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Mac Thread, X-Serve / X-Raid experiences.. in Technical; We're considering replacing our Linux based Dell fileserver with an X-Serve/Raid solution to serve our cross-platform infrastructure.. My main concern ...
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    X-Serve / X-Raid experiences..

    We're considering replacing our Linux based Dell fileserver with an X-Serve/Raid solution to serve our cross-platform infrastructure..

    My main concern is with support/warranty/repairs.

    All our Dell servers are purchased with 3 year onsite warranty - extended in the third year to a total of five years.. It seems that Apple will not support the boxes after the initial three years.

    We also are having a problem choosing a support option.. Do we go for Applecare, or just by the spare parts kit and do it ourselves. Our local vendor is also offering their own support agreement..

    My question is what are other Xserve users doing for warranty/support.. And how reliable have you found the hardware..


    thanks,

    Baxter...

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baxter View Post
    We're considering replacing our Linux based Dell fileserver with an X-Serve/Raid solution to serve our cross-platform infrastructure..

    My main concern is with support/warranty/repairs.

    All our Dell servers are purchased with 3 year onsite warranty - extended in the third year to a total of five years.. It seems that Apple will not support the boxes after the initial three years.

    We also are having a problem choosing a support option.. Do we go for Applecare, or just by the spare parts kit and do it ourselves. Our local vendor is also offering their own support agreement..

    My question is what are other Xserve users doing for warranty/support.. And how reliable have you found the hardware..

    Baxter...
    We went with the applecare kits for both xserve and xraid instead of the extended server/storage specific applecare. It includes the components that are most likely to fail i.e fans, controllers and spare disks. We've had a PSU go on the xraid so the kit came in very handy. Don't forget the PSU's are redundant anyway so you could theoretically just carry on in event of a failure - though i wouldn't recommend it. Controllers aren't which is the biggest flaw in the Xraid.

    The xraid is a fairly straightforward bit of kit, so apple support beyond hardware diagnostics and repair is going to be in using the Raid admin gui for configuration. And tbh there's enough forums and literature to get you out of any potential binds. Same goes for Xserve but the basic support will not cover use of os x server beyond the gui elements. Command line support is only available with the more expensive server support which covers up to 10 incidents.

    I'd seriously consider going with what you're ASE is willing to provide, as it'll be cheaper and maybe more tailored to you're needs. As for support beyond 3 years...well it'd make sense for the xserve...but the xraid is showing it's age, so you'll probably be looking at a forklift upgrade of you're storage in 3 years anyway.

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    manxdan's Avatar
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    I'm running 4 Xserve's and an Xraid for backup storage, all bought with the standard 3 year AppleCare. Our LEA use Xserves also and in conjunction with a local support firm hold one spares kit or each model which can be used by anyone in an emergency. We have had 0 hardware problems even with our two oldest Xserve's which have been running almost constantly for nearly 6 years!

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    i can see the kits being worthwhile for a site with multiple servers, but for us it doesn't seem worth it, especially as any parts which fail after the initial 12 months wouldn't be covered by the warranty... so we'd need to buy more spares..

    plus the kit doesn't cover the Fibre card needed for the Xserve.. Another potential single point of failure...

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    never had a hardware failure on a xserve or xraid, oldest is now 4 years old

    before that we used power mac's and only ever had 1 problem and that was the hard drive controller eating hard drives on a daily basis!
    Last edited by gaz350; 8th January 2008 at 04:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by baxter View Post
    i can see the kits being worthwhile for a site with multiple servers, but for us it doesn't seem worth it, especially as any parts which fail after the initial 12 months wouldn't be covered by the warranty... so we'd need to buy more spares..

    plus the kit doesn't cover the Fibre card needed for the Xserve.. Another potential single point of failure...
    No, i agree, for you're situation the service parts kit don't make a lot of sense financially speaking. However they're convenience cannot be underestimated. If one of you're controllers goes tits up you've go no redundancy within the array so you've lost the 7 disks on that side of the array until faulty controller is replaced. At best an apple technician will get to you in 4 hours with the premium applecare service...more likely they'll get to you the following day. We've not had a controller fail yet...but it is possible. And don't let the tales of solid reliability lull you into a false sense of security.

    The premium service is excellent value as it includes os x server software support. Although Apple helpdesk isn't at the same level in terms of service as say Dell tech support...and anything that involves any command line work or debug is beyond what you're covered for. But I'd recommend it if you can't afford the parts kit. Don't just 'do nothing' get the premium cover or buy the parts' kits.

    At £700 per array and £650 per server it's good value.

    http://www.apple.com/uk/support/products/premium.html



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