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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Apple to stop selling xserve

Apple to stop selling xserve
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Maflynn
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Nov 5, 2010, 07:27 AM
 
I think there was already talk of this on this and other forums but it looks like its official engadget
So apple is dropping xserve, as it focuses on the consumer sector and gives up on the enterprise.
~Mike
     
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Nov 5, 2010, 08:20 AM
 
Xserve Transition Guide - November 2010

Apple is transitioning away from Xserve. Xserve will be available for order through January 31, 2011. After that date, customers looking to upgrade, replace, or supplement existing Xserve systems with new Apple hardware have the following two server solutions to choose from.

Mac Pro with Snow Leopard Server
Mac Pro systems deliver performance and expandability equal to or surpassing Xserve, and offer an excellent server solution for customers looking for the highest levels of performance, storage, and expandability. Now preloaded with Mac OS X Server, the Mac Pro tower form factor can be deployed in an office environment on or under a desk, or in a data center environment on a shelf in a rack with two units per 12U.

Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server
Since its introduction in the fall of 2009, Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server has become Apple’s most popular server system. It brings great capability in a small, efficient form factor that is affordable and can be deployed anywhere. Perfect for small business and workgroups of up to 50 people, a single Mac mini can run the full suite of Mac OS X Server services. A single Mac mini can also be deployed as a single-task server for a larger number of users in a business or education environment. Depending on the workload and number of users, a single Xserve could be replaced with one or multiple Mac mini server systems.
During the gradual transition from Xserve, Apple will continue to provide warranty service and complimentary technical support for the product.1 Apple continues to offer Mac OS X Server on the popular Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server solution and the new Mac Pro with Snow Leopard Server solution as alternatives to Xserve. This document provides guidance and considerations for customers evaluating their Xserve transition options.


I wonder what this means for OS X Server in general, if anything. I know the Mac mini is still there as a server option, but it's a Mac mini. And the Mac Pro can be a rather inconvenient form factor for a server.
     
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Nov 5, 2010, 08:26 AM
 
The retail stores are making a very concentrated effort on selling to business customers, having added a Business Manager and Business Specialists to their stores in the last year. They are also adding the ability to do on-site consultations, network set ups, and a number of other business services. They also do monthly business seminars in the stores.

They may be giving up on the XServe, but they're hardly giving up on the business market. In fact, it's a growing portion of their revenue.
     
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Nov 5, 2010, 08:28 AM
 
Well, this news sucks. I guess they couldn't get iOS to run headless.
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Maflynn  (op)
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Nov 5, 2010, 08:57 AM
 
You just look at the focus at apple lately its been primarily on the iOS platorm. You could even argue the back to mac event was the ipadifcation of OSX. The MacBook Air was the only Mac that was updated (and it was long over due). Cearly if you want to have a Back to Mac event people were thinking that it was going to be more expansive with a number of macs getting refreshes and OSX having more features.
~Mike
     
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Nov 5, 2010, 09:09 AM
 
You can't install Fibre channel on a MacMini, and the Pro towers are too large to rack mount in any space saving way. I am very disappointed with this news. Harumph!
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Nov 5, 2010, 09:14 AM
 
That's only a part of the focus by Apple. As I stated, their business revenue is growing rapidly; in fact, it's growing as fast as the consumer revenue.
     
The Final Dakar
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Nov 5, 2010, 09:17 AM
 
Not cool.
     
osiris
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Nov 5, 2010, 09:23 AM
 
Apple will probably release a new model called the iServe.
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Nov 5, 2010, 09:29 AM
 
Coming soon the iOS Server.
     
Laminar
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Nov 5, 2010, 09:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
You just look at the focus at apple lately its been primarily on the iOS platorm. You could even argue the back to mac event was the ipadifcation of OSX. The MacBook Air was the only Mac that was updated (and it was long over due). Cearly if you want to have a Back to Mac event people were thinking that it was going to be more expansive with a number of macs getting refreshes and OSX having more features.
I'm so glad you came back.
     
osiris
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Nov 5, 2010, 09:32 AM
 
Yes, me too.
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Nov 5, 2010, 09:36 AM
 
Xserve is currently trending.
     
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Nov 5, 2010, 09:49 AM
 
When it comes to business, the Apple stores and their "Business Managers" are focusing largely on small businesses, especially those without dedicated IT departments. The Mac Mini loaded with OSX Server is the product they are pushing. My wife's office recently ditched their Windows setup and went Mac, with a couple of Minis at the heart of their network.
     
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Nov 5, 2010, 09:54 AM
 
Podcast Producer and Final Cut Server will work excellent across a Mac mini Xgrid........I cannot wait to see 40,000 Mac mini's in the North Carolina Data Center! Well worth the investment.

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indigoimac
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Nov 5, 2010, 10:20 AM
 
They cannot be that dense -- how does Apple manage it's own network services -- if you tell me Mac Pros can just slip into those roles I'd be stunned.

I'd suspect something else is on the way, ie not a 1u device, but still rack mountable, redundant psu, LOM, etc.

A pissed-off thread has started on every mac forum I've visited this morning, so I find it very, very hard to believe they are abandoning the server market.
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Nov 5, 2010, 10:22 AM
 
It would be a rather odd move to announce the death of the current server, and later introduce something new.
Really odd. It does sound like they are exiting this businesses.

-t
     
indigoimac
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Nov 5, 2010, 10:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by rickey939 View Post
Podcast Producer and Final Cut Server will work excellent across a Mac mini Xgrid........I cannot wait to see 40,000 Mac mini's in the North Carolina Data Center! Well worth the investment.

Knock-Knock.
Who's there?
Virtualization.
Virtualization who?
About time you answered the door.
This made me laugh. And I think you're right on the money.
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indigoimac
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Nov 5, 2010, 10:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
It would be a rather odd move to announce the death of the current server, and later introduce something new.
Really odd. It does sound like they are exiting this businesses.

-t
Not if it's "magical"
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Nov 5, 2010, 10:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
Cearly if you want to have a Back to Mac event people were thinking that it was going to be more expansive with a number of macs getting refreshes and OSX having more features.
Cearly, you were dreaming in a complete vacuum.

Nobody expected any new Mac hardware beyond the Air, at all. Possibly a very minor speedbump of the other 'Books, but that was it for Mac hardware.
     
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Nov 5, 2010, 10:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by osiris View Post
You can't install Fibre channel on a MacMini, and the Pro towers are too large to rack mount in any space saving way. I am very disappointed with this news. Harumph!
LightPeak introduced across the Mac line by the end of January.

You heard it here first.
     
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Nov 5, 2010, 10:50 AM
 
     
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Nov 5, 2010, 10:51 AM
 
Heh. That's brilliant. re: Lightpeak.

I thought the timing of the Xserve EOL was rather curious (end of January), considering that Apple does make big announcements in early January. I just couldn't figure out what the new thing could be to appease the Xserve fans.

Lightpeak would go a long way, even if only on say a "high end" Mac mini server model and the Mac Pro server. I'm definitely not counting on it though. It's just a dream.
     
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Nov 5, 2010, 10:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
LightPeak introduced across the Mac line by the end of January.

You heard it here first.
Interesting. I'll have to keep an eye on this.
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Maflynn  (op)
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Nov 5, 2010, 11:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
I'm so glad you came back.
Can we have a group hug
~Mike
     
Maflynn  (op)
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Nov 5, 2010, 11:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Cearly, you were dreaming in a complete vacuum.
Actually you were right, but people including me were hoping that the 13" MBP would be updated. I wasn't holding out too much hope.
~Mike
     
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Nov 5, 2010, 11:09 AM
 

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
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Nov 5, 2010, 11:13 AM
 
How about a Mac mini with fiber channel built in? You could make some pretty mean server clusters.
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Nov 5, 2010, 11:15 AM
 
Now preloaded with Mac OS X Server, the Mac Pro tower form factor can be deployed in an office environment on or under a desk, or in a data center environment on a shelf in a rack with two units per 12U.
Could be that the next MP revision is rackable-in-an-emergency, ie a regular tower that happens to be 19" high (current is 20.1", including the "feet" and "handles") and can be fitted with the correct fastenings for racking. Right now you'd probably have to jiggle it in and place it on a shelf.

EDIT: In the text I quoted, Apple probably means that you stand two of them up on a shelf in a rack. Hardly efficient.

Slightly amusing that the server version of the MP has a 5770.
( Last edited by P; Nov 5, 2010 at 11:40 AM. )
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Nov 5, 2010, 11:17 AM
 
Ooo. Revamped Mac mini Server could be the first Apple product with Light Peak that could be configured for clustering.
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Nov 5, 2010, 11:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by ajprice View Post
lol every server needs a 1GB video card.
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Maflynn  (op)
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Nov 5, 2010, 11:32 AM
 
so is 3,000 a good price?
The drives are not hot swappable, the video card is over kill, its not rack-able
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Nov 5, 2010, 11:32 AM
 
And it doesn't run flash.
     
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Nov 5, 2010, 11:39 AM
 
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Nov 5, 2010, 11:43 AM
 
My friends at CNN that just got finished building an x-serve-based media management system aren't pleased by the news.

And what server doesn't need a vid card with 1GB of memory? Anything less would be uncivilized.
     
besson3c
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Nov 5, 2010, 11:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
I think there was already talk of this on this and other forums but it looks like its official engadget
So apple is dropping xserve, as it focuses on the consumer sector and gives up on the enterprise.

The word "enterprise" has always been confusing to me. Technically it means any business, so what you wrote is right, but in the industry it usually seems to refer to large business which the XServe was never intended for.
     
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Nov 5, 2010, 12:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by indigoimac View Post
They cannot be that dense -- how does Apple manage it's own network services -- if you tell me Mac Pros can just slip into those roles I'd be stunned.

I'd suspect something else is on the way, ie not a 1u device, but still rack mountable, redundant psu, LOM, etc.

A pissed-off thread has started on every mac forum I've visited this morning, so I find it very, very hard to believe they are abandoning the server market.

I'm sure Apple runs Linux-based servers... Only a fool would run a business as large as Apple's on OS X Server, although I may have just put my foot in my mouth in saying that since I *believe* that their online Mac store runs on WebObjects which I believe is Mac-only?

Then again, their online store seems to require being taken offline for maintenance frequently whenever they add a new major product
     
besson3c
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Nov 5, 2010, 12:04 PM
 
The XServe was fine, but it wasn't revolutionary hardware that could not be matched elsewhere, and OS X Server has always been meh, so I don't understand the big disappointment there except to people who already purchased xServes?
     
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Nov 5, 2010, 12:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
so is 3,000 a good price?
The drives are not hot swappable, the video card is over kill, its not rack-able
Redundant power supplies? Nope.
     
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Nov 5, 2010, 12:52 PM
 
The Xserve was unmatchable for a while with the G5 in it. Maybe they should transition that line back to PPC?

Apple only takes their store offline for dramatic purposes. It generates buzz.

I am also bitterly disappointed with the news of Xserves demise. Its been mentioned elsewhere that is is by far the best looking server on the market, so you could argue its revolutionary in that respect It also has the coolest name by a long way.

I agree this leaves a huge gap. Mac Mini is too small, too underpowered with no PCI-E connectivity. Mac Pro is too big and no redundant PSU. Plus servers don't need Radeon 5770s. Having said that, does anyone else expect the Mac Pro to lose its optical drive any time soon? They used to do a server version of the PowerMac G3 and G4s. They weren't much different to the standard in terms of hardware (in some cases a SCSI card was about it), but maybe the Mac Pro would be 2U if they pulled the DVD. Though why not just build another Xserve if thats the case.

I have to say this decision is slightly baffling. iPhone and iPad have given Apple a chance to push into the enterprise sector, they have been bolstering their consultant network outside the US and wtf are they going to fill their new building in North Carolina with now?
Something doesn't really add up here.
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Nov 5, 2010, 12:56 PM
 
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
besson3c
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Nov 5, 2010, 01:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
The Xserve was unmatchable for a while with the G5 in it. Maybe they should transition that line back to PPC?

Apple only takes their store offline for dramatic purposes. It generates buzz.

I am also bitterly disappointed with the news of Xserves demise. Its been mentioned elsewhere that is is by far the best looking server on the market, so you could argue its revolutionary in that respect It also has the coolest name by a long way.

I agree this leaves a huge gap. Mac Mini is too small, too underpowered with no PCI-E connectivity. Mac Pro is too big and no redundant PSU. Plus servers don't need Radeon 5770s. Having said that, does anyone else expect the Mac Pro to lose its optical drive any time soon? They used to do a server version of the PowerMac G3 and G4s. They weren't much different to the standard in terms of hardware (in some cases a SCSI card was about it), but maybe the Mac Pro would be 2U if they pulled the DVD. Though why not just build another Xserve if thats the case.

I have to say this decision is slightly baffling. iPhone and iPad have given Apple a chance to push into the enterprise sector, they have been bolstering their consultant network outside the US and wtf are they going to fill their new building in North Carolina with now?
Something doesn't really add up here.

Why does iPhone and iPad constitute having an enterprise strategy?

I'm thinking that the next thing they will kill is OS X Server.
     
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Nov 5, 2010, 01:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Yeah, I posted the exact same link two hours ago.
     
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Nov 5, 2010, 01:17 PM
 
Hadn't seen it. Honest.


I didn't say iPhone/Pad was a strategy, but its a foot in the door. Its gotten them the attention of companies who simply didn't take them seriously for business use before now. They could work on building some iOS only features and then work on providing them only via OS X Server. Just a thought.
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Nov 5, 2010, 01:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
I didn't say iPhone/Pad was a strategy, but its a foot in the door. Its gotten them the attention of companies who simply didn't take them seriously for business use before now. They could work on building some iOS only features and then work on providing them only via OS X Server. Just a thought.


I don't think it's a terribly smart foot in the door, because an ecosystem around OS X Server only software is necessary, and Apple doesn't seem to want to expend more than a minimal amount of resources getting their software to work in larger company workflows, and telling a company that they need to buy a Mac based server and man it to run a piece of software that could very easily be run elsewhere is probably a tough sell. It has been many years already, and I'm certain that OS X Server market share is being absolutely clobbered by Windows and Linux - it is a black mark on Apple's fine reputation and branding.

If I were Apple I would focus next on ways to introduce open new services that generic hosting providers can pick up and start to offer that would enhance the functionality and attractiveness of their iOS devices, or even Macs in general. For instance, it would be great to be able to point iCal, Address Book, Time Machine, or any number of other services at a general hosting provider such as MediaTemple, BlueHost, DreamHost, etc. This is surely to be an easier sell to many companies who already have a website or a VPS hosted somewhere.

Most network services don't need a GUI to run the server-side component, so there is no particular compelling reason why this would need to be tethered to OS X Server. If Apple wants to sell more iOS devices (not that they are doing poorly there now they need to focus on making any software that compliments it to focus on increasing the value of these devices themselves rather than finding features that increase the value of OS X Server.

I still predict that OS X Server will be discontinued. Apple could, in theory, replace all of the Open Directory/LDAP stuff with fairly agnostic Unix based web based versions for catering towards higher ed and other places that run Mac labs. Supporting a separate version of OS X with a separate kernel for such a small user base has to be a fairly expensive task, especially now that they also have to support all of the iOS devices.
     
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Nov 5, 2010, 02:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I'm sure Apple runs Linux-based servers... Only a fool would run a business as large as Apple's on OS X Server, although I may have just put my foot in my mouth in saying that since I *believe* that their online Mac store runs on WebObjects which I believe is Mac-only?

Then again, their online store seems to require being taken offline for maintenance frequently whenever they add a new major product
I think they dropped WebObjects last year -- I forget what product it was but the store crapped out for an extended period of time.

Regardless, I'm sure they've got gobs of linux based machines, as any enterprise would, but I cannot believe that for specialized stuff they can validate a mac mini or mac pro over something rack mountable. It just isn't space-efficient.

Interesting thoughts on light peak as well. Interesting to see if finally something in between the mac mini and mac pro is forced as unlikely as that is.
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Nov 5, 2010, 02:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by indigoimac View Post
I think they dropped WebObjects last year -- I forget what product it was but the store crapped out for an extended period of time.

Regardless, I'm sure they've got gobs of linux based machines, as any enterprise would, but I cannot believe that for specialized stuff they can validate a mac mini or mac pro over something rack mountable. It just isn't space-efficient.

Interesting thoughts on light peak as well. Interesting to see if finally something in between the mac mini and mac pro is forced as unlikely as that is.

Unless Apple is counting on people that want to run OS X Server to run it virtualized? Maybe Apple will allow other commercial VM host makers to virtualize OS X Server on non-Apple hardware? This seems to be an obvious next step with the XServe discontinued.

There is absolutely zero reason to sell physical hardware when OS X Server can be virtualized, AFAICT...
     
Maflynn  (op)
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Nov 6, 2010, 08:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
but in the industry it usually seems to refer to large business which the XServe was never intended for.
What business sector was the xserve marketed for? I always considered that it was directed for the larger organizations.
~Mike
     
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Nov 6, 2010, 12:27 PM
 
The old PPC Xserves were competitive for many applications. The Intel ones went to replace the older PPCs in smaller businesses who had racks and Macs but they never competed for the big clusters like the G4 and G5s did. Offerings from HP, IBM and Dell were offering similar or better performance for less money.
The clusters that used the PPC Xserves were often running on custom software so any benefits of the OS were minimal. Their advantage was the Altivec unit and then 64-bit.

Still, I do like the Xserve. Like the Mac Pro, they are very well built. Its a real shame to see it go.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Eug
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Join Date: Dec 2000
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Nov 6, 2010, 12:49 PM
 
Would it not be possible to have OS X and OS X Server built as one package, configured as necessary? Or is that too much of a headache, esp. with consumers fiddling too much with server type functionality?

Originally Posted by -Q- View Post
My friends at CNN that just got finished building an x-serve-based media management system aren't pleased by the news.

And what server doesn't need a vid card with 1GB of memory? Anything less would be uncivilized.
Out of interest's sake, why did they choose the Xserve?
     
 
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