Xserve RAID Xserve RAID

Xserve RAID Datasheet

In the early 2000s, Apple revolutionized the storage industry with the introduction of the Xserve RAID. This innovative mass-storage device marked a significant milestone in Apple’s history, offering unprecedented storage capacity, performance, and affordability. Despite its short-lived existence, the Xserve RAID left a lasting legacy, showcasing Apple’s commitment to innovation and excellence in the storage market.

Apple unveiled the Xserve RAID on February 10, 2003, as part of its Xserve series. It boasted a remarkable 2.5 TB storage capacity, blazing performance of up to 400 MB/s, and an industry-leading price point of just over $4 per gigabyte. This groundbreaking product set new standards for storage density, performance, and value, earning accolades from industry experts and customers alike.

The Xserve RAID’s unique architecture featured fourteen independent ATA/100 drive channels, delivering up to 2.5 TB of storage. Dual independent RAID controllers with up to 1 GB controller cache memory ensured fully redundant storage, while a dual 2Gb Fibre Channel host interface provided unparalleled performance. Notably, the Xserve RAID supported RAID level 5 throughput, enabling affordable real-time HD 1080i video editing—a remarkable feat at the time.

Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, hailed the Xserve RAID as an industry breakthrough, emphasizing its high-performance redundant storage and competitive pricing. Jon Moog, CIO of RiskWise, praised the Xserve RAID for its compelling performance, density, and value, highlighting its seamless integration with existing infrastructure.

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

The Xserve RAID prioritized serviceability and redundancy, featuring an accessible enclosure, modular component design, and continuous visual feedback for local monitoring. Redundant hot-swap power and cooling modules ensured uninterrupted service, while indicator lights and built-in audible alarms provided instant status updates and failure notifications.

Apple’s legendary ease of use extended to the Xserve RAID’s management interface. The included Java-based RAID Admin software offered detailed event information and automated email notifications in case of issues. With support for Apple’s Rendezvous networking technology, RAID Admin enabled effortless setup, management, and monitoring of multiple Xserve RAID systems from anywhere with an internet connection.

The Xserve RAID is seamlessly integrated with Xserve servers using Apple’s dual-channel 2Gb Fibre Channel PCI Card. This high-speed storage interface ensured dedicated bandwidth and throughput of up to 400 MB/s, facilitating efficient data transfer and access.

At its launch, the Xserve RAID was priced at $5,999, offering exceptional value for its extensive feature set. Customers could choose from three standard configurations or opt for customizations to meet specific requirements, with prices ranging from $5,999 to $10,999. The Xserve RAID was available through the Apple Store and Authorized Resellers, reinforcing Apple’s commitment to accessibility and customer satisfaction.

Despite its impressive capabilities, the Xserve RAID was discontinued on January 6, 2004, after just a year on the market. While its tenure was short-lived, the Xserve RAID’s legacy endures as a symbol of Apple’s pioneering spirit and dedication to pushing the boundaries of technology. As we commemorate the 21-year anniversary of this iconic device, we reflect on its impact and legacy in shaping the future of storage solutions.

The Xserve RAID remains a nostalgic reminder of Apple’s early foray into the storage market, showcasing the company’s commitment to innovation, performance, and value. Although it may have been short-lived, the Xserve RAID’s influence reverberates through the industry, serving as a testament to Apple’s ingenuity and enduring legacy in the world of technology.

Xserve Rack
Source: macstories.net – Xserve Rack

Xserve RAID Details

IntroducedFebruary 10, 2003
DiscontinuedJanuary 6, 2004
Model NumberA1004
Order NumberM8668LL/A (720 GB storage)
M8669LL/A (1.26 TB storage)
M8670LL/A (2.52 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 2.52 TB total capacity in RAID 0
Hard Drive Interface14 – Ultra ATA/100 (ATA-6) – Dual independent RAID controllers
Cache128 MB per RAID controller with support to 512 MB
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 (HSSDC2)
2 – 10/100BASE-T
2 – DB-9


Maximum Continuous Power400 W
Line Voltage90V – 264V 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 15, 2024