Apple has updated its Xserve RAID to set a new industry standard based on price.

The new 3U Xserve RAID offers up to 7TB of storage at just £1.34 (including VAT) per GB, the company claims.

Apple also upgraded its Xserve 1U rack-optimized server with up to three 500GB drives. Prices for Xserves still start at £1,871.49 (including VAT) and prices for Xserve RAID at £4,349 (including VAT).

In an elusive way, Apple revealed how many Xserve RAID's it has sold in the last couple of years.

"Apple has shipped an impressive 76 petabytes of Xserve RAID storage in the last two years," said Phi Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing. "We are now offering our users more capacity at an even lower price per gigabyte."

Fully compliant storage powerhouse

The Xserve RAID offers 14 independent 500GB Ultra ATA drive channels for up to 7TB of storage capacity. The dual independent RAID controllers with 512MB cache per controller offer sustained throughput of over 385MBps - high enough for video production.

Xserve RAID is certified to run in Mac OS X, Windows, NetWare, SUSE and Red Hat Linux environments. It connects to any Xserve or Power Mac system using Apple's dual-channel 2GB Apple Fibre Channel PCI-X card, which costs an additional £349 (including VAT).

The new 2.3GHz G5 Xserve's can hold up to three 500GB drives to achieve a groundbreaking 1.5TB of hot-plug storage.

Apple promises up to 35 gigaflops of processing power per system coupled with the industry's fastest front side 1U server system bus, running at up to 1.15 GHz with up to 9.2 GBps of bandwidth per processor and Mac OS X 10.4 Server installed.

Xsan-ready

Xserve RAID also works seamlessly with Xsan, Apple's  64-bit cluster file system for Mac OS X to deliver a powerful SAN solution at a low price that lets organisations consolidate storage resources and provide multiple computers with concurrent file-level read/write access to shared volumes over Fibre Channel.

Apple offers a choice of service and support programs for Xserve RAID including four hour on-site response, 24x7 technical support, AppleCare Service Parts Kits and the AppleCare Professional SupportLine and Tools program.

The new Xserve RAID is available today in three standard configurations. All prices include VAT.

Three models

Xserve RAID, £4,349, includes:

1TB RAID 0 total available storage;
Dual independent RAID controllers with 512MB cache per controller;
Dual 2GB Fibre Channel SFP ports with 200MBps throughput per channel;
Four 250GB ATA Apple Drive Modules;
8MB on-drive cache.

Xserve RAID, £6,149, includes:

3.5TB RAID 0 total available storage;
Dual independent RAID controllers with 512MB cache per controller;
Dual 2GB Fibre Channel SFP ports with 200MBps throughput per channel;
Seven 500GB ATA Apple Drive Modules;
8MB on-drive cache.

Xserve RAID, £9,399, includes:

7TB RAID 0 total available storage;
Dual independent RAID controllers with 512MB cache per controller;
Dual 2GB Fibre Channel SFP ports with 200MBps throughput per channel;
Fourteen 500GB ATA Apple Drive Modules; and
8MB on-drive cache.