One thing I'm realizing is that the posters over here are much more sophisticated as a group than on at least one bigger (?) forum I've long been on (if about equally testy). And this multi-quote feature? Way cool....
Originally Posted by AISI
In Q3 2002
worldwide server shipments totaled about 1.1 million units according to Gartner and Apple sold 7,484 units, its share of the server market was 0.68 percent.
In Q1 2007
worldwide server shipments reached just over 2.1 million units, Apple sold 8,700 Xserves, its share of the server market should be 0.4 percent.
1 - HP: 634,093 units (30.03%)
2 - Dell: 445,850 units (21.12%)
3 - IBM: 295,175 units (13.98%)
4 - Fujitsu: 81,068 units (3.84%)
5 - Sun: 79,063 units (3.74%)
8 - Acer: 14,900 units (0.71%) *
9 - Hitachi: 9,000 units (0.43%) *
10 - Apple: 8,700 units (0.41%) *
Other: 543,416 units (25.74%)
Total: 2,111,265 units (100.00%)
Gartner numbers except * IDC quoted by Digitimes
...Apple did pretty well in 2004, but at the moment with less than 10,000 units/quarter, there is nothing to write home about. Xserve shipments should reach 14,968 units just to maintain the Q3 2002 market share of 0.68 percent. Just out of curiosity, if the Xserve server market share was similar to the Mac worldwide market share, Apple would have sold approximately 52,500 units this quarter (6x more).
The article was about the current quarter -- on quarter growth of 73% in a market that declined 11% -- and their growth in business (if and when) is being driven from the outside in by workers (a few at least IT guys) who use Macs on their own. So one would expect the effect of Macs becoming hotter to have a delayed reaction in business shops. The first few quarters after Leopard Server comes out (not simultaneously with Leopard?) will be more indicative of the trend (or lack of one) than the stats provided above. And again each Xserve may be associated with the sale of considerably more of Apple's other SKU's.
The current worldwide market share therefore is not that depressive to me -- I'd be looking at the US share over the next year or two and THEN turn my gaze to the world.
If I was an IT guy, though, yeah, I'd be shaking my head over some of the things Mac Guy says, and feel some sympathy for PC guy. But in fact that snarky Mac Guy can do much biz stuff than he lets on -- and he can virtualize the rest he doesn't.
The ads are reminiscent of 7-Up's abandoned "we're the Uncola" in that sense. I suspect that when Apple's serious Mr. I'm a Mac won't be appearing in the print ad campaigns in Computerworld, nor will he be the poster boy trotted out by visiting Apple reps on corp campuses.
Originally Posted by hmurchison
...I'll be the first to admit that Tiger server is limited in many key ways that pretty much relegate it to predominanty Mac networks and supporting roles in Windows dominated server networks.
When I price the current Xserve against the competition I see an immediate savings but that depends on what you need to do.
Leopard server will make this much easier. Every company needs a calendar server and finally OS X server will have it. ACLS are fully supported in Leopard and they have a new Team Directory structure which should be useful.
I'm a big fan of Time Machine...snapshots and a robust backup system are a requirement today with end user restore as a the gravy. Active/Active failover with the Mail server and XSAN, clustered iCal server. RADIUS for wireless networks.
Leopard is the "Tiger" for sys admins. Meaning it's going to be the first server OS that admins feel "comfortable" and relatively empowered on. Steve Jobs has stated that Apple is not an Enterprise company and he's right. They don't have to be. They need to be focused on that mid tier and SMB market where people are beginning to move to multiple servers and modern storage solutions.
....Look at the Top 3 server vendors. They aquire a new company about every month. Apple aquires a new company maybe every 6 months or so. Certainly not enough to make a play in the Enterprise.
What I think Apple will do is continue to utilize and support Open Source technologies folding those into OS X and keeping costs down and interoperability up. Evolving the ZFS support into a stable and mature product is important as well. I hope XSAN 2.0 syncs with StorNeXt 3.0http://www.xsanity.com/article.php/20070402225250974
Consider Apple to be "drafting" behind the leaders. Whatever they spend millions on Apple wants to deliver without the same expenditure.
I realize the following doesn't address many of the shortcomings detailed elsewhere in this thread, and the following applies to Leopard across the board, however. according to the latest Mac OS Rumors and Apple Insider, Leopard will offer ZFS and:
"ZFS includes numerous features and optimizations found nowhere else -- from powerful RAID enhancing features, unique data structure, industry-leading volume management tools, extremely efficient partitioning/instances handling, support for extremely large volume sizes (well in excess of 1024 Terabytes -- e.g. Petabyte territory).
Of course it also supports the features offered by Leopard's advanced HFS+ implementation including Journaling.....improves the functionality of Spotlight's meta-data databases, and handles all real or virtual devices independently in what is called a "zpool" instead of the way other FS'es work by creating one "true" device and then assigining all other devices secondary/virtual status.
I/O performance, high-end server/cluster/workstation reliability & feature support, as well as failure-recovery and data security are all dramatically enhanced with ZFS. Early benchmarks show that Leopard's powerful ZFS implementation can boost performance of large RAID arrays, Flash memory drives and many other disk types by anywhere from 5 to 50% or more (in the case of large software RAID arrays composed of powerful high-end drives; hardware RAIDs also lean to the higher end of that range but the difference may not be quite as dramatic in that case)."
Originally Posted by melgross
Apple doesn't have to get ahead of the other players, they simply have to catch up.
The server product does offer easy management. It does offer a good price once 2003 server client license costs are taken into account. But Apple doesn't go far enough. I think they are moving in that direction, but I'm not certain of what goal they have in mind. If they are attempting to move into mid size firms in a stealthy manner, they are so stealthy, that they aren't being seen.
One can infer that the server division is not Steve's highest priority by far, and it may even hang by a thread in his thinking, kept alive by a smallish group of true believers in the company. But I don't buy that entirely. Steve also said there would "never" be a video iPod.
So while I don't expect to see an Apple Enterprise division anytime soon, as workers keep whining about missing their Macs at work, and the value prop becomes clearer, I do expect the product line to stay on an upward trajectory and to hopefully differentiate into a wider range of offerings.
Originally Posted by melgross
...articles I read in the industry computer press show that managers DO like Apple's management. They also like the hardware. They also like the software suites installed with the machine, AND they like the open environment software that Apple has added GUI's to. They like the UNIX underpinnings....
Overall, they get pretty good grades for what they are. It's in the mixed environments, and the lack of OS X virtualization that they have problems. Also, they feel uncomfortable that Apple has shown no interest in blades, or larger machines, as it gives them no upgrade paths as other vendors do.
See above. But more importantly, let's see what ends up in Leopard Server. Especially in terms of virtualization or LS and/or 3rd Party Virt. solutions.
Originally Posted by besson3c
...I don't understand why Apple doesn't focus their resources on some of the more fundamental weaknesses of Server.
Originally Posted by melgross
Because they don't want to.
Yet. Resources are finite things, even when you're currently the king of a rapidly evolving media serving and consuming market (which is converging and bifrucating simultaneously), and scrambling to stay there against a rising host of well-funded competitors. If Apple can do anything similar in the video and phone markets to what they've done in the music player market and achieve some of the eponymous branding status in them that they've managed in music, their restless eyes may move to getting more serious about new horizons, and business buys a lot [a LOT] of digital gear.
Even the Pixar Division of Disney would be a good customer to have, and SJ might have something to say about that.