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Apple Ships Upgraded Xserve RAID

Apple Tuesday released an updated Xserve RAID with beefed-up storage capacity that the company said slashes the product’s cost per gigabyte.

The 3U rack storage system now provides up to 7 terabytes of storage and comes in 1-Tbyte, 3.5-Tbyte and 7-Tbyte configurations, according to Apple. At the same time, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company kept the Xserve RAID’s starting price at $5,999, the same as when the product made its debut in February 2003.

“We were able to deliver this upgrade without changing the price. So essentially for our customers, it’s basically $1.86 per gigabyte for this high level of storage,” said Alex Grossman, senior director of hardware, servers and storage at Apple. The previous iteration of the Xserve RAID offered a cost per Gbyte of $2.32, he said.

At under $2 per Gbyte of storage, the enhanced Xserve RAID beats the cost of comparable storage from Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Sun Microsystems, Apple said on its Web site.

“From a value standpoint, storage is just growing in capacity every year. People always need more storage. This [new Xserve RAID] gives them the ability to meet their needs,” Grossman said. “One of the problems is that budgets are shrinking and storage needs are growing. So we think that we are definitely at an industry-leading price here.”

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