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Apple launches new \"shrink-wrapped\" mini-cluster

Apple Computer recently told some of its channel partners that it is relaunching the Apple Workgroup Cluster, which it describes as a \"shrink-wrapped\" mini-cluster.

Targeted at Bioinformatics, the cluster provides a faster, easier and lower-cost path to scientific discovery. \"The new Workgroup Cluster is bigger, better, and faster,\" the company said.

Available for order this month, the cluster is available in pre-determined configurations of 4, 8, 12 and 16 node clusters based on Apple\'s 2.3Ghz Xserve G5 head and node cluster components.


The new cluster is housed in an updated 12u noise-canceling rack enclosure known as the Aiino 12u ClusterMaster. Each cluster will also ship with Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) for additional configuration and management ease as well as a new iNquiry version with ARD-based cluster install procedure.

Other changes to the cluster offerings include the removal of a 2 node cluster option and the addition of a 24-port Ethernet Switch to all configurations for cost-effective cluster expansion.

The clusters appear to range in price from $23,000 for a low-end 4-node version to $64,500 for the full-fledged 16-node mini cluster.