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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 Anonymous Coward on Friday November 05, 2010 @10:52AM (#34136028)

    It was the only way to look like a trendy douchebag in a datacentre setting.

    • by Whalou (721698) on Friday November 05, 2010 @11:08AM (#34136264)
      There's another way now: http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/11/03/0325209 [slashdot.org].
    • by couchslug (175151) on Friday November 05, 2010 @11:21AM (#34136454)

      "It was the only way to look like a trendy douchebag in a datacentre setting."

      Shit. Now I'll have to BE a trendy douchebag instead of just fronting.

      Damn raised barriers grumble mumble fuck...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by dave562 (969951)

      What do you mean? You can still bring your MBP into the data center, and listen to your iPod while glancing at your iPad and texting on your iPhone. There is ample opportunity for iDouchery no matter where you are.

    • Uh Oh... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MarcQuadra (129430)

      I think I have an idea where this might be heading...

      You can fit 4 Mac Mini servers into 1U now, they just need a tray that diverts the heat from them. That's a killer opportunity right there. You get much more oomph from four Mac Minis than you do from an XServe.

      http://www.apple.com/macmini/specs.html [apple.com], yup, you could definitely fit these one-high, and side-by-side into a 1U tray, with room for connectors and venting. I think trays might even be deep enough to hold six of them.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by petermgreen (876956)

        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 hav

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Apple sees the writing on the wall: the mainframe era is back, with Linux as the server and iOS devices like iPhone/iPad as the client. Non-standard servers running UNIX variants other than Linux are irrelevant. Although Apple struggled with 5% share for years it now wants to dominate the thin client market. My guess is that Apple will eventually abandon MacOS completely -- while interesting as an operating system, it is increasingly irrelevant, as is its more popular Windows cousin.

    • Yep. Windows is totally irrelevant. That's why you see all those PC makers selling Linux boxes, and the number of Windows boxes decreasing, in every single store around the country. That's why most people know how to use Linux out of the box, and aren't completely befuddled when they don't see the start button.
      • by Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968) on Friday November 05, 2010 @03:13PM (#34140264) Homepage

        Actually, I think the previous post is probably right, at least in the long run.

        If there's one thing the popularity of iPhone/iPad had demonstrated, it's that most people don't really use their computers much. They have a hugely capable desktop machine that they use for "facebook", email, and "youtube", and that's about it for most of them.

        I'm a pretty hardcore penguinista myself, but even I doubt that a standard full-service (by today's "PC" standards) Linux desktop will ever conquer the market, or even a large minority of it. However, I think the current "desktop" market is mostly doomed outside of "enterprise" and hardcore power-user settings. Now that "consumer" gadgets have gotten cheap and powerful enough to do what the great majority of "users" seem to do with their computers, there's no need for it any more. All those people who are "completely befuddled when they don't see the start button" will be migrating their way over to even-simpler environments like Android and iOS and perhaps Windows 7 Series 7 Phone 7 Series (or whatever they were calling it), which I actually kind of expect will cannibalize BlackBerry for corporate users.

        My personal prediction: Microsoft is busy fossilizing into the New IBM (firmly embedded in many "corporate" environments but fading out of the "consumer" market), while Apple clamps down on its users and gets increasingly ruthless with its market control to become the New Microsoft. I expect Linux to grow solidly on the internet server side and on corporate servers.

        I actually expect the Android/Apple landscape in the "consumer" side to end up looking a lot like the Microsoft/Apple market now - I'm guessing we'll end up with a solid majority made up of various Android devices, with Apple being a minority (but a relatively large and reliable one).

        There, a free wild prediction, and you didn't even have to look at ads on ZDNet or some other commercial publication to get it.

        tl;dr: Yes, I agree that Microsoft will likely hold onto the "traditional desktop" market for as long as that market stays around, but I don't think that market is going to exist for that much longer now.

    • by jgagnon (1663075)

      Except that these "thin" clients aren't really thin at all. Give it a couple years and there will be quad-core smartphones doing a whole lot of stuff that will boggle our minds. It's all about the data stream to and from these devices and more processing power on either end is a technology enabler, but especially so on the client.

    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday November 05, 2010 @01:20PM (#34138530) Journal

      Not at all, it means that the market for companies that have racks and want to run OS X Server is small. Now they have the Mac Mini Server, they have a product that can go into small offices that don't have somewhere for a rack-mounted system.

      The XServe was never a product that Apple created to sell. They created it because they have a lot of data centres of their own (to drive their site, the QuickTime Movie Trailers hosting, Apple Store, iTunes Store, and so on) and they didn't want to be buying a load of servers from a competitor to run them. They sold it because, having already designed and built it for un-house use there was no reason not to, but the potential market for a rack-mounted OS X box was small enough that it wouldn't have been worth their while designing it just for sale.

      So what does this announcement actually mean? That they are no longer planning on using XServes in their own data centres. My guess is that they're planning on having their ARM team design a Cortex A15 SoC with ethernet, crypto hardware, and SATA on die and make tiny blade servers for internal use. They almost certainly won't want to ship OS X Server for ARM for external use, because supporting another architecture would be a lot of effort for little return, but they might do if the market looks big enough.

      • by PCM2 (4486) on Friday November 05, 2010 @03:53PM (#34140876) Homepage

        That's a whole lot of speculation.

        The way I remember it, Apple sold a lot of Xserves into media environments, for digital video processing, basic file storage, etc. Musicians and A/V professionals have a natural affinity for Macs and little interest in maintaining servers, so a plug-and-play server that worked with their Macs was a natural choice. Unfortunately, it's not a particularly large market.

        Xserves were nice machines, but building and maintaining bulletproof server hardware -- including continually producing new models that keep up with the ongoing upgrade cycles from Intel and other component vendors -- just doesn't make sense if the products aren't competitive in the market. And Apple's servers weren't going to be competitive until it started shipping models with Linux and/or Windows Server as an option. Instead, Apple tried to be Sun and found out it simply didn't have the expertise and market savvy to be Sun -- and then, look what happened to Sun.

        They almost certainly won't want to ship OS X Server for ARM for external use, because supporting another architecture would be a lot of effort for little return, but they might do if the market looks big enough.

        So they're going to use it exclusively in-house, to the extent that they're going to replace all their Xserves, but they don't have enough faith in the ARM port to sell it? Just the fact that they put it into production use in-house means they'd have to "support" it. I think you're reaching.

  • by jhigh (657789) on Friday November 05, 2010 @10:56AM (#34136088)
    It would never dawn on me to use a Mac for anything other than the desktop. While I'm sure that they make perfectly capable server products, I would wager that the perception that Apple is primarily suited for making products that target the end user rather than the enterprise is a substantial hurdle for Apple. Frankly, I think that this is one of the hurdles that keeps Linux from being as widely adopted as a desktop platform. People hear *nix and, if they think anything at all, they think "server."
    • by somersault (912633) on Friday November 05, 2010 @11:15AM (#34136370) Homepage Journal

      People hear *nix and, if they think anything at all, they think "server."

      Or they think "I know this!" and then check quickly for Velociraptors.

      • by kencurry (471519)

        People hear *nix and, if they think anything at all, they think "server."

        Or they think "I know this!" and then check quickly for Velociraptors.

        mods are asleep, this was funny. Good reference to you sir.

    • by fusiongyro (55524) <faxfreemosquito@yahoo. c o m> on Friday November 05, 2010 @11:31AM (#34136592) Homepage

      I think you are on the right track, but you have cause and effect backwards. Apple strives to be a consumer company. I was confused by Apple's Xraid/Xsan and Xserve products, because they don't really fit in the same milieu. If anything, I wonder if offering Xserves and Xraids was just a way for them to kill harbored distrust of OS X inherited from OS 9. After all, OS X had some big hurdles to overcome from OS 9. Supplying even a couple universities with Xserves demonstrated that OS X and Apple in particular were making high-performance machines, a worthy continuation of their NeXT legacy, and dispelled any fears about inherited OS 9isms. So from this standpoint, the product line was a success, but it is no longer required.

      From another standpoint, remember that Xserves were first brought onto the market was during the bubble, before "the cloud" was a thing. My first employer had an Xserve simply because he found the idea of managing it better than the idea of managing a hosted Linux server. Colocation was cheaper than paying for a managed server. For small business owners--particularly Mac software developers--it made more sense to them than learning how to administer Linux or paying another employee to do it. Familiarity is worth something.

      Remember also the market conditions when Xserves were brought out. They weren't the only vendor selling their own weird Unix in a 1U. SGI, Sun, and HP at least were also selling their own servers running their own Unixes. The market was nowhere near as homogenized as it is now, and it was plausible at the time that OS X Server could become as important as the competition. It turns out people don't buy servers for the same reasons they buy desktops. That wasn't necessarily obvious five or ten years ago.

      • by cHiphead (17854) on Friday November 05, 2010 @12:08PM (#34137280)

        Ad agencies with a lot of Mac infrastructure disagree. OS X server is a stable beast on the Xserve hardware. This is a giant fuck you to companies that went with a Mac OS X infrastructure (Open Directory, XSan, AFP and SMB file services on a single machine). 8+ cores and 16GB ram and its a hell of a machine to use for production AND even run several VMs, without any real performance degradation.

        I actually liked the overpriced son of a bitch xserve.

        • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday November 05, 2010 @12:51PM (#34138020)

          This has always, always been the Apple way. For better AND worse, Apple is a "We do what we want," kind of company. They set their own path, decide what they think the market REALLY wants, and so on. This has good sides, it leads to them trying new things that other companies wouldn't and ignoring some conventional wisdom. That has lead to some extremely popular products in the consumer electronics space. However the bad side is that they do not consider the needs of their partners, and their clients, in enterprise. They'll change their mind on how shit is done, not tell you first, not give you a migration strategy, and that is that.

          Two good somewhat recent examples would be the move to Intel hardware and the discontinuation of the 64-bit Carbon API. In the case of the Intel transition, everything was kept heavily under wraps. They admitted after it was done that they'd been working on it for years, even using OS-X on Intel in demonstrations, however it was all kept very hush hush. Suddenly PPC was no longer available and it was all Intel. So if you were heavily invested in PPC hardware, well fuck you. In the case of 64-bit Carbon they said it'd be supported, provided beta APIs and so on, and companies like Adobe were using it. Then they suddenly said "Nah, changed our mind, you have to use Cocoa," leaving companies like Adobe in a lurch.

          Apple has never taken enterprise support seriously, their mentality is just not aligned with it. They want to be able to change everything, do what they think is cool at the time and so on. It has worked wonderfully for them in the consumer electronics space, but that is NOT what is needed in the enterprise world.

          Well, perhaps businesses will understand that, and understand that going all Mac has problems because of that. Apple may pay lip service to the business market, but it isn't what they are good at doing. They can and will change their minds on how things are done on no notice and leave you to deal with the results.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by node 3 (115640)

            Well, perhaps businesses will understand that, and understand that going all Mac has problems because of that.

            That's a silly conclusion to come to. No one suggests that business go "all Mac", except maybe small businesses which are wholly unaffected by this.

            Similarly, it would be problematic for businesses to go all Linux (in fact, that's more problematic than going all Mac, although still feasible on smaller scales, and very feasible if limited solely to the data center, although Solaris and AIX have a place there too).

            Going all Windows is somewhat more feasible, but even that breaks down as server needs increase.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by PCM2 (4486)

          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 sen

    • by MoonBuggy (611105)

      It's somewhat self-fulfilling: people see linux as a server OS, so the time and money goes into developing that aspect of it, making it a better server OS; repeat ad infinitum. FWIW the only time I've actually seen macs in a datacenter does support this hypothesis: they were Mac Pros sitting on trays in the rack, being used for video processing. Apparently Xserves don't have enough space for drives or expansion cards to be worth the money for a job like that.

      • by King_TJ (85913)

        Well, yeah - but I think Apple's stance on the whole "storage capacity" thing was to pair up an XServe with a disk storage unit. They used to sell their own Xserve RAID cabinet, which they eventually discontinued in favor of selling the Promise V-Trak in its place. (Good move, IMHO. We have a V-Trak here at work on a Windows 2003 box, and it's a nice, reasonably-priced unit.)

        Honestly though, I'm thinking that since the Mac Pro never did get much of a case redesign from the one they made for the PowerMac

    • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Friday November 05, 2010 @11:35AM (#34136656)

      It's not the 'ooo shiny' products that everyone knows Apple for, but their Server OS is quite good. As are some of their clustering capabilities.

      After trying to setup a linux cluster, XGrid [wikipedia.org] is nothing short of Magic. It's a check box in a system control panel. You can let anyone use a computer or password protect it. Buy 1+ Macs. Check "Allow for use on XGrid" (and even set to only use when it's been idle). Anytime you compile something in XCode, all other available Macs will be used. No setting up which servers to use in a .distcc file.

      Their Server OS [apple.com] is also pretty polished. I know the hard core command line junkies think that everything should be done with vi/emacs and only configured from there. But not everyone wanting to run a server has that expertise. If I had to suggest a server to a friend for a small home business. I'd suggest the MacMini Server. Mail, Web, Jabber, OS Updates, Time Machine, etc.

      I suggest checking it out (not sure if they have the server OS setup in any Apple Store) before knocking it.

      • Apparently Apple isn't that interested in the high-end server market, although they do have a pretty good server OS.

        Given that Apple has decided that enterprise servers aren't their bailiwick, they'd probably be better off licensing the server OS to companies like HP and IBM, and letting them do the heavy lifting on the enterprise server thing. Because it sure doesn't look like Apple is going to do much else with it.

    • by teeker (623861) on Friday November 05, 2010 @12:25PM (#34137526)
      If you worked in an organization where you hand to manage hundreds of desktop Macs it would dawn on you. I know places like that are not exactly everywhere, but they do exist...I know because I work at one. After our current Xserves reach the end of their useful life, there will be absolutely no enterprise class hardware that can be used for management and deployment of desktops. I'm sorry, but we will not be putting Minis on rack shelves for services (Open Directory, for example) that need to be available 24x7. The lack of redundant power supplies, lights out management and hot swappable drives is just not acceptable in an enterprise datacenter. I also cannot give up 6u per Mac Pro just to get the same 8-core speed that is currently available in a 1u box while I'm giving up those availability features. It's just not going to happen.

      We're already pondering what life is going to be like with Windows-only desktops. It's possible Apple is going to pull off some announcement about OSX server availability on VMWare/HyperV or something (which would be acceptable for larger environments I guess) but I can't plan ahead for what they *might* announce. Frankly, it doesn't give me confidence in the future of OSX server in general. Without large deployments, people won't be needing things like Open Directory, so that could easily be dropped at some point, for example.

      They are effectively removing themselves from consideration in large environments. Just a week or two ago, there were rumors they were going to make a bigger play in the enterprise space and I was anxious to see what they had in the pipeline. Now, suddenly we're looking at abandoning OSX as a platform almost completely at hundreds of desktops. We were about to put in an order for 50+ iMacs for the second or third time this year alone, but now those plans are on hold until we can get a new long term plan together. As a result, it is definitely going to be a factor in future iPad/iPhone deployment (which has been pretty positive thus far).

      I never doubted Apple was evil, I didn't know they were dumb too.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        For what it's worth, I work in a large enterprise (3000+ locations nationwide) where I am currently working with Apple Strategic Accounts to create a Mac OS X standard that plugs into our existing management infrastructure.

        Apple does not recommend using Open Directory on anything above a small-to-medium sized business. They have whitepapers written and extensive support available for extending the Active Directory schema to support MCX policy.

        We do have some Xserves in some places, but only a few of them.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by raddan (519638) *
        Fortunately for you, you don't need the Xserves to continue your services. Linux or FreeBSD (or OpenBSD... that's what I admined for 7 years) will suit you just fine. You can continue to run LDAP, Kerberos, Samba, Netatalk, and what have you and you can do it with commodity machines. You can keep parts on the shelf, and when something fails, you replace it yourself, in minutes.

        With Apple's stuff, you get a slick GUI on top of software that is already out there for free, plus the additional bullshit of
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I've been administering XServes for nearly five years now and I can say that OS X Server and the XServes it runs on are, far and away, the worst combination of "server" OS and hardware I've ever had the misfortune to use.

      The first XServe we had was a dual 1.33GHz G4. It ran 10.4. First, the hardware...The rack rails were horrible. The top of the 1U box stayed with the rails in the rack. There was only one power supply and there was no option for hot-swap/redundant PSUs. Cable management? Ha...You got a clip

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by fast turtle (1118037)

      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 sup

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 05, 2010 @10:57AM (#34136104)

    OS X Lion Server will introduce the new "Lion's Share," and a new blade server appliance into which you can mount 9 Mac Mini's each with app store instant Lions Share server installs. Want AFP? Install Lion's Share AFP app on the mini. Want DNS? Install app store DNS app on another Mini! Roar! with Lion's Share!

  • Huh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Friday November 05, 2010 @10:58AM (#34136112) Homepage

    Apple are dropping Xserve and Ubuntu is dropping X-Server

    Your move Microsoft...

  • 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

    seems like an obvious question.

  • No big loss (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Friday November 05, 2010 @11:01AM (#34136140)

    I think the only people who got these things were Mac Fanboys. Don't get me wrong, I like Mac. But I would never have recommended Apple Servers in a business settings.

    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.

    2. You didn't get any real extra functionality over a Linux/BSD even Windows servers.

    3. There is 0 fore-site on what will happen for the next version. What new features. Apple is too closed

    4. You had limited options. So that means you are paying for stuff you don't need

    5. Limited server tools. Sure the Apple stuff is good but you need that one extra tool that apple doesn't support.

    Like Apple or Hate Apple, it really isn't a good server platform.

    • 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 geekoid (135745)

        1) so pay more money to run a different OS? That's a stupid business move. You simply paying extra money for an Intel box.

        2) Set up times are not faster then Linux. Assuming both have the equivalent skill set experience.

        3) Apple is more 'open' in this regard then they are with their other customers.

        5) see 1.

        • 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.
          • Support is. Apple's support is very built around consumers. Their attitude for most things is "Bring it in to the store." Fine, that works for a desktop perhaps, or particularly for an MP3 player. That does not work for a server. Servers need fast parts shipping. You need to be able to e-mail in and say "A drive has failed in this server," and have a new drive, already in its caddy, FedEx'd to you by the next morning.

            Dell offers that. A server breaks, they send the parts fast. They can also have contracts w

      • by CAIMLAS (41445)

        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.

        Yet even AIX has proper package management these days.

        If you verge away from "Provided by Apple" software, you are essentially doing things the BSD way: building things from ports. This is stupid. It's akin to going to the Five and Dime shop and picking up things at random to redo your roof.

        Well, they still make servers, just not rack-mounted ones.

        And that is fundamentally different than a workstation, how? These days, it barely makes sense to buy "servers" unless they're rackmount with redundant PSUs. The cost to do so is too high due to the potential repercussio

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by LWATCDR (28044)

        I think part of the problem was that if you used XServe you where destined to end up with a mixed environment. It really was very un apple like.
        Need a SAN? Not really a good Apple Solution for that.
        Need a lot of small 1U servers for front ends?
        Need a 4U 4S box for a database server?
        In a way I am shocked that Apple is letting this one go. Maybe we will see some 1U A4 based servers. An A4 based server with two net ports some sata ports and wifi could be a great solution for a small business.
        Come up with a VO

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by 0racle (667029)

      2. You didn't get any real extra functionality over a Linux/BSD even Windows servers.

      If you ran Mac Desktops, OpenDirectory was a very handy way to manage them, OS X Server also has the tools to deploy images. Yes, you can run OS X Server on MacPros and now Mini's but neither really fit in if you already have a server room set up.

      Limited options? You got the whole thing, OS X Server with unlimited licenses for $1000, cheaper then Enterprise Linux or Windows.

      Limited Server tools? Have you ever actual

    • I think the only people who got these things were Mac Fanboys. Don't get me wrong, I like Mac. But I would never have recommended Apple Servers in a business settings.

      Yeah, I never could figure out their market. For small offices, a Mini is much more cost-effective and a perfectly reasonable replacement. Large offices typically have the expertise to buy a Dell or HP 1U server and configure their own system. Where's the sweet spot for people who need the Xserve's features but aren't technical enough to get them some other way?

    • by theolein (316044)

      I'm the system admin for a large design company (4 Xservers and one XRaid that replaced 4 Linux boxes about 4 years ago). This is pretty fucking awful news for us, and I'll lay out the reasons:

      1. Apple's servers are very easy to manage. Much easier than Windows or Linux machines.

      2. Apple's Workgroup management features are much easier to use than the Windows or Linux equivalents.

      3. Apple File Sharing being able to mix AFP/SMB and NFS seamlessly was world class.

      All of this led to large productivity gains in

      • 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.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by evilviper (135110)

          Why does everyone think Apple stopped making servers? They just stopped making xserves.

          You apparently don't know what a server is.

          With Apple calling their Mac Mini a "server", I think it's safe to say, no, Apple doesn't make servers anymore. They put an OS with file-sharing and directory services on a desktop PC and sell it to the gullible.

          Even with their "Pro server", it has NO LIGHTS-OUT MANAGEMENT, NO REDUNDANT POWER SUPPLIES, NO RACK-MOUNTING, etc. This is a "server" in the same way an old Packard Bel

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fusiongyro (55524)

        And, what worries me more is that I can see Apple killing traditional OSX on Macs in favour of iOS as well.

        Lots of people are saying this, but I really don't see evidence for it. They're certainly going to grow the two towards each other, but for the next ten years at least, I don't see any gains to be had by doing this. You can't program on an iPad, and Apple depends crucially on 3rd-party developers to fill their app stores. They can't make OS X too onerous or they'll drive developers away.

        I can easily se

  • by 1984 (56406) on Friday November 05, 2010 @11:07AM (#34136238)

    Well I guess that answers the question about what *didn't* go in that big new data center.

    In a previous life several years ago we looked at buying 300 of them to run Yellow Dog (yes, several years). They were nicely engineered units, but Apple clearly wasn't series about enterprise sales. They offered a kit of spare parts for field replacements, but not much beyond that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by swb (14022)

      I worked with a client this summer that was dumping an install of about 20 X-Serves for a Windows based server environment. They have a substantial Mac user base and it seemed like the right idea at the time, but the experience was pretty awful.

      They said the directory server never worked right and there were a bunch of other glitches, some of them I think hardware-based. It was a big deployment and they even had Apple involvement but it never worked right.

  • With their usual understated style

    o_O

  • People often forget that Macs are heavily used in publishing, advertising, graphic design. I work at a company that must have 500 Macs.

    All our Macs have network user profiles, which are stored on ... a Windows box. And it's a complete pain in the arse. Loads of problems, all blamed on "Active Directory"

    We used to used Xserves to host the accounts, and everything worked fine, but the IT boys only know Windows, so the Xserves are sitting gathering dust.

    Considering that the graphics and print business basic

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by hellraizer (1689320)
      That my friend is one of the greatest problems with Mac/Linux adoption, IT boys are affraid of loosing "power" and are not willing to learn anything new. I speak as a IT boy who supports both Mac and linux servers, but I learned to loose that fear and jump right in . I find it to be much easier to maintain a OS X server or a linux server than to maintain Windowze ....
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by blincoln (592401)

        That my friend is one of the greatest problems with Mac/Linux adoption, IT boys are affraid of loosing "power" and are not willing to learn anything new.

        You say "tomato", I say "the stubborn, tiny minority of Mac users are unwilling to learn how to use the exact same software (Photoshop) on a PC that they use on their Macs".

        I used to work in a Windows engineering department. I supported 1000+ servers and numerous enterprise-level applications. It was a full-time job. Can you guess why I didn't want to doubl

  • Several years ago a friend of mine was pitched Xserve by someone from Apple. His impression was that the salesman wasn't trying very hard to promote the servers and wasn't speaking to the points he cared about. The pitch seemed to boil down to Xserve is great because Macs and OSX is great.

    Even if he could have convinced management to spend such a big premium over other solutions the company would now be faced with equipment that's been discontinued, and knowing Apple, wont be supported for long.

    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      knowing Apple, wont be supported for long.

      Which is precisely why nobody wanted to buy Apple products for servers. Either you go with OSX and are OK for a couple years, or you install Windows, a virtual engine, or Linux, and don't mess with that shit until the hardware is internally EOL'd.

  • So what? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by StoneyMahoney (1488261) on Friday November 05, 2010 @11:17AM (#34136404)

    The Xserve has been largely redundant since Apple discontinued the Xraid. When you pair them up they make great file servers, the publishing company I used to work for loved them (yup, that's right, there *are* people for whom Apple servers make sense, go home haters).

    Seeing as how there's nothing you can do with an Xserve that you can't do with a Mac Pro, the only difference is the rackmounting. Considering the way forward is Xsan, that's completely optional now even if all your storage is rackmounted. The SAN controller can be on the other side of the building as long as your fibre reaches it.

    Nice as it was, goodbye redundant product. You'll be missed, but not for long.

    • Rack mounting, redundant power supplies, hot swappable drives(mac pros may have hot swappable drives, but good luck swapping them out when they are racked), better cooling, (probably less power too due to a weaker video card, but I don't know that for sure). The list goes on. The mac pro is not a drop in replacement for the XServe.
    • by phillymjs (234426)

      The Xserve has been largely redundant since Apple discontinued the Xraid.

      It's not like there aren't other options. Apple promoted and sold a Promise RAID unit as a replacement, and the guys who were on the former Xserve RAID team formed a new company [activestorage.com] to make and sell a unit that is a worthy successor to the Xserve RAID in capability and appearance. I haven't had the chance to play with one yet but I understand they're pretty nice.

      ~Philly

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 05, 2010 @11:31AM (#34136594)

    Apple's hardware support was abysmal for their servers. And by support, I'm not talking about drivers, I'm talking about their ability to fix a broken system.

    I've called Apple to get parts for failed Xserves, and they have taken WEEKS to ship for systems covered under applecare. They also think it's entirely fine to tell you to bring an Xserve in to an authorized repair center. I mean, *what?*

    Just because a server is available in a 1U form factor doesn't mean it's an enterprise system. You can't support enterprise hardware the same way you support iPods.

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Friday November 05, 2010 @11:31AM (#34136598) Homepage
    50% of customers reported to be distraught, but we couldn't contact the other guy.
  • I just wonder. I don't understand how a company flush with cash would ignore such a huge market. Jobs has not been bashful about snapping up the consumer market and swatting down the competition. But then to ignore, actually shy away from the server market... that doesn't compute in my data banks.
    • I don't understand how a company flush with cash would ignore such a huge market.

      The phrase "Know thy self, and to thine own self be true" springs to mind. The business graveyards are littered with the carcasses of companies that didn't understand their own strengths and weaknesses, didn't understand what made them great and where they would fail. Jobs knows the DNA of his company.

      As for the server market, it's pretty clear that servers have become commoditized. Apple is aiming to make money from how they

  • Not much point to a server that doesn't run java, is there?

  • Sad, but expected (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dFaust (546790) on Friday November 05, 2010 @11:54AM (#34137008)

    This is typical of post-iPhone Apple, unfortunately. If you look at pre-iPhone apple, they had their hands in a number of places and were making some cool stuff. This is one example, but look at their various other pro and/or creative tools. They had some small but interesting ones such as Motion and Aperature. They also had tools like Final Cut Pro, which swept the NLE world, and Shake, which when they bought Nothing Real (creators of Shake) was taking over the high-end compositing world and was used in many of the big movies that needed heavy visual effects. They also bought Silicon Grail, makers of Chalice and RAYZ, niche high-end compositing apps that were moving up in the world.

    And then they realized they could be FAR more profitable selling phones and without fanfare have slowly but surely left all of their little niche markets behind. They convinced companies to switch their infrastructure over to Macs to use their amazing tools, and then just leave them high and dry. I get that it makes business sense, but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, as I'm sure it does to many of the companies that dumped huge amounts of money into their products.

  • To me, this is just more evidence that they will be dropping OS X and moving to iOS for all devices over the next five years. If they were to introduce a new Xserve now, I suspect that the support date is past whatever EOL date they have in mind for OS X. What is essentially an appliance OS won't work for what are technically meant to be back end servers except for very limited applications. The people who buy the most Xserves (HPC, etc) do not fall into that category.
  • by Ilyon (1150115) on Friday November 05, 2010 @02:34PM (#34139742)
    Or do they have something else up their sleeve for next year?"

    Yes, they have something else up their sleeve. Did anybody notice Apple's "enterprise services agreement" with Unisys? http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Mobile-and-Wireless/Apple-Unisys-Agree-to-Enterprise-Services-Deal-Report-788654/ [eweek.com] Did anybody notice the 54% drop in Unisys's profits, along with a drop in server sales? http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Unisys-3Q-profit-sinks-54-pct-apf-3818156357.html?x=0&.v=1 [yahoo.com] So, Unisys is an enterprise computing company looking for a way to save its server business. Apple is consumer electronics company with enterprise ambitions, enterprise software, but no enterprise distribution network. Apple just announced it is dropping its server hardware line, a little over a week after announcing the deal with Unisys. I know it is fashionable to dismiss Apple's enterprise computing ambitions. I was at an Apple Developer's seminar a couple years ago where they were showing off the new version (then) of MacOS X Server. The entire focus of that seminar was on how Apple was adding features to MacOS X Server (and even licensing things from Microsoft) to make OS X Server more suitable for the enterprise. I predict Unisys will start offering MacOS X Server on Unisys server hardware soon. Apple may even end up buying Unisys.

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