Apple Computer, Inc. introduced the Xserve system about two months ago. I don't know if the product will be successful, but the specifications are impressive.
You can pack 2 G3 processors with 2 gigabytes of memory and 480 gigabytes of disk storage in 1U unit. Or you can have 84 processors with almost 20 terabytes of storage in one big rack, for a peak performance of 630 gigaflops per second.
And if it wasn't enough, Apple has a great motto. Here it is.
All the details about this server are here.
After this -- rather admiring -- introduction, let's see what LinuxWorld has to say about the Unix market and the Xserve.
Although the actual numbers are bit fuzzy, it seems that Sun leads the Unix market in terms of the number of users served, IBM leads in Unix related revenues, and Apple, not Dell or HP, sells the most Unix boxes. Those machines run the MacOS X layer on top of Darwin, an open source BSD variant with a MACH kernel.
Like Linux, the underlying Unix for MacOS X is an open source production and, again like Linux, it has all the traditional Unix virtues including high reliability, network compatibility, efficient resource use, and access to a wide variety of lower cost, cutting-edge tools and applications.
Apple should ship almost 4 million Unix desktops this year, and each one of them represents a new opportunity for open source ideas to take root and for products like OpenOffice.org to find users. Equally importantly, each time a Mac moves into an office environment it gets harder to maintain the fiction that homogeneous (meaning all Windows) systems are cheaper or easier to run.
Paul Murphy compares prices for similar systems from Sun, Dell and Apple boxes with different OSes. Guess what: Apple is the cheapest.
He also compares hardware and software prices of a desktop system running a Microsoft operating system today and twenty years ago.
Here are the numbers for 1981.
Microsoft OS: $39.95
Now, let's come back to 2002.
Microsoft OS: $199
In other words, the hardware price decreased by 85 percent while the operating system from Microsoft increased by 500 percent.
Of course, you can argue about these specific numbers. But can you deny there is a trend?
Source: Paul Murphy, LinuxWorld, Jul 24, 2002