View Full Version : 1 cpu g5 xserve

07-06-2004, 11:13 AM
so you know I have a single cpu g5, and am very very happy with how it is a fileserver.
well, now i am thinking of asking it to also be our www host and mail host.
do you think i will see a slowdown in local file serving performance?

07-06-2004, 11:51 AM
I would only guess it will be difficult to tell. It will really depend greatly on the load the box sees from the web and mail server, plus the load from filesharing. If all three are light, you should be good. But how heavy is heavy?

If you go ahead, consider the amount of spam hitting email servers these days, and consider something to handle the spam before it hits the server; quite a few software solutions (to be run on a Win, Linux, or OS X box) and hardware appliances that handle spam/virus/intrusion before the email server even sees it.

Keep in mind is something like 60 - 80% of all traffic is crap these days, and you should come up with a plan to protect your server and your users from it. The side effect of a successful security plan is much less resource usage on the email server.

It is possible to protect the email server, and limit number of users and privledges.... but I have no idea what you can do to protect or limit the volume of web traffic - no experience there. I would be willing to try fileshare and email, but would be nervous of all three, but that is just gut feeling, not experience.

You might try posting in the Apple Server forum, or at afp.548.com for very specialized Server info...

08-01-2004, 01:30 PM
G4 Xserve Hot-To review:

July 29, 2004
Apple Xserve Is a Tasty Server
By Steven J. Schuchart Jr.
Courtesy of Network Computing

That's right "G4 Xserve" and 1GHz with 133 MHz fsb also. Is this a joke or what? and it was lame. Maybe a year ago, but I'm disappointed in Storage Pipeline and Network Computing for even publishing lite fluff like this.

I was going to delete this message but thought I'd leave it. Reviewing Jaguar and G4 and coming from someone "evaluating" Mac server does a dis-serve. I'd say someone was taking a jab or trying to tarnish the name. Truth is, the only name that gets tarnished is the author and the people he writes for.

08-01-2004, 10:01 PM
Saw that too....not a terrible review really, but a G4! The tip off is 4 drives; everybody who bothers to look knows the G5s only have 3. That makes the review well over 8 months old....


08-01-2004, 10:39 PM
This kind of thing is really starting to frustrate me. Yet another example of shoddy web "journalism." Seriously, how hard is it, if you're reviewing a product, to go to the manufacturer's website?? (www.apple.com/xserve) More and more frequently tech writers seem to just write un-researched junk, especially about apple. Quoting other "analysts" articles for market figures, getting system configurations wrong, etc. etc. etc. Did these guys even graduate from high school?? Anyways, I wrote this email to the editor at that website, just to let him know what was up.

To whom it may concern,

I am writing this email to let the author of a recent review of Apple's Xserve ( Steven J. Schuchart ) know that that product line was updated months ago, and that he reviewed a product that's easily a year to a year and a half old. The new Apple Xserve G5's use IBM's "new" (as of last summer, and these servers came out in January) PowerPC 970 processor. In the future I would suggest visiting the manufacturer's website (www.apple.com/xserve) before writing a review of their product. To those who are unfamiliar to Apple in the Enterprise market, this type of reviewing is of no help to them as they are not shown the current Apple product line. I understand if it was hard to get a G5 xserve for the review, they're in high demand right now, but even the existence of a new, revolutionary system architecture should have been mentioned.

I apologize if you take offense to anything written in this email, I've just been frustrated with a lot of tech "analysts" and "reviewers" as of late who won't take 5 minutes of their time to do some simple web research, even using google. Maybe it's possible that the date on this article was wrong as well, and it was written in 2003? Could be. Still, just wanted to let you know about a great product from apple that deserves a more recent review! (Also check out the impact apple's having on high end computing in a few new supercomputers being built from Xserve G5's)

Thanks for your time,
Steve Moore

08-02-2004, 08:31 AM
Nice Steve.

FWIW, I recall the reviewer mentioning no cable management.

We have a G4 and a couple G5s, and there is cable management....is he incompetent, making stuff up, or writing the review without actually having the hardware in front of him!?

Thanks for keeping them on there toes.

08-02-2004, 09:16 AM
I got the feeling it was written up a year ago and somehow got uploaded by mistake! :crossbne:

08-02-2004, 09:24 AM
and so, you DONT think i should host www and mail on our fileserving single cpu g5?


08-02-2004, 09:35 AM
hey, run it into the ground, then tell the head honcho you need some rackmount duals in there. I think there is some wisdom with today's email to host it on its own server - let it crunch the spam and worms on its own - and in case you have to kill it or reboot.

Also, 4GB RAM will run $800+ I imagine. SATA still doesn't like to have a deep I/O queue depth. Some SR reviews of drives show that not all SATA take kindly to file serving. Seagate vs WD vs Hitachi mostly. And of course you don't do any streaming video, which would require a different box.

Are two G5 x 1 cpus better sometimes than a single DP? :dance:

08-02-2004, 09:44 AM
yeah-- gave up the idea of hosting already. just teasing you.
the off-topic rant got silly, dontcha think?

i decided to move the hosting back off-site and not even deal with it. aint worth it.

the xserve has run perfectly, i have to say. still very happy with it.

08-02-2004, 10:21 AM
Yeah, way off topic. Sorry. http://macgurus.com/forums/images/smilies/redface.gif

So just a file server now? How many users? Mac users only? Any problems or weirdness?

08-04-2004, 06:15 AM
How about running YDL on G5?

08-04-2004, 07:19 AM
i've concluded that it ain't worth the extra green.
when i work at a single cpu workstation versus a dual (we have a variety here), i often can't 'feel' the difference. the difference shows when i've got quark and illustrator open, and photoshop batching 200 files, and i'm checking the macgurus site at the same time. then, i notice the difference. but most of the time, single works just fine.
so for the single g5 as a fileserver, i'm glad i didn't blow the extra grand.
i'm hoping that sonnet or somebody makes an upgrade cpu that'll work, since this baby has an open (an apparantly usable) cpu slot. i'd love to have the option to go to a faster dual some time in the future. just the option.
as for sata drives, i am happy with them. using the stock apple ones. hitachi? don't remember.

08-04-2004, 07:20 AM
by the way, TZ how is it i joined the forum before you??

08-05-2004, 06:49 AM
Just to follow up on yesterday's YDL's 64-bit 4.0 HPC version for G5.
LinuxPPC 64 bits on G5 - Yoc - 08:25:02

IBM has published on its developer site an article written by an employee of Gnosis Software that gives an excellent hands on introduction to installing Linux on a PowerMac G5. The article is a step by step guide on how to install Yellow Dog Linux with a 64bits kernel, which is still in beta stages (access to PowerMac G5 ISO images is not free).

Once installed, the person has run a few benchmarks and, even if the author barely admits it, YDL64bits seems to draw circles around Darwin (the low level part of OS X) when it comes to heavy computations or network throughoutput. This doesn't really mean anything for day to day use of a PowerMac G5, but tells us that Linux is clearly more appropriate for big servers when you're not afraid to get your hands dirty.

And this also means that there is a lot of room for improvements that Apple will take advantage of in the next versions of OS X. The PowerMac G5 still hasn't shown all its cards yet... - www.hardmac.com

Right you are, I was lurking around. Fed up with ATA performance in my B&W, I went looking for RAM, XLR8 G4, and... those 2940U2Bs and Miles2 cards back then in 2000. I was getting my feet wet so to speak. A $209 9GB 10K bargin on SCSI got me hooked (and $3000 later, SATA is probably ideal for desktop and SCSI for scratch RAID or some servers).

08-17-2004, 04:05 AM
Anyone want to take a stab at this problem Apple Discussions (http://discussions.info.apple.com/webx?13@@.68991650)

Hoping someone here has had similar issues:

Dual 2.0 G5, OSX Server 10.3.4, 512Mb RAM (factory), External eRAID set to RAID 5 (5 250Gb ATA drives) connnected to theG5 via Firewire 800.
Testing Software: Speedtools Integrity

Problem: read/write errors and cross linked data.

I sent this drive back to thee factory for testing and they said it was fine. So I brought it back and they had left it set to RAID 0 so I erased it to Mac OS Extended ournaled and tested the drive using Integrity tool. I set inital tests to 10Mb and found many many errors reading data back. I then re-erased the drive turning joiurnaling off. Suddenly NO ERRORS!

Next, reset RAID to level 5, reformat and erase to Mac OS Extended (no journaling) and tried Integrity again. This time, at 1Mb no errors but a whole bunch of errors as I slide up the scale toward 10Mb.

I'm supposed to bee able to use this through the SATA connector as well but I haven't got that to work yet. Is it the consensus that the G5 seems to have a l! ame FW800 port (like the older B&W G3s did?)



08-20-2004, 07:18 AM
"So, even if it doesn't catch on with your enterprise at large, Mac OS X Server will definitely contribute to the rising swell of Windows-alternative servers, and the open source community can always plunder its best features." says ServerWatch on their review of Panther Server. Elsewhere, ComputerWorld says that Apple Remote Desktop 2 is 'well worth the money'.


01-12-2005, 04:15 AM

CISCO, the largest network systems manufacturer has decided to build its mail archiving system around an Xserve/Xserve RAID/XSan solution.
CISCO declared that Apple's solution was twice cheaper for twice the storage spaced compared to other solutions.

Apple now has a range that covers all markets and needs, and these efforts start paying off.

01-13-2005, 09:20 AM
Some real nice comments about XSan from InfoWorld.com

THAT is what I call getting good recognition.

01-15-2005, 09:17 AM
No degradation on Xserve/Xraid even when you are using 90% storage available. If you have to have 1TB of storage, you don't want to have to buy 2TB and waste half because it can't maintain the 200MB minimum needed for video editing.
But for both the Xserve RAID and Xserve G5, itÕs the improvements under the hood that stand out.
G5 Xserve/XRAID (http://www.infoworld.com/Apple_Xserve_RAID/product_46690.html)

When factoring in the OS cost, Xserve remains a smart server choice for budget-conscious operations that donÕt need an all-Microsoft ecosystem. If Xserve G5 falls short anywhere, itÕs on features that may be unnecessary outside the most demanding environments.

Apple impresses with new Xserve hardware
Xserve with G5 CPUs, 3.5TB RAID gives you more for less
[url=http://www.infoworld.com/Apple_Xserve_G5/product_45990.html] InfoWorld G5 Xserve (http://weblog.infoworld.com/techwatch/archives/000978.html[ Apple Xsan Fibre Channel [/url)
Xserve G5 RAID (http://weblog.infoworld.com/techwatch/archives/000958.html)

Apple takes the bite out of SANs
Xsan lowers the obstacles to SAN implementation

... the value of Xserve RAID when compared with similar 3U arrays is obvious to even the most stubborn big-iron loyalist. AppleÕs Xsan storage networking app, also due this fall, might actually bring some sanity to SAN implementations. With a $999 price tag and purported 100 percent interoperability with ADICÕs StorNext file system, Xsan may be the budget balancer that SAN technology needs to take off in smaller enterprises.

AppleÕs Xserve product line performs well and compares favorably on price. Feature for feature, it holds its own against anything IÕve seen in a Xeon- or Opteron-based system.

there are things I can do with AppleÕs tightly integrated hardware and OS that I canÕt do with other platforms, such as use an external FireWire boot device if a system refuses to boot on its own.

01-25-2005, 04:44 PM
Woof! Whatta thread!

1.) Network Computing is a little odd...they did a review of our product (server software) and it appears that they didn't even install it correctly...and were a bit huffy to boot. Methinks they're not the real ones to look to for networking stuff. Y'know, when I saw it was Network Computing, I didn't even bother to read the article.

2.) OTOH, NetworkWorld, a publication with a much bigger user base, named XServe as a "product of the year". The thing is getting plenty o' good press. It's going to take time though as people take long to give up prejudice. In the ol' days, the saying was, "no-one ever got fired for buying IBM", now the saying is "no-one ever got fired for buying Microsoft". I just witnessed a massive deployment where everything was replaced by Microsoft analogues. Bugs galore, network failures, viruses, etc. etc. etc.

3.) As regards using a file server as a web server, yes, certainly it can be done. Would I recommend it? Probably not unless:

a.) There is no other option.

b.) Definitely get a security review if there's anything sensitive involved.

c.) Watch your MRTG (or whatever bandwidth usage software you like) to make sure your file server isn't flooding the connection. If the web server is flooding the connection then you've either got too small a connection or enough business to justify a separate box. Of course, all this can further be enhanced by segmenting traffic (I don'k know, can the XServe do dual-home and support 2-NICs)?

my $0.02.


01-25-2005, 04:53 PM
Actually, after much back and forth, started using our single cpu g5 xserve as our www host in addition to file server. Since it is a small shop, and its just hosting a simple site with image galleries, its been working fine.
Decided to keep mail hosting outside, and it turns out our ISP includes lots and lots of email addresses with our DSL service.
So, the xserve is running strong. Never once had to use the emergency backup duplicate system drive I have on a shelf....

onward and upward apple!

(just dont forget your old friends when you get to the top)

01-25-2005, 05:06 PM
Are two G5 x 1 cpus better sometimes than a single DP?

Eh, I feel kinda like I'm walking into something, ;-) , but I'd say "yeah", in particular if you've got any disk activity. Most file _and_ web serving is more disk I/O bound than processor bound...that is, unless you've got some big crunching web apps, but even then too. A site I designed and programmed, which was recently retired, did several million dollars worth of business over the last few years, with about $0.5 million in the last 6 months. Running on a single Compaq DL-380 733 MHz PIII...processor utilization rarely got above 10%...and it was fully secured (and SSL is a bit of a load), credit card validation, etc.

Also, another thing to add that I failed to in the earlier post is to make sure you're doing at least some kind of RAID...even mirroring is a very good idea.

If you've got any web apps and the beast doesn't have quite enough physical RAM, you'll be pounding the disk like crazy...