Apple last week introduced its second server based on the PowerPC processor. The Xserve G5 uses the same G5 processor that has been used in the desktop version. The company also showed off grid computing technology, called Xgrid, which has been used at Virginia Tech to create a supercomputer from G4 servers.The Xserve G5 is a single- or dual-processor server that runs at 2 GHz. It is 1U high and supports as much as 750G bytes of internal storage. As many as 84 G5 processors can be configured in a standard 42U rack.The G5 supports FireWire and USB as well as Fibre Channel and PCI adapters. It comes with an integrated Gigabit Ethernet adapter and performs 60% faster than the previous G4.In addition, the Xserve G5 can be connected to a storage area network via a 2G bit\/sec Fibre Channel adapter Apple sells for $400. Plus, it can connect to the 3.5-terabyte Xserve RAID subsystem Apple also announced last week.Apple expects the Xserve G5 to be used in database, Web hosting, file and print, and other environments.The Xserve G5 ships with Mac OS X 10.3 and will be available in February starting at $3,000 for a single-processor version and $4,000 for a dual-processor version. It can be optionally clustered for $3,000 per node.Apple\u2019s new grid computing software, called Xgrid, allows administrators to more easily cluster G5 or G4 servers or G5 workstations into a shared-resources environment. The software is freely downloadable from:https:\/\/developer.apple.com\/hardware\/ve\/acgresearch.htmlIt comes with Apple's Aqua management interface and a software development kit that allows applications to be ported to Apple grid environments. Xgrid is also compatible with the genome-sequencing program BLAST used in research settings.