Apple has introduced a version of its Xserve rackmount server aimed at customers seeking to build computing clusters.
The Cluster Node Xserve is based on two 1.33GHz PowerPC G4 processors, each with 256KB on-die L2 cache and 2MB of backside L3 cache, a base 256MB of 333MHz DDR SDRAM, a 60GB ATA-133 hard drive and gigabit Ethernet. Clustering capabilities are delivered through Mac OS X Server.
Each unit costs $2799, $1000 less than the regular Xserve, but that's because Apple has removed the video card (or AGP slot), the remaining hard drive expansion bays and one of the two gigabit Ethernet ports. There's no optical drive either. Each Cluster Node also ships with just a ten-user OS licence, and not the usual Xserve unlimited licence.
Apple is aiming the Cluster Node configuration at biotech applications and other High Performance Computing users. ®