Apple quietly demonstrated a prototype of its Xserve RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) solution at Apple Expo, Paris.

Xserve RAID is a 3U rack-mounted storage unit containing 14 hot-swappable ATA/100 drive bays for a theoretical maximum storage capacity of 1.68 terabytes. The solution will support 2GB Fibre Channel technology for a theoretical maximum throughput of 400MB per second. The hardware RAID is built on the same architecture as Xserve.

Company sources refused to be drawn on price or availability for the product, which was also demonstrated one week later at Amsterdam's film and production show IBC 2002.

Apple's focus on the video industry has caused some critics to observe that at the high end, Apple's pro Macs suffered from the lack of optical I/O and hardware RAID systems. At this time, Apple's Power Macs and Xserves all share the same essential motherboard architecture. The company is also preparing to ship Shake for Mac OS X, its high-end post-production and compositing solution.