The appearance of this option, the Mac Pro seemed to be natural and logical only for those who were not in the subject. The question was only one: “why?”. The answers were many, but none of them calmed the inquiring minds. They calmed down themselves eventually… Any Mac Pro you can turn in exactly the same Mac Pro Server in the Configurator online store. For the same amount, if not cheaper. In the list of options Mac Pro was a server option actual version of the system.
Increase RAM size and capacity? Easy. This can be done in several ways. To order from Apple Configurator, and get it all ready. Or purchase and install yourself that cheaper.
But in 2010, the online Apple store there was “another product”: the Mac Pro Server. With a single launch configuration. I doubt that its development required experienced specialists from the server units of the company (one of the versions of the answer). Since 2009, the unit engaged exclusively in OS X Server.
Other versions have been at least questionable…
This is the ninth part of a series about the Mac Pro. Links to previous parts of the series here:
First part: Mac Pro 2006: “Apple” Apocalypse;
Second part: April, 2007, unknown Mac Pro…;
Third part: 2008 began with the Mac Pro…;
The fourth part: Mac Pro March 2009: a split personality…;
Fifth part: a single-processor Mac Pro 2009;
Sixth part: a Dual-processor Mac Pro 2009;
Seventh part: Mac Server G4 back…;
Eighth part: Mac Pro 2010.
Mac Pro Server 2010 initial configuration
The starting configuration was the only one. It was called “Mac Pro Server”.
It employs a 4-core Intel Xeon 2.8 GHz (W3530), “Nehalem” (45 nm technology), cache in the third level is 8 MB. QPI from 4.8 GT/s, Turbo Boost increases its clock speed to 3.06 GHz thanks to HyperThreading, the four physical cores into 8 virtual, but no less real for that.
Power consumption, means of interaction with the outside world, the performance is the same as that of single-processor Mac Pro on the same processor. Actually, this was a normal Mac Pro with lots of RAM (8 GB instead of 3) and with two drives of 1 TB (7 200 rpm, cache 32 MB), instead of one.
Memory type – PC3-8500 (1066MHz) DDR3 ECC SDRAM.
And preinstalled with Mac OS 10.6.4 “Snow leopard” Server. Intact changes configuration was proposed for 2 $ 999. Original cost 2 499.
If you set a single-processor Mac Pro, the second disk and 5 GB RAM, and purchase the server version of the fourth “Snow Leopard”, even if it is to do everything in the online store, the cost of the resulting configuration would be a hundred dollars for less than 2 $ 999.
Isn’t that the Mac Pro Server has turned into a separate product? When you purchase at least ten thousand of these “servers” the company would have earned another million dollars.
But, oddly enough, this aspect was not the main reason for creating a Mac Pro Server.
In the section “processor Selection” was offered five options. Six radio buttons, the first of which was the default in the “on”state.
Two single-processor options:
— 4-core 3.2 GHz Intel Xeon (W3530) “Nehalem” (45 nm technology). The cache of the third level is the same as in the starting configuration, clock frequency and performance is better than him, to the total cost of the configuration, this choice has added $ 400;
— 6-core Intel Xeon 3.33 GHz( W3680) “Westmere” (32 nm technology). 12 MB cache in the third level, all the benefits of the next generation of processors, another type of RAM – PC3-10600 (1333 MHz) DDR3 ECC SDRAM, to the total amount of the choice has added 1 $ 200.
Three dual-processor options:
the spark of a 4-core Intel Xeon 2.4 GHz (E5620), “Westmere” (32 nm), the total cache size the third level is 8 MB type of RAM is PC3-8500 (1066MHz) DDR3 ECC SDRAM, a choice cost an additional $ 775;
— spark 6-core Intel Xeon 2.66 GHz( X5650), “Westmere” (32 nm), cache in the third level 12 MB per processor, for this choice would have had to pay 2 $ 275 more than the starting configuration (which cost 2 $ 999);
-spark 6-core Intel Xeon 2.93 GHz( X5670), “Westmere” (32 nm), cache in the third level 12 MB per processor, this option costs an extra 3 $ 475.
I omit the details, they are one-in-one are the same as the Mac Pro.
Depending on the selected radio button has changed the number of processors, type of memory, and a data transfer rate in QPI.
But the collectors online store problems with it was not. User-selected options a special program has transformed to the exact specifications, with dedicated to greater reliability of key moments. Along the way, checking the availability of components in stock, ordering the missing – and calculating the minimum term of the order.
The rest is elementary.
Why Apple needed the Mac Pro Server?
The exact answer to this question is unknown. “The basement of the Apple campus” somewhat reminiscent of the Vatican library, but even cooler: in the library of the Vatican, from time to time, is still allowed outside.
But on the basis of publicly available information it is possible to make some conclusions. Now that we know what happened next, the answer to the question “why” seems obvious. This is a very dangerous sign. Most obvious usually it seems what we are trying to make believe, and effective ways to do this.
It seems to be not the case, but warn you I must. This is my reasoning.
In 2008 or 2009 Apple (or rather Steve) made the final decision about the future direction of the server. It was promising in the beginning, the NeXT developments and relationships in this segment of the industry could ensure her success here, but for real success it was required to concentrate efforts and funding in this area.
Success in other areas achieved an order of magnitude faster and cost less. In 2008, and even earlier, to create in that area something is “the best in the world” was impossible.
In 7 years Apple has sold tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of Xserve. Unsuccessful this direction was not – people loved those “Mac and not for everyone” – but the future he was gone.
To reduce the negative impact from the elimination of directions for some time decided to imitate his activities. And remove it carefully.
Mac mini Server was the first trial step. Happened. The company providing hosting for “Apple” the server understood the first: one after another they refused to purchase a new Xserve, creating clusters of hundreds and thousands of Mac mini.
The next step was much riskier: it had to liquidate itself Xserve. For what was taken the following precautions:
place the Xserve in the online store had to zagnati it a worthy alternative, Mac Pro better man for it, he played the role of a Mac Pro Server.
— issued instruction: “the Transition from Xserve to Mac mini Server and Mac Pro Server”, I read it in 2010 and yesterday – it’s almost nothing.
That’s all. Install OS X Server on any Mac turned it into a server. The shadow of death now hung over in the backend system – it, gradually, deprived of functions, made it free, in 2018 it was only the name…
But that’s another story.
To be continued…
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