cluster for
Bioinformatics enables researchers to
harness the vast computational power
of a PowerPC G5–based cluster.
Apple makes it easy for researchers to benefit from the power of computational
clustering. The Apple Workgroup Cluster for Bioinformatics provides everything you
need to get started: simple setup tools, more than 200 preinstalled bioinformatics
applications, a web-based management interface, and a choice of two, four, eight,
or 16 Xserve G5 cluster nodes. For information, visit
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
Technical Specifications
Single or dual 2GHz PowerPC G5 processors
PowerPC processor architecture with 64-bit data paths and registers
Native support for 32-bit application code
512K on-chip L2 cache running at processor speed
Parallel execution architecture supporting up to 215 simultaneous in-flight instructions
Simultaneous issue of up to 10 out-of-order operations
Dual-pipeline Velocity Engine for 128-bit single-instruction, multiple-data (SIMD)
Two independent double-precision floating-point units
Two integer units
Advanced three-component branch prediction logic
64-bit, 1GHz DDR frontside bus per processor, each supporting up to 8GB/s data
Point-to-point system controller with support for ECC memory
128-bit data paths for up to 6.4GB/s memory throughput
512MB or 1GB of PC3200 (400MHz) DDR SDRAM
Data protection using Error Correction Code (ECC) logic
Eight slots supporting up to 8GB of DDR SDRAM using the following DIMMs (in pairs):
– 256MB DIMMs (128-bit-wide, 128- or 256-Mbit technology)
– 512MB DIMMs (64-bit-wide, 256-Mbit technology)
– 1GB DIMMs (64-bit-wide, 256-Mbit technology)
I/O connections
• Two open 11-inch, 64-bit PCI-X slots, running at up to 133MHz with one card installed
or up to 100MHz with two cards installed; support for 32-bit or 64-bit 3.3V Universal
PCI cards running at 33MHz or 66MHz 6
• Two independent 10/100/1000BASE-T (Gigabit) RJ-45 Ethernet interfaces on the main
logic board
• Two 1.2MHz HyperTransport interconnects with the following throughput:
– Up to 4.8GB/s (2.4GB/s each way) between system controller and PCI-X
– Up to 1.6GB/s (800MB/s each way) between system controller and I/O controller
• Two FireWire 800 ports on back panel and one FireWire 400 port on front panel;
15W total power
• Two USB 2.0 ports (480Mb/s each)
• One DB-9 serial port (RS-232)
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
• Three internal drive bays on independent 150MB/s SATA channels (server configurations); or one internal drive bay on 150MB/s SATA channel (cluster node configuration)
• One bay filled with 80GB 7200-rpm SATA Apple Drive Module; empty drive bays on
server configurations contain blank modules
• Up to 750GB of internal storage1 using hot-plug Apple Drive Modules (server
configurations), available in the following capacities:
– 80GB 7200-rpm SATA with 8MB disk cache
– 250GB 7200-rpm SATA with 8MB disk cache
• Support for reading SMART data from Apple Drive Modules for prefailure notification
• Slot-loading 24x-speed CD-ROM drive or optional DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo drive
(server configurations)
Rack support
• Fits EIA-310-D–compliant, industry-standard 19-inch-wide racks, including:
– Four-post racks: 24 inches, 26 inches, and from 29 to 36 inches deep
– Two-post telco racks (center-mount brackets included)
• Cable management arm for four-post rack
• Front-to-back cooling for rack enclosure
Electrical requirements
Line voltage: universal input (90V to 264V AC), power factor corrected
Maximum input current: 5.5A (90V to 132V) or 2.75A (180V to 264V)
Frequency: 47Hz to 63Hz, single phase
Output power: 400W
Environmental requirements and approvals
Operating temperature: 50° to 95° F (10° to 35° C)
Storage temperature: –40° to 116° F (–40° to 47° C)
Relative humidity: 5% to 95% noncondensing
Maximum altitude: 10,000 feet
FCC Class A approved
Size and weight
Height: 1.73 inches (4.4 cm)
Width: 17.6 inches (44.7 cm) for mounting in standard 19-inch rack
Depth: 28 inches (71.1 cm)
Weight: 33.3 pounds (15.11 kg); 36.6 pounds (16.62 kg) with three Apple Drive Modules8
Technology Overview
Xserve G5
Mac OS X Server
• Unlimited-client edition (server configurations); or 10-client edition (cluster node
Included services
• File and printer sharing: Macintosh (AFP, AppleTalk PAP), Windows (SMB/CIFS), UNIX
and Linux (NFS, LPR/LPD), Internet (FTP, WebDAV)
• Directory services: Open Directory 2 (OpenLDAP, Kerberos, SASL), NT Domain
Controller (Samba 3)
• Networking and security: DNS server (BIND 9), DHCP server, NTP server, Firewall (IPFW),
WINS, VPN server (L2TP, PPTP)
• Mail services: SMTP (Postfix), POP and IMAP (Cyrus), Berkeley DB for indexing, SSL/TLS
encryption (OpenSSL), mailing lists (Mailman), webmail (SquirrelMail)
• Web hosting: Apache web server, SSL/TLS (OpenSSL), WebDAV, server-side includes
(SSIs), PHP, Perl, Ruby, Python, MySQL 4
• Application services: JBoss application server (EJB), Apache Tomcat (JavaServer Pages,
Java Servlets), Java virtual machine (J2SE), Apache Axis (SOAP, WSDL Web Services),
WebObjects 5.2 Deployment
• Media streaming: QuickTime Streaming Server (MPEG-4, MP3, AAC, RTP/RTSP),
QuickTime Broadcaster, QuickTime Streaming Server Publisher, unicast and multicast
• Workgroup management: Workgroup Manager, NetBoot, Network Install
• Remote management: Server Monitor, Server Admin, SNMPv3, command-line tools
For More Information
For more information about Xserve G5
and other Apple server solutions, visit
hard drive capacity measurements, 1GB = 1 billion bytes and 1TB = 1 trillion bytes; actual formatted capacity less. Maximum
capacity of 750GB achieved through use of three 250GB Apple Drive Modules (server configurations only). 2 “Third most powerful”
based on TOP500 List of Supercomputer Sites, November 2003. 3Based on LINPACK tests conducted by Apple in January 2004
using preproduction dual 2GHz Xserve G5 units; all other systems tested were shipping units. 4 The cluster node configuration
has one drive bay and no optical drive and includes a 10-client license for Mac OS X Server. 5 Based on U.S. MSRP $2799 and
LINPACK performance of 9 gigaflops. 6 Check with manufacturer for compatibility. 7A separate AppleCare Premium Service and
Support Plan must be purchased for each Xserve RAID system to be covered. To qualify, systems must be within the one-year
hardware warranty. Coverage ends three years after date of Xserve RAID purchase. Actual onsite response time and availability
of onsite service depend on location; see for details. Local telephone fees may
apply; telephone numbers may vary and are subject to change. 8 Weight varies by configuration and manufacturing process.
© 2004 Apple Computer, Inc. All rights reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, Apple Store, AppleTalk, FireWire, Mac, Macintosh, Mac
OS, Power Mac, QuickTime, WebObjects, and Xserve are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other
countries. QuickTime Broadcaster, Velocity Engine, and Xcode are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. AppleCare is a service
mark of Apple Computer, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Java and all Java-based trademarks are trademarks or
registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. PowerPC is a trademark of International Business
Machines Corporation, used under license therefrom. Other product and company names mentioned herein may be trademarks
of their respective companies. This product includes software developed by the University of California, Berkeley, FreeBSD, Inc.,
The NetBSD Foundation, Inc., and their respective contributors. Software subject to licensing terms. Product specifications are
subject to change without notice. This material is provided for information purposes only; Apple assumes no liability related to
its use. January 2004 L301323A
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