Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ask and ye shall receive...

So yesterday morning I whine about Xserve - later that day it goes online for ordering. But there's one catch, and it's a big one. The G5 Xserve had available hardware RAID. Sure it was just a MegaRAID controller wth no GUI and no monitoring/live rebuild, but it was still hardware RAID 5. The new Xeon Xserve has no such option. I'm not sure what crack they were smoking over in the hardware group on this one.

Granted, it's a cable-free design now (they attach to a backplane - on the G5 version the drive cages were cabled to the controller), but they could at least have done what Dell and Compaq did in their designs - use a daughtercard to add RAID to the on-board controller. That would have been a simple option to engineer in, and it's been done by countless vendors.

Other than that, the price is great, and the specs amazing. Tom Yager over at InfoWorld loves the design, which is a nice plus. But losing hardware RAID is a major problem, and I'm going to have to think of Plan B options for some of my clients who may otherwise be priced out because they can't afford an Xserve RAID.

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