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Sonnet Technologies

xMac™ mini Server PCIe 2.0 expansion system/1U rackmount enclosure

Mac | Thunderbolt | PCIe
Transform a Mac mini Server with Thunderbolt Technology into an Enterprise Class Rack Mount Server!
In many applications, a Mac mini or Mac mini Server with Thunderbolt technology can easily take the place of a full size server, but the size and form factor can limit its potential. Most importantly, it doesn't provide slots for PCIe expansion cards to increase its functionality, connectivity, and storage. Sonnet's xMac mini Server PCIe 2.0 expansion system/1U rackmount enclosure (formerly known as RackMac mini Xserver) addresses these issues and expands a Mac mini Server's potential in a big way.

Starting with their successful RackMac mini 1U rackmount enclosure for two Mac minis as a template, Sonnet created a specially designed 1U rack enclosure that securely holds a Mac mini firmly in place and delivers strategic airflow cooling. Then, inspired by the demand for the upcoming Echo Express Thunderbolt Expansion Chassis for PCIe Cards, added two PCIe 2.0 expansion slots (with a 100W power supply and fans) that connect to the Mac mini via its Thunderbolt port, included a central power hub for the Mac mini and PCIe cards, and finished by adding an additional Thunderbolt port for daisy chaining to other Thunderbolt devices. The xMac mini Server even provides a front panel USB port and a power button. The PCIe expansion slots power on and off in unison with the Mac mini.

A xMac mini Server combines the usefulness of the RackMac mini 1U rackmount enclosure for Mac mini Server computers with the functionality of the Echo Express Thunderbolt Expansion Chassis for PCIe Cards to enable you to transform a Mac mini with Thunderbolt technology from a simple server to something much more. Imagine the possibilities!
Built for Future Expansion
The xMac mini Server allows easy access to its PCIe slots and the computer's ports; simply loosen two thumbscrews and slide the top cover off. Once inside, installing PCIe expansion cards is simple. An included Thunderbolt cable plugs in between your Mac mini and one of the xMac mini Server's Thunderbolt ports, which link the PCIe slots to the computer. The xMac mini Server's second Thunderbolt port allows daisy chaining of additional Thunderbolt Technology-enabled peripherals such as additional PCIe expansion, and data storage devices.
Expand to Fit Your Needs
An xMac mini Server as a metadata controller for Xsan? Yes, you can. xMac mini Server as an ingest station for uncompressed HD video? Sure. xMac mini Server supports one full-length, full-height x16 (x4 mode) PCIe 2.0 card to enable you to use professional video capture or transcoding cards such as the RED Rocket; plus a second half-height, half-length x8 (x4 mode) PCIe 2.0 card such as a 10 Gigabit Ethernet, SAS, or Fibre Channel adapter all in 1U rack space. For PCIe card compatibility, check our upcoming list of cards that have been tested to be recognized over a Thunderbolt connection and compatible with Thunderbolt technology requirements. This Sonnet solution also supports the connection of additional Thunderbolt technology-equipped devices, including storage systems and video capture devices. See the Configuration Ideas tab for a few concepts.
Stays Cool
Variable speed fans ensure the PCIe cards stay "chill" and the enclosure stays as quiet as possible.
Smart Design Inside and Out
xMac mini Server has numerous thoughtful design touches. The power supply and fans are user-replaceable. The front panel USB port connects to the back of the Mac mini, enabling you to connect a keyboard, mouse, or thumb drive to the computer without having to access its ports from the back. Other Mac mini interface ports are extended to the back of the chassis and mounted on the rear panel for convenient interfacing of Gigabit Ethernet, USB, and HDMI cables. The xMac mini Server's power switch turns the computer on and off, and the PCIe slots are powered on/off with the Mac mini for maximum energy savings. An opening in the front panel allows the Mac mini's power indicator to shine through. There's a central power hub for the computer and power supply for the PCIe slots, enabling you to power everything with one power cord. Locking brackets for the Thunderbolt cables and holes for cable ties enable you to secure all cables, keeping them tidy while avoiding accidental disconnects.

Includes

  • xMac mini Server with power cord, assembled
  • Documentation

Product Specifications:

Manufacturer Part Number

  • XMAC-MS

External Connectors

  • Two Thunderbolt (one open, one used)
  • One RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet port extension
  • Three USB ports (one front mount and 2 rear mount)
  • One HDMI port extension

Expansion Slots

  • One x16 (x4 mode) PCIe 2.0
  • One x8 (x4 mode) PCIe 2.0

System Requirements

  • Mac mini or Mac mini Server with a Thunderbolt port
  • Mac OS X 10.6.8 or greater
  • Mac OS X Server 10.6.8 or greater

PCIe Cards Supported**

  • One full-length, full-height, x16 PCIe 2.0 card
  • One half-length, half-height, x8 PCIe 2.0 card*
  • PCIe 1.1 cards also supported

* Requires use of half-height bracket.

**Compatibility requires the installation of Thunderbolt technology-aware drivers, available from the manufacturer. Check our upcoming list of compatible PCIe cards for currently known compatible cards.

Power Supply

  • Universal 100W, 100-240V AC, 50-60 Hz

RoHS Compliant

  • Yes

Operating Temperature

  • 0° C to 35° C (32° F to 95° F)

Weight

  • 12 lbs (5.4 kg)

Dimensions

  • 19 x 18 x 1.72 in. (48.3 x 45.7 x 4.4 cm)

Warranty

Manufacturer provided specifications for Sonnet Technologies p/n XMAC-MS UPC#: 732311009020

Gallery

This product is compatible with... Learn how to find your Mac's model ID
Mac mini Intel
Mac mini (Mid 2011)
(July, 2011)
Model ID: Macmini5,1 & Macmini5,2
2.3GHz, 2.5GHz, 2.7GHz
Mac mini Intel
Mac mini (Mid 2011 Server)
(July, 2011)
Model ID: Macmini5,3
2.0GHz

Configuration Ideas

Gallery Pic 4
Scenario 1 Metadata Controller
The xMac mini Server can transform a Mac mini into a full-function metadata controller for an Xsan 2 setup, or into a metaSAN metadata master.

With the installation of:
  1. A Gigabit Ethernet adapter card plugged into the integrated, half-length PCIe 2.0 slot
  2. A Fibre Channel adapter card plugged into the full-length PCIe 2.0 slot
Racking up a second xMac mini setup as described above provides two redundant metadata controllers that occupy a total of just 2U of rack space and cost a fraction of available alternatives.
Gallery Pic 5
Scenario 2 Large-Capacity RAID Storage Served to More Users
xMac mini Server can transform a Mac mini Server into more robust server with high-capacity RAID storage connected.

With the installation of:
  1. A Gigabit or 10GigE adapter card plugged into the half-length PCIe 2.0 slot
  2. A 4-port Sonnet Tempo SATA E4 Pro eSATA controller card plugged into the full-length PCIe 2.0 slot, with up to four rackmount storage systems connected
Take full advantage of the SATA storage and Ethernet bandwidth using Mac OS® X Server's powerful services such as managed-access file sharing, built-in calendar, mail, podcasting, VPN, and Web server capabilities, or use FileMaker® Pro server to host your FileMaker Pro databases. 250MB/sec SATA storage can be served at 250MB/sec to users.
Gallery Pic 6
Scenario 3 Unlimited-Capacity Shared RAID Storage for a Large Workgroup
The xMac mini Server can enable you to deploy virtually unlimited RAID-protected shared storage across a larger network.

With the installation of:
  1. A high-performance SAS/SATA RAID controller, connected to a rack mounted storage system
  2. A 10 Gigabit Ethernet card installed in a second slot

This setup will serve the large storage pool to a RAID workgroup with an aggregate speed of up to 750 MB/sec of storage speed and agregate network access speeds of up to 425 MB/sec.


Gallery Pic 7
Scenario 4 Video Ingest Station
xMac mini Server can transform a Mac mini Server into a video ingest station for Avid® and Final Cut® suites.

With the installation of:
  1. A high-performance video capture card plugged into the full-length PCIe 2.0 slot
  2. A SAS controller card installed in a second slot connecting one SAS port to nearline rack mount RAID storage and the second SAS port to LTO-5 rackmount tape backup.

Sonnet Technologies xMac mini Server PCIe 2.0 expansion system/1U rackmount enclosure for Mac mini with Thunderbolt Ports. Mfr P/N: XMAC-MS OWC SKU: STIXMACMS Turn your Mac mini or Mac mini Server into a 1U rack mounted server with PCIe expansion slots. Sonnet Technologies 1 Year Limited Warranty
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