back to article Enterprise fanbois yawn at death of Apple Xserve

On Monday, Apple ended its nine-and-one-half-year Xserve experiment, and reactions are mixed. One outspoken analyst says the decision "sucks," but a broad-ranging survey reveals that most users of that Jobsian rack-mounted server don't hold a grudge against Cupertino. "I understand the decision. The truth is, I don't think Apple …

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Flame

Wait, What?????

Oh never mind I was asleep and thought something important happened.

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Pint

Indeed...

Must have been important enough for you to want to share your tiresome comment with the rest of the world!

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Unhappy

To be fair it does suck..

..and in my humble opinion OS X Server hasn't really gotten the credit it deserves. I work with Windows, OS X Server and Ubuntu and I have to say OS X Server is a pleasure to use. There's plenty that will step forward and tell me that Windows AD is infinitely more granular in it's control over policies etc, or that the virtualization and thin client options in Ubuntu make it extremely versatile and to be fair you'd be right. However OS X server does it's job well and I for one will miss it, if it gets phased out by Apple.

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Alert

We haven't hit bottom yet.

Two things:

The Server OS isn't going anywhere because it does do a few things very well. It handles patches, it serves OD and it's pretty stable. But it does a terrible job at some important things like the policy granularity mentioned above. So don't fret about the future of the OS yet.

On the other hand tossing the hardware overboard, stonewalling any sort of server virtualization and generally making it difficult to administer your own machines makes me think that Apple would prefer to start doing it for you in a model not too far from the ipad. That is, require a lot of connectivity, load a lot of software and data from the cloud, and continue to charge you monthly for things you might just as easily do yourself. They've already changed the education licensing to require OS and app payments each year on purchased laptops and servers.

So yes it sucks, but the school I work with is kind of stuck with our installed base and the sucking is getting worse. We haven't hit bottom yet...

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WTF?

RE: Education licensing - yeesh! Got a cite for that?

I've checked the Terms & Conditions for the UK Higher Education Apple store and can't see anything about the annual OS/app payment issue, but then they may not have forced it on us yet. Sounds pretty nasty though, when did that happen?

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DM2

Apple

Isn't Apple just becoming a mobile phone / mobile app vendor anyway? Surely that is where they make all their cash nowadays.

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Happy

In a nutshell,

No, and No.

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Per the last earnings report...

... Mac shipments during the fourth quarter of 2010 were up 23% over the year before, setting a new record (though they've been doing that every year for a while — since 1984 the market has grown a lot more than the Mac's relative share has dropped, though the Mac continues to grow a lot faster than the market).

I was unable to find a detailed profit breakdown, but of iPads, iPhones, Macs and iPods, the breakdown by units sold during that quarter was:

8.8% Macs (up 23% year on year)

15.5% iPads (available for less than a year)

34.4% iPhones (up 85% year on year)

41.3% iPods (down 7% year on year)

Macs are still a non-negligible contributor, probably to a greater extend than those percentages suggest given that they're likely to be higher profit items than iPods or iPhones.

I'll wager that Xserves constituted maybe 0.001% of units shipped.

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DM2

Interesting stats...

I get your point... I was being overly simplistic (to a degree on purpose) but your stats do point to Macs being a rather minor part of the pie. Furthermore, if we look at revenue rather than units sold, all those itune and app sales that come as a consequence of iphone/ipad/ipod sales make Mac desktop/laptop sales look even more insignificant.

I'm sure some shareholders out there would not care too much about Macs if they can come up with more money making machines like handhelds. Hats off to their incredidle success but let's recognise where the profits are being made.

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servers....

Putting a server OS on a compact, home user desktop does not instantly make it a server!!!

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what do they use for their datacenters?

One question I haven't seen asked or answered is what does apple use in their own data centers? I'd think that they'd be a big enough consumer of Xserves on their own to make it a worth while product to keep around.

Not that I use their stuff, just curious.

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Happy

The itunes Store Runs on

Sun Sparc servers and STK tape archive. But they like to keep it very quiet.

And , yes i am sure there is an iPhone data center App out there that can do in a more metro fashion from a messanger bag in a coffee shop near you...

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm...

Assuming that they are using mac os server in their datacentres, and they are, because thing of the fuss if it turned out they weren't, they must be virtualised and or on commodity hardware. Now this seems to suggest that there isn't a problem using comodity x86/virtualisation so are we going to see a change in apple's licence requirements?

I hope so, because I don't want to try to explain why I want to put a workstation with no redundant hardware, remote management etc into a rack in our datacentre.

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Apple's Datacentres?

I seem to remember that the Xserve is/was hand-made to order and not an off the shelf take-away piece of kit.

Could it be that Apple are equipping their new datacentres with Xserves and cannot manufacture any for the the outside world as they do not have enough soldering irons to make any extras?

Perhaps when the datacentres are up and running we might see a new Xserve.

I remember visiting Apple at Stockley Park in the pre-Jobs days when they occupied two adjacent buildings. In the foyer of the building they no-longer occupy was a rather large Apple Server humming away - about the size of a decent refrigerator (minus the ice and chilled drinks dispensingh door).

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Ahh, the memories

>> I remember visiting Apple at Stockley Park in the pre-Jobs days when they occupied two adjacent buildings. In the foyer of the building they no-longer occupy was a rather large Apple Server humming away - about the size of a decent refrigerator (minus the ice and chilled drinks dispensingh door).

Sometime after I stopped going there then ! When I first went there (they'd only just moved from Hemel Hempstead), their "server farm" was a stack of Mac II machines all running headless. Stacked up on the floor, next to the NeuNet patch panels - this was before Ethernet.

I do recall it used to **REALLY** annoy the cabbies when you got in one at Heathrow and wanted a local journey ! Never seen one drive so fast in an attempt to get back within his 15min window to go back to the front of the queue.

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FAIL

Yeh, it sucks...

We were a signature away from a pilot project for a 5k mailbox "Exchange Replacement" project when they made the announcement. (could have been worse, could have been AFTER the pilot!)

That would have opened a crack in the Microsoft facade allowing cheaper and better alternatives into the company. X-Serve as a loss leader?

Hey Steve, how may other opportunities did you blow off with that decision?

No icons with Jobs in a clown hat?

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Grenade

Why don't they resell?

I'm sure Dell or someone would be quite willing to rebrand a few 1U x86 servers with a custom frontplate. They can use the same tpm controls that are used on their desktops for Windows activation to prevent OSX server being installed on anything else.

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Anonymous Coward

VMware to the rescue!

OS X Server 10.5 and up is supported in VMware virtualization products. This has been the case for at least a year. I was mad about the Apple announcement until I realized this. Then I thought, "why would I buy a hardware Xserve again when I can now run it as a VM?"

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Sort of

It is possible, on Apple branded hardware. To run OSX on non Apple branded hardware. I don't think any of VMware's non Apple products will run it.

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FAIL

That's still the case...

...and if you think users are displeased with running OS X Server on a desktop, just imagine their joy at running it in a VM on a desktop.

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"Nobody is going to pull their Xserve devices on Feb 1st"

The article keeps going on about how many users are going to keep running their servers for quite a while yet....

... but isn't that standard practice for a server? Unless you have issues with reliability, power, rack space, or something else why would you pull a functioning server of *any* brand out of a rack?

I'm sure a lot of plans are being drawn up to migrate existing servers to other platforms, but I'm not aware of many system admins that respond to a product's discontinuation by running to the server room with an axe.

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Yep

I'm wondering what all of the fuss is about, products get discontinued all of the time, you just migrate to something else.

OK, you might not find an exact match for the functionality, but you're just as likely to find something that does a better job for you.

Worst case, get one of those Mac Mini servers as an emergency standby until you've migrated.

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Anonymous Coward

Rebadge a dell!

Apple is about Quality.

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Thumb Up

Less Mac's?

The survey says that around 30% will buy less Mac's or none at all due to the pulling of Xserve. I suppose Apple is badly surprised by this? another 20% says they 'Don't know' so a segment of those might also decide for another platform.

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Headmaster

Mac Mini

Les Mac's? Does that mean smaller ones?

Fewer Mac's That means not so many of 'em.

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