Skip to content

Special Apple product evolution: Xserve

Perhaps one of the most unknown products of Apple has been without doubt the Xserve, the world of servers has not been the main course of Apple and that was demonstrated with a first attempt of the company between 1996 and 1997, when the Apple Network Server was presented. These computers were discontinued in just one year because of their low sales figures.

APNs were Mac computers that had been modified to not accept any Mac OS calls , running a modified version of the IBM-developed AIX server operating system. This Unix-based system ran on modified Power Macintosh 9500 boards. Three models were presented, ranging from 8,000 to 14,000 Euros .


But after this sales failure, Apple did not resume the server business until 2002, when after the acquisition of NeXT and the use of OPENSTEP to create the first Mac OS X Server led to Apple to introduce the Xserve G4 .

Intel Xserve Unboxing

Xserve G4

The design of these Apple servers is similar to the PowerMac-Mac Pro range, its lines do not change, and the passage of time does not lead them to be outdated, it is a design that remains current and current, which leads us to find a server with a clearly futuristic appearance. These G4 mounted one or two processors at 1 Ghz with 2GB of memory, three Firewire 400 ports and two USB 1.1 .

Its maximum capacity was 480 GB in four hard drive bays. This server was prepared with Mac OX 10.2 Jaguar Server . At the beginning of 2003, a model with more capacity was introduced, to which FireWire 800 connectors and an optical drive were added.

Xserve G5

On January 6, 2004, the Xserve with a G5 processor was introduced, and as with its desktop models, its biggest problem was overheating . The G4 processors were removed by the G5s by mounting the new 64-bit PowerPC 970 chip, also the USB 2.0 was included for the first time.

From four bays for hard disks, we had only three because the tremendous heat emitted by the G5 processors forced us to use the fourth to place heat sinks . The following year the server was upgraded to a higher clock speed processor, at 2.3 GHz and up to 1.2 TB of hard disk space.

Intel Xserve

The transition to Intel came and the design of the Xserve remained unchanged , but as enacted in their August 7, 2006 release, its performance improvement over its predecessors was more than significant. In this update, the graphics card was integrated into the board , so it did not take up any of the server’s PCI slots.

At the beginning of 2009 it was updated to include Nehalem processors and DDR3 memory , also an Nvidia graphics card was added, increasing the maximum capacity of the device to 6 TB in conventional hard disks, adding a bay where an SSD hard disk can be inserted to be used as a machine boot.

Xserve RAID

Galería de JNewlandEn Apple
Xserver RAID is a module introduced by Apple in February 2003 which mounts 14 750GB hard drives, perfect for keeping all your data safe. By means of Hardware it will be possible to us to make configurations RAID of the type 0, 1 or 5, to put some examples, by software we will be able to create groups raid of 10 or 50.

This device could be used not only with Apple computers, it could also be connected to Windows or Linux workstations , since its Java tools could be installed on any OS, either Mac OS X, Windows or Linux. The Xserve RAID was discontinued in 2008.