You have to give kudos to Apple for vastly increasing throughput and overall performance of its newest server and workstation designs, and for fostering a healthy third-party community for enterprise systems.
The new Xserve server in particular represents a significant jump over the company's current lineup. Using Intel's quad-core Xeon 5400s boosts clock speeds up to 3 GHz, nearly doubling the throughput of existing Xeon 5100 machines. This must be especially gratifying for those of you waiting in vain for a quad Xeon 5300 for the past year.
The Xserve also boasts an 800 MHz DDR2 DIMM that bumps memory bandwidth to 25.6 GBps, more than 60 percent over current models. Support for multichannel 4 Gb Fibre Channel and 10 Gb Ethernet cards also go a long way toward getting your bits where they need to be in a hurry.
For many of you, one of those destinations will likely be the new SATABeast Xi from Nexsan. It holds up to 42 TB in a 4U frame with four ports each of 4 Gb Fibre Channel and 10 Gb Ethernet. It also uses a hardware casing to match the Xserve and sports the same management GUI as well.
Virtualization on the Mac looks like its getting a shot in the arm as well with the beta release of SWsoft's new Parallels Server system. Not only can it run multiple copies of the Mac OS X Server, but it can skip the OS host and run directly on hardware. It supports up to 50 guest OSes, ranging from Windows, Red Hat and SUSE Linux to Sun Solaris.
For years, pundits have been wondering whether Apple has become so enamored of consumer gadgets that it didn't have the moxy to support enterprise users anymore. It looks like they've answered that question.