CNBC’s primary network storage?  Apple Xserves with dual 15TB Xserve RAIDs and Apple Xsan

“Last week, I visited CNBC’s headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.,” Lucas Mearian blogs for Computerworld.

MacDailyNews Note: Mearian told us all why the iPhone is a ripoff back in January.

“What surprised me as I was touring the IT infrastructure with CNBC’s director of digital production and broadcast technology, Gary Kanofsky, and graphics engineer Rich Tallmadge, was one of the broadcast giant’s storage area networks. It was an Apple Xsan – one of the few I’ve come across in my travels. Most corporations simply don’t trust Apple enough — primarily because their infrastructure is Windows and Unix — to put it in their data center, much less to use it for primary network storage,” Mearian writes.

MacDailyNews Note: Actually, Xsan is the SAN file system for Mac OS X Server which is an Open Brand UNIX 03 Registered Product. Mearian was looking at racks of Apple Xserve units which were serving as Xsan metadata controller(s) and/or acting as “NAS heads” (file servers for the shared storage pool) and a grioup of Apple Xserve RAID units which can each currently hold up to 10.5TB of storage.

Mearian continues, “But here was an Xsan in an enterprise that has a data center with 600 racks of equipment supporting hundreds of servers and editing stations and more than six television networks, including MSNBC, Bravo and Sci-Fi. I just have to note that Tallmadge is one of those Apple converts who — like many of us have experienced at one time or another in our careers — covertly evangelizes for Steve Jobs, professing the immense usability and effectiveness of Macs over PCs. But while CNBC’s graphics design team does mostly use Mac (40 Mac editing stations to be exact), there are a couple of PCs attached to the Xsan, proving that it can indeed support Windows.”

MacDailyNews Take: There’re a LOT of misconception out there about Apple, obviously. People like Mearian, who don’t even know what they’re looking at, all have, uh… interesting opinions about Apple and the company’s products, usually based on myths and ignorance. They’re amazed to see Apple logos on machines doing what they consider to be “real work.” They’re shocked that the Mac clone-gone-bad “Windows” can network with Macs. They’re flabbergasted that someone would choose Apple Macs, Xserves, Xsan, etc. Lucas, you weren’t being “covertly evangelized,” you were simply waking up when confronted with reality. Surprise! Windows sucks, by the way; always has. And those CNBC’ers who are stuck using those couple of attached PCs are either pissed they can’t use Macs or blissfully ignorant accountants. Give it time, Lucas. You’ll figure it out soon, probably right after you realize that Xsan is a box of software not rack-mounted hardware.

Mearian continues with something of actual value, a video in which CNBC’s Tallmadge shows off CNBC’ Apple hardware and discusses why he chose Apple for his primary SAN:

Direct link to the video via YouTube:

Mearian’s article is here.

Learn more about Apple’s:
Xsan: Enterprise-class storage area network (SAN) solution; share files and volumes up to two petabytes (2PB)
Xserve RAID: Storage solution with up to 10.5TB in 14 hot-swap drives
Xserve: Quad Xeon 64-bit server with with Mac OS X Leopard Server
Mac OS X Leopard Server: A native 64-bit rock solid UNIX foundation upon which you can build a business


  1. This is exactly the same mind set I encounter at work every day. If it weren’t for me and another guy this school district would probably be a windows shop. My boss has all the paper required for her title, but nearly zero experience, much like the author of this article.

    It’s a bitch having to work with people who THINK they know what they’re doing and getting paid better just because they’ve sat on their asses and acquired paper certifying they’ve completed a course in mediocrity and acceptance of low expectations.

  2. No kidding,

    I had few xserves in my firm, I had to restart them only after updates, while my M$ friends restarted their boxes daily: “G: drive will be unavailable for the next 15 minutes, have a nice day and go get your coffee now!, “Productivity” is our motto.”

  3. It would be interesting to see Apple pursue a home-server strategy. After a long day at work, IT professionals don’t want to spend all weekend debugging the frickin’ home network after the family has been pounding on it all week long. And you know how insistent kids and spouses can be when the printer goes down! A no-hassle, iServe would open some eyes at home, just as Macs did for many corporate WinTel users. After a year of “it just works” at home, I can imagine the IT pro saying “well, let’s just try one of these in the branch office,” and building from there.

  4. Yeh, I got 3 Xserves put into my previous company. I called them about a month ago to see how things were going, and they said they have not had ONE problem at all with them.

    Contrast this to their previous setup – a bunch of Win Server 2003 machines, that required so much care they employed someone full time to administer them. Now that guy is working somewhere else, and the company have saved £20,000 a year on his salary.

  5. The “Teflon Don” didn’t actually graduate from grade school, as you can tell from his posting.

    Hey, dumbass: “Your” ≠ “You’re”

    (And don’t try to hide behind the “I was in a hurry” bullsh*t. You had enough time to get “I’ve” and “can’t” right. Oh, you might want to look up “comma splice” sometime when you’ve finished your hourly porn-run. A little grammar, mechanics, and usage review would serve you much better.)

  6. Well that’s just great. What this development tells me is I can expect a lot of “We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties, Please Stand By” notifications on my Dell HDTV in the future when I watch MSNBC. I might have to go back to Fox News. At least they have to good sense to use Windows and support George W. Bush.

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  7. We have a 50TB Apple XSAN here, which we will be adding anther 20 TB to it Q1 2008. Its the easiest SAN I have worked on. Anyone who isn’t taking Apple seriously when it comes to enterprise class implementations is missing out!
    It just works!

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