Apple’s Server Strategy Turmoil

A small Xserve cluster with an Xserve RAID.
Image via Wikipedia

Seems Apple is to discontinue its Xserve as of 31 January 2011. Here’s what they have to say on their site:

“Xserve will no longer be available after 31st January, but we’ll continue to fully support it. To learn more, view the PDF”

This is of some concern to those for who rack mounted servers are an integral part of their business.

So, what is Apple proposing as an alternative to the Xserve? Well, in fact it’s proposing two alternatives; Mac Pro with Snow Leopard Server or Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server. Problem is, the Mac Pro is lacking the XServe‘s redundant power supplies, and also, it cannot support the Lights-Out Management features of the rackmount server. The Mac mini is likewise, not enterprise ready and so it doesn’t look like Apple is serious about the enterprise server market. In particular Xsan users feel hard done by as they  depend upon the Xserver to be able to operate their storage-area networks for high performance video editing or scientific computing.

Apple has said it will honour existing warranties and the 12 month ones on any Xserve purchased before the end of 31 January 2011. It will continue to support the offer the current shipping 160GB, 1TB, and 2TB Apple Drive Modules for Xserve3 through the end of 2011 or while supplies last. Apple says it will continue to support Xserve customers with service parts for warranty and out-of- warranty service.

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