Xserve RAID Xserve RAID

Xserve RAID SFP Early 2004 Datasheet

In the realm of enterprise storage solutions, few products have made as significant an impact as the Apple Xserve RAID SFP Early 2004 (2nd Generation). Launched in 2004 as part of the Macintosh Xserve series, this revolutionary mass-storage device redefined the landscape with its promise of high performance, reliability, and affordability.

On January 6, 2004, Apple introduced the world to the Xserve RAID SFP, a 3U high-availability rack storage system that boasted an impressive 3.5 terabytes (TB) of storage capacity and blazing performance of up to 210 MBps throughput. Priced at just over $3 per gigabyte, it quickly garnered attention for its industry-leading capabilities and aggressive pricing strategy.

One of the most groundbreaking aspects of the Xserve RAID SFP Early 2004 was its compatibility with Windows and Linux-based computing environments. This marked a significant departure from Apple’s traditional ecosystem, opening doors for a wider range of users to experience its unparalleled performance and technology.

Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, expressed the significance of this move, stating, “For the first time, customers running Windows and Linux can take advantage of Xserve RAID’s incredible price performance and breakthrough technology.”

Xserve Rack
Source: macstories.net – Xserve Rack

At the heart of the Xserve RAID SFP’s success was its unique architecture, designed to deliver massive storage density and unmatched performance. With 14 independent ATA/100 drive channels and dual independent RAID controllers, it offered up to 3.5 TB of storage capacity and sustained throughput of over 200 MBps.

This level of performance made it ideal for demanding tasks such as uncompressed 10-bit HD video editing using protected RAID level 5, setting a new standard for storage solutions in the industry.

The Xserve RAID SFP’s capabilities didn’t go unnoticed by industry leaders. It received certifications and endorsements from prominent names like Microsoft, Red Hat, Brocade, and QLogic, further solidifying its position as a top-tier storage solution.

Mike Evans, vice president of Channel Sales and Development at Red Hat, emphasized the significance of this partnership, stating, “This is the first time we are certifying an Apple product on our Red Hat Enterprise Linux platform.”

Apple didn’t just stop at delivering exceptional performance; they also prioritized ease of use and administration. The RAID Admin, a powerful Java-based management and monitoring utility, offered breakthrough features such as RAID Set Slicing and RAID Set Expansion, making administration tasks simpler and more intuitive.

The Xserve RAID SFP 2nd Gen is seamlessly integrated with any Xserve or Power Mac using the dual-channel 2 GB Apple Fibre Channel PCI Card. This high-speed, industry-standard storage interface provided dedicated bandwidth with a throughput of up to 210 MBps, ensuring smooth data transfer and accessibility.

Moreover, Apple collaborated with leading storage network vendors to certify Xserve RAID compatibility with popular hardware and software, making it an ideal choice for heterogeneous storage networks.

As technology continued to evolve, the demand for more advanced storage solutions grew. In 2008, after four years on the market, Apple discontinued the Xserve RAID SFP Early 2004, marking the end of an era. However today, 20 years later its legacy lives on as a milestone in the history of Apple’s storage solutions, showcasing the company’s commitment to innovation and excellence.

The Apple Xserve RAID SFP 2nd Generation revolutionized the landscape of enterprise storage solutions with its unparalleled performance, reliability, and affordability. It broke barriers by offering compatibility with Windows and Linux-based environments, garnered industry recognition and support, and provided enhanced management and monitoring capabilities.

While it may no longer be in production, the Xserve RAID SFP remains a testament to Apple’s legacy of innovation and serves as a reminder of the company’s dedication to delivering cutting-edge products that push boundaries and redefine standards.

Apple Xserve RAID
Source: pinterest.com – Apple Xserve RAID

Xserve RAID SFP Details

IntroducedJanuary 6, 2004
DiscontinuedFebruary 19, 2008
Model IdentifierUnknown
Model NumberA1009
Order NumberM9271LL/A (1 TB storage)
M9272LL/A (1.75 TB storage)
M9293LL/A (3.5 TB storage)
Original Price$5,999

Weight60 – 100 Ibs.
27.215 – 45.359 KG
Dimensions5.25” H x 17” W x 18.4” D
13.33 cm H x 43.18 cm W x 46.73 cm D

Rack Support

  • Fits EIA-310-D-compliant, industry-standard 19-inch-wide racks, including four-post racks 24-inches, 26-inches, and from 29 to 36-inches deep; deeper racks require a third-party extender

System Requirements

Storage Specs

TypeMass storage system
CapacityUp to 3.5 TB total capacity in RAID 0
Hard Drive Interface14 – Ultra ATA/100 (ATA-6) – Dual independent RAID controllers
Cache512 MB per RAID controller
ADM Compatibility180 and 250 GB (400 and 500 GB with 1.2.4-1.3.1 firmware, 750 GB with 1.5 firmware)
Bays14 – Apple Drive Module bays


ConnectionFibre Channel
Ports2 – 2 Gb Fibre Channel ports (SFP)
2 – 10/100BASE-T
2 – DB-9


Maximum Continuous Power400 W
Line Voltage100V – 240V AC

Further Reading and References

Disclaimer: The data presented in this article is under continuous development and has been manually collected from various sources based on their availability. The author of this article may revise this dataset as additional research is conducted and reviewed. Please note that the information is provided “as is” and “as available” without express or implied warranties. The author cannot be held responsible for any omissions, inaccuracies, or errors in the published information. Any warranties relating to this information are hereby disclaimed.

Last updated: February 25, 2024