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Apple Hardware

Apple To Discontinue Xserve 304

Posted by Soulskill
from the bad-day-for-X-names dept.
Toe, The writes "Apple has announced that they are discontinuing their line of 1u rack-mount servers. With their usual understated style, the announcement comes in the form of a box on their website and a transition guide (PDF) to their low-end Mac mini server or their now-more-powerful-than-Xserve Mac Pro server. Attitudes about the Xserve have ranged from considering it a token nod to enterprise to an underpowered wimp to a tremendous value. Apparently, the migration to Intel processors removed some of the value of clustering Xserves, leaving them somewhat overpriced compared to other, more traditional offerings. The odd thing is that Apple clearly has shown they have the capacity for enterprise, but rarely the will to take it on. So, does the discontinuation of their rack-mount mean they have abandoned enterprise for their post-PC offerings, or are they simply acknowledging that their products aren't gaining traction in the data center? Or do they have something else up their sleeve for next year?"
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Apple To Discontinue Xserve

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  • by Toe, The (545098) on Friday November 05, 2010 @10:58AM (#34136120)

    Xserve aside, OS X Server [apple.com] provides some very, very powerful tools. Many of them are based on open-source, but for the ~$1K price, a well-paid employee would be hard pressed to roll them all in less than $1K worth of time. And all these tools have no per-seat cost, unlike Microsoft solutions.

    The question remains, of course, how seriously can people take OS X Server now that apple discontinued the Xserve?

    OTOH, it makes a really nice home server, if it is a bit over-powered and pricey for that application.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 05, 2010 @11:04AM (#34136176)

    I can't believe they're suggesting that a Mini is a replacement for a server. They'd be better off suggesting a MBP as a replacement. Is their ad campaign going to be "One tenth the performance at one third the price"?

    At least the Mac Pro offers the same performance level as the Xserver.

    dom

  • Re:No big loss (Score:5, Informative)

    by Toe, The (545098) on Friday November 05, 2010 @11:06AM (#34136232)

    > 1. You are stuck on one platform. It is like getting a Sun Solaris platform but worse because apple never really had a strong enterprise department.
    They're Intel boxes. Run whatever OS you want on them.
    Also, they're UNIX, so run whatever software you want on them.

    > 2. You didn't get any real extra functionality over a Linux/BSD even Windows servers.
    Setup times are far less time-consuming than Linux. Per-user cost is far less than Windows.

    > 3. There is 0 fore-site on what will happen for the next version. What new features. Apple is too closed
    Absolutely true, and a real deal killer in the enterprise.

    >4. You had limited options. So that means you are paying for stuff you don't need
    Somewhat true, but the Xserve is 1u. Most of the options are externalized.

    >5. Limited server tools. Sure the Apple stuff is good but you need that one extra tool that apple doesn't support.
    Then install it. The Xserve is UNIX. Also, most data centers have more than one machine, and hardly any have all the same brand throughout.

    >Like Apple or Hate Apple, it really isn't a good server platform.
    Well, they still make servers, just not rack-mounted ones.

  • by Yvan256 (722131) on Friday November 05, 2010 @11:13AM (#34136334) Homepage Journal

    If you read the PDF, you see they don't hide the fact that the Mac mini server is a lot less powerful than the Xserve. If you currently use an Xserve but use only about 1/3 of its power, you can cut your electric bill (power for the computer and power for the AC) by switching to a Mac mini server.

  • by jgagnon (1663075) on Friday November 05, 2010 @11:15AM (#34136368)

    Starting an offensive statement with "no offense" doesn't make it less offensive. :p

    (not that I'm offended)

  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Friday November 05, 2010 @11:19AM (#34136436) Homepage Journal
    Not to mention the build quality on those things was just unbelievable, where I work we have somewhere in the range of 30 or so XServes currently and have had a total of over 50, and I think we have had 1 die. One even went airborne and fell about 3 meters and other than some of the metal getting bent its perfectly fine. Meanwhile on the flip side we have had about that many Dell servers and the fuckers break at least 5x as much as the XServes.
  • Re:No big loss (Score:4, Informative)

    by antifoidulus (807088) on Friday November 05, 2010 @11:26AM (#34136528) Homepage Journal
    When Apple first moved to Intel the XServes were actually VERY price competitive with Dell and HP and whatnot. The problem is that eventually interest waned an Apple let the refresh cycles get longer and longer and less spectacular when they were refreshed.
  • by jimicus (737525) on Friday November 05, 2010 @12:20PM (#34137450)

    Welcome to the world of commercial server operating systems. Dell will happily sell you a cheap and cheerful server for that sort of money running Windows Server 2008.

    Of course, if you want to upgrade to the next version of Windows server when it comes out, you'll need to pay for an upgrade - not sure how much that is but the last time I checked it was not insignificant. And if you have more than 5 client PCs, you'll need to upgrade your CALs as well.

  • Re:Huh (Score:3, Informative)

    by jpmorgan (517966) on Friday November 05, 2010 @12:31PM (#34137624) Homepage
    ActiveX has been deprecated since the release of .NET, almost a decade ago. Can we move on, please?
  • by phoebus1553 (522577) on Friday November 05, 2010 @12:59PM (#34138190) Homepage

    Meanwhile on the flip side we have had about that many Dell servers and the fuckers break at least 5x as much as the XServes.

    I think the moral of that story isn't Apple makes fine servers, it's that Dell doesn't.

  • Woz (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 05, 2010 @01:29PM (#34138696)

    OS X Lion Server will introduce the new "Lion's Share,"...

    But first you have to go to the Woz and ask for courage..

  • by TheKidWho (705796) on Friday November 05, 2010 @01:40PM (#34138884)

    Apple- $20.3 Billion Revenue
    HP - $30 Billion Revenue

  • by fast turtle (1118037) on Friday November 05, 2010 @02:40PM (#34139822) Journal

    The main problem is not perception, it's with actual spares availability. Keep in mind that a Platinum Cust for Dell/HP/IBM has gauranteed replacement parts within 4 hours. This means those parts have to be in a wharehouse within 150 miles of your location to meet that service level. In the case of Xserve, the only spare parts are in Cupetino, CA and that's certainly more then 4 hours from anyone outside of the California Bay Area.

    Apple was never really interested in Corporate/Enterprise business due to support issues. Costs to much money to provide even though they'd already had OSX Unix Certified. Hell they could easily have competed directly against Sun hardware since they have that Unix Certification and people would have paid enough to make it worth their while but as someone else pointed out, Apple is a Consumer Company and appearently not interested in the Corporate/Enterprise market.

  • by trapnest (1608791) <janusofzeal@gmail.com> on Friday November 05, 2010 @03:28PM (#34140524)
    Why does everyone think Apple stopped making servers? They just stopped making xserves.
  • by PCM2 (4486) on Friday November 05, 2010 @04:01PM (#34140990) Homepage

    It's not that giant of a fuck you, though. It's not like Mac OS X Server itself is going away. If I'm remembering right, aren't the Mac Pro tower cases rack mountable? They're not 1U, certainly, but it's not like you can't keep Mac servers in your datacenter. How many Xserves does an ad agency really need for LDAP and basic file and print? (And I'm betting ad agencies run Exchange like everybody else, so it's not like they lack the expertise to kick Apple out of the datacenter altogether if it made more sense.)

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday November 05, 2010 @04:04PM (#34141042)
    The real question is how much would it cost you to do something comparable in another server OS? It costs you minimum of $469 for Windows 2008 Server (no users). Then you have to pay for number of clients. For $500 you get an OS upgrade and unlimited clients which is cheap comparably.
  • Re:Uh Oh... (Score:3, Informative)

    by petermgreen (876956) <plugwash@p10MENCKENlink.net minus author> on Friday November 05, 2010 @09:52PM (#34144526) Homepage

    You get much more oomph from four Mac Minis than you do from an XServe.
    On what do you base this claim?

    CPU wise a mini maxes out at 2.66GHz dual core, an xserve maxes out at 2.93GHz 8 cores (two sockets each with a quad core processor).

    Ram wise a mini maxes out at 8GB, an xserve maxes out at 48 GB (note: ram figures are maximums availible from apple, it may be possible to fit more especially in the xserve).

    On storage the mini takes up to two drives while the xserve takes up to three but the mini's drives have to be laptop drives (and I think they have to be thin laptop drives) while the xserve takes full desktop drives.

    So on CPU the xserve would appear to beat four minis, on ram the minis beat the xserve on paper but running four OS images will mean higher ram overheads. On storage it's a bit of a tossup depending on your needs but having more storage in the same box definiately gives more flexibility. The xserve also has far better options for external storage than the minis.

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