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Andrew Richards
Thunderbolt Mac mini Server
on Jul 20, 2011 at 2:02:17 pm

Thunderbolt Mac mini Servers (with Lion and its included Xsan software) dropped today. Now we've got an 85 watt OS X server with 10Gbps duplex I/O available. With Promise's upcoming SANlink, it could be an Xsan metadata controller. But what about Ethernet SAN? Is there enough bandwidth on one Thunderbolt bus to serve up a Pegasus to a few clients pulling video streams with just 1500MTU Gigabit? Probably not, but I'm curious what the experts think. Maybe if the cutting is with lower-bandwidth camera-native codecs like AVCHD it would be practical?

Best,
Andy


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Bob Zelin
Re: Thunderbolt Mac mini Server
on Jul 20, 2011 at 5:10:41 pm

if this ever comes out - from Sonnet or anyone else -
Sonnet's Echo™ Express PCIe 2.0 Expansion Chassis with Thunderbolt™ Ports enable you to connect one high-performance PCI Express® 2.0 adapter card to any computer with a Thunderbolt port.

you can stick a 10Gig card into this, connect to a switch, and you have all the ethernet you want. IF THIS ACTUALLY WORKS. Who knows.

I will be downloading 10.7 tonight.

Bob Zelin



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Bill Dawson
Re: Thunderbolt Mac mini Server
on Jul 21, 2011 at 5:00:42 am

Except that...Thunderbolt is a PCIe 4 lane version 1.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Thunderbolt Mac mini Server
on Jul 21, 2011 at 1:02:21 pm

yea - Thunderbolt in it's first generation will be what I said a while ago - a modern version of what SCSI was when it first showed up on the original MAC's - an easy way to daisy chain external peripherals. Everyone things this is the replacement for everything (and it may be one day) - but right now, it's no different than
FCP X - an easy to use consumer product, that will allow non technical people to easily hookup their drives, printers, scanners (up to 6 external devices) and not rely on technical people for anything. In v1, it's not replacing networks, storage pools, or anything else.

Just like FCP X, "we" hoped for more. But Apple hopes that it appeals to consumers to make things easy for them - just like FCP X.
I just read a bunch of reviews on the new OS X Lion Server, and it was funny to read the user comments after the review - bashing the "ease of use" of Lion Server. But that is the SOLE focus for Apple now - make things easier for people to be able to use them - not super duper performance or features.

Bob Zelin



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Andrew Richards
Re: Thunderbolt Mac mini Server
on Jul 29, 2011 at 4:29:59 pm

[Bill Dawson] "Except that...Thunderbolt is a PCIe 4 lane version 1"

On copper cables, yes. But as this Anandtech article reveals, there are actually four duplex 10Gbps channels on all but the new MacBook Air, which has half as many.

The limits on a single copper TB cable are just a hair above PCIe 1.0 4x, but the controllers can handle much more, even in this first rev. I could imagine a TB breakout box that has four discrete 10Gbps ports. That's nothing to sneeze at. Optical 100Gbps is coming, once they sort out manufacturing them economically enough to be marketable.

Best,
Andy


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