A Serving Of Apple

You may think of Cupertino, Calif., as the place from which Macintoshes and iPods make their assaults on the consumer world, and you'd be right. However, Apple is also getting

January 30, 2004

3 Min Read
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Don't expect flashy, Super Bowl-level TV commercials, but Apple nonetheless is looking for some new customers--of the enterprise kind.

You may think of Cupertino, Calif., as the place from which Macintoshes and iPods make their assaults on the consumer world, and you'd be right. However, Apple is also getting serious about server technology and enterprise networking, and a few people are starting to listen.

Apple made some time at this month's Macworld Expo to roll out a new line of G5-based Xserve blade servers to augment its existing server offerings. It also announced a G5 version of its RAID storage system. While the server line is typically Apple-price, the company is touting its claims of major performance gains, the robustness of the native OS X operating system, and easy clustering ability as selling points for network administrators. Apple also argues that when the cost of add-ons, deployment, and configuration are added in, the Xserve line competes favorably with commodity-based server installations.

Apple's clustering technology has already scored one notable success: A recent Virginia Tech supercomputer installation consisting of 1,100 G5s is the talk of the supercomputing world. In that situation, Apple scored an unusual (for it) cost victory; the $7 million price tag is way below the price of a typical supercomputer, increasing the likelihood that new supercomputing initiatives will take a good, long look at Apple products. A few more of those, and Apple could be seeing some significant revenue.

Strangely, it's probably the iPod that's giving Apple breathing room to concentrate on enterprise products. The cool, personal MP3 player has been such a smash success that it's beefed up the company's bottom line to levels not seen for nearly half a decade. Don't necessarily look for the iPod, itself, to turn up in many IT installations (although VAR Business columnist David Strom argues that the device could serve nicely as an offline, easily synced backup storage unit). Nonetheless, it's interesting to note that the digital-music revolution is causing butterfly-effect ripples in the enterprise server pool.Apple Sows G5 Seeds Into Server Market
Apple Computer recently introduced the Apple G5 Xserve at Macworld.

Apple: In Pursuit Of The Enterprise Customer
Apple Computer has stepped up its pursuit of the enterprise networking market, with the introductions of new blade servers and RAID storage gear.

Customers Eye Virginia Tech's Supercomputer Upgrade
Virginia Tech's decision to replace its "Big Mac" supercomputer processors with Apple Computer Xserve G5 servers will make the installation more attractive to users.

Apple Introduces Its 64-bit Xserve G5
Apple this week introduced two products geared toward the enterprise customer: a 64-bit version of its Xserve blade server and a RAID storage device.

Apple Targets High-Performance Market
Apple's release of software for clustering Macintosh computers to run scientific applications show how Apple is building products to capture a greater share of the market for high-performance computing.DEEP BACKGROUND

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