Enterprise buyers frustrated by Apple axing Xserve, but sticking with Mac

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
More than a month after Apple announced it would discontinue its Xserve rackmounted servers, the company's decision continues to irk enterprise customers, though most said they will stick with the Mac.



On Tuesday, CNNMoney.com profiled the reactions of Xserve customers, which the publication referred to as "a mix of confusion and frustration." Those who spoke out on the subject suggested that Apple is out of touch with its enterprise customers, who need stability in their products.



"With consumers, when they don't hear anything and then all the sudden -- ta da! -- they get a new iPhone, that's great," said John Welch, IT director at the Zimmerman Agency. "For us IT guys, that's a nightmare. We hate that."



Apple announced in early November that it will discontinue the Xserve after Jan. 31, 2011. It has suggested that customers switch to either a Mac Pro with Snow Leopard Server, or the Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server.



Xserve purchases made through Jan. 31, 2011, including the 160GB, 1TB and 2TB models, will be backed by Apple's full one-year warranty. But Apple has also noted that the 12-core mac Pro with Snow Leopard Server meets or exceeds the performance of the baseline Xserve hardware.



An e-mail allegedly sent by Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said that "hardly anyone" was buying the Xserve. And researchers at IDC said that Apple's share of the total server market is less than 4 percent.



Despite enterprise customers' frustration over the cancelation of the Xserve, most said they will keep to the Mac platform for both desktops and servers. CNNMoney.com noted that in a survey of 1,200 Xserve customers, 70 percent said the cancelation of the Xserve will not change their preference toward Apple computers.



"Even when they're frustrated, Apple's enterprise clients still trust the company enough to keep relying on it," author David Goldman wrote. "Apple may always be a niche player in the business market, but it's got an advantage rivals like Microsoft and HP can only dream about: In the eyes of many customers, Apple can do no wrong -- even when it does something wrong."



For more, see AppleInsider's three-page postmortem on the Xserve: Why Apple axed Xserve, and how it can reenter the server market.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 51
    dacloodacloo Posts: 890member
    Quote:

    Enterprise buyers frustrated by Apple axing Xserve, but sticking with Mac



    Bull. You can't possibly say anything about that a month after Apple ditched Xserve. Biased, lame article.
  • Reply 2 of 51
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    But Apple has also noted that the 12-core mac Pro with Snow Leopard Server meets or exceeds the performance of the baseline Xserve hardware.



    Yes and it fits in the rack nicely too. One of the reasons the XServes were so attractive for our cluster was the 1U design.
  • Reply 3 of 51
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shintocam View Post


    Yes and it fits in the rack nicely too.



    You can mount a Mac Pro sideways in a rack and it uses 3U, the Mac Pro is more powerful anyhow. The only thing the XServe offers over the Mac Pro is the optional redundant Power supply, the Mac Pro has more internal hard disk storage, and faster CPU availability.



    Not to say I'm not sorry to see it go, I've installed a number of them myself and am a huge fan. Most of these customers won't be worried about replacing or upgrading these units for YEARS.



    I can see Mac OS X Server being offered as a Virtualized solution in the near future anyway. Anyone that does a lot of enterprise solutions know that Virtualization is a preferred method for this, it saves money on hardware and energy if you can run 4-8 virtuals on a server that might cost as much as two pieces of server hardware it saves a lot of overhead.
  • Reply 4 of 51
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post


    You can mount a Mac Pro sideways in a rack and it uses 3U, the Mac Pro is more powerful anyhow. The only thing the XServe offers over the Mac Pro is the optional redundant Power supply, the Mac Pro has more internal hard disk storage, and faster CPU availability.



    Apple towers have not been horizontally rackable since the death of the G4, and lord knows i've tried. There are also substantial cooling issues with placing a unit as shallow as a Mac Pro in a 30" deep rack. You also make the omission of a redundant power supply sound trivial, and fail to mention the lack of a server grade NIC with LOM. Who would hang a business off an infrastructure that is so ill-equipped for its purpose?



    Virtualization is already an option for OS X Server, but only on top of a Mac host. Which Mac are you going to use to run a bunch of VM's? THe only candidate is the Xserve, or a hackintosh server.



    My clients will be scrapping OD, switching to AD with extended schema, phasing out XSan, looking at alternatives to Final Cut Server/D.A.M. and migrating anything in the server room we can to RHEL. Between this and the crappy graphics card support, it's one less reason to be able to argue keeping the Mac platform. When asked why to buy the Mac for a business, I could spew for five minutes reason after reason, separated with "AND's". Now I'm out of arguments in under a minute, and they are all separated with "BUT's". This, coming from a die-hard Apple fan for more than 20 years.
  • Reply 5 of 51
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,580member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shintocam View Post


    Yes and it fits in the rack nicely too. One of the reasons the XServes were so attractive for our cluster was the 1U design.



    I don't believe that is a legitimate argument. Bottom line was. apple didn't have a compelling family. They needed blades and a 2U enclosure for hardware, and some significant networking, storage, and management upgrades.



    Looking at Fujitsu's new blade line-up, it is pretty clear Apple didn't have a modern breadth, ESPECIALLY for clusters. (Fujitsu having lagged in this market in the past, with IBM dominating.)
  • Reply 6 of 51
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,580member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by doctorwho View Post


    My clients will be scrapping OD, switching to AD with extended schema, phasing out XSan, looking at alternatives to Final Cut Server/D.A.M. and migrating anything in the server room we can to RHEL. Between this and the crappy graphics card support, it's one less reason to be able to argue keeping the Mac platform. When asked why to buy the Mac for a business, I could spew for five minutes reason after reason, separated with "AND's". Now I'm out of arguments in under a minute, and they are all separated with "BUT's". This, coming from a die-hard Apple fan for more than 20 years.



    But wasn't this the right decision for them independent of Apple's move?



    While I don't know Final Cut, everything else has pretty much been a foregone conclusion for at least 3 years. Eventually, Apple is going to have to allow for virtualization to save things like FC Server, but only if that is the logical solution. If FC Server should get ported to Linux or pure BSD, then hopefully that is what they do.



    The real enterprise gripe isn't Xserve, but the lack of model look continuity over time. Case redesigns push people to the newest machines independent of corporate life-cycle.
  • Reply 7 of 51
    If it hasn't been any clearer that Apple is completely leaving the pro market to focus strictly on the consumer market.



    1: Apple Computer Inc. changes name to Apple Inc.



    2: Bootcamp (Windows only? What about Linux?)



    3: No more X-Raid.



    4: No more X-Server (Linux is much more customizable and can use any hardware)



    5: The iPad, the iPhone, the iPod Touch and other "closed OS" devices.



    6: All but the MacPro are closed hardware.





    Didn't Phil S. mention that the "consumer" market is like over 50% of the total computing market?





    Why sit still and be consistent when you can have over 50% of the market going where the consumer wind blows and mass produce a simple set of hardware?



    Why bother with the many needs of the enterprise market for specialized hardware who are only going to try to chew you down on price?



    Why cater to a market trying to make money when you got a larger market willing to blow money?





    The next Apple machines to go are the MacPro and the MacBook Pro.



    1: The MacPro is too much power for most consumers, high end 3D games have gone over to consoles, far easier and cheaper. We will soon hear the same that occurred to the X-Server "we are not selling them". The cause? Power and performance isn't important anymore, portability and functionality is.



    2: The MacBook Pro will undergo changes, already rumored the Superdrive and hard drives will be axed in the next versions, to be external optional devices.





    The next to go are Apple's "Pro' software or morph into some sort of iOS cloud based solution, this way Apple can focus on selling consumer hardware strictly and if you need more horsepower for "Pro" work, you can use the new NC servers.





    A final insult, iOS will rule on all Apple hardware and the mouse and the independent trackpad will disappear.



    I wouldn't be surprised if Apple implements some sort of touchscreen/keyboard on the MacBook Pro's instead of the real keyboard, of course they have to solve the heat issue, as keyboards are presently used for venting (thus no liquids on keyboards) but if they start using less powerful A4 dual cores (coming soon) that should take care of that problem nicely.



    Independent graphics? Gone. somebody better call Nvida with the bad news.





    Welcome to the new Apple.
  • Reply 8 of 51
    Apple is basically making consumer appliances at this point, including Mac computers. The power tools they're leaving to the big boys...
  • Reply 9 of 51
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    They should also ditch the server version of the OS. Imagine how much software dev resource it would free up not having to maintain that distro. Maybe then Lion could have some more stuff in it.
  • Reply 10 of 51
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MarkJones View Post


    The next Apple machines to go are the MacPro and the MacBook Pro.



    I don't think so, unless you mean the very long term. Steve already gave his opinion on the future of the home computer at All Things D. It will be the truck. Some people need trucks but most people just need a car. Up until now everyone has been forced to use trucks because there hasn't been something like iOS. If anything the Mac Pro is safer than the iMac because it is unashamedly a truck.
  • Reply 11 of 51
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MarkJones View Post


    [Blah, blah, blah, blah]...





    Welcome to the new Apple.



    Complete nonsense.
  • Reply 12 of 51
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by doctorwho View Post


    Apple towers have not been horizontally rackable since the death of the G4, and lord knows i've tried. There are also substantial cooling issues with placing a unit as shallow as a Mac Pro in a 30" deep rack. You also make the omission of a redundant power supply sound trivial, and fail to mention the lack of a server grade NIC with LOM. Who would hang a business off an infrastructure that is so ill-equipped for its purpose?



    Virtualization is already an option for OS X Server, but only on top of a Mac host. Which Mac are you going to use to run a bunch of VM's? THe only candidate is the Xserve, or a hackintosh server.



    My clients will be scrapping OD, switching to AD with extended schema, phasing out XSan, looking at alternatives to Final Cut Server/D.A.M. and migrating anything in the server room we can to RHEL. Between this and the crappy graphics card support, it's one less reason to be able to argue keeping the Mac platform. When asked why to buy the Mac for a business, I could spew for five minutes reason after reason, separated with "AND's". Now I'm out of arguments in under a minute, and they are all separated with "BUT's". This, coming from a die-hard Apple fan for more than 20 years.



    It seems, then, customers like you are the reason Apple decided to stop production. Why complain then? I bet you can get a decent price for your obsolete equipment. You should be happy.
  • Reply 13 of 51
    nkhmnkhm Posts: 928member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MarkJones View Post


    If it hasn't been any clearer that Apple is completely leaving the pro market to focus strictly on the consumer market.



    1: Apple Computer Inc. changes name to Apple Inc.



    2: Bootcamp (Windows only? What about Linux?)



    3: No more X-Raid.



    4: No more X-Server (Linux is much more customizable and can use any hardware)



    5: The iPad, the iPhone, the iPod Touch and other "closed OS" devices.



    6: All but the MacPro are closed hardware.





    Didn't Phil S. mention that the "consumer" market is like over 50% of the total computing market?





    Why sit still and be consistent when you can have over 50% of the market going where the consumer wind blows and mass produce a simple set of hardware?



    Why bother with the many needs of the enterprise market for specialized hardware who are only going to try to chew you down on price?



    Why cater to a market trying to make money when you got a larger market willing to blow money?





    The next Apple machines to go are the MacPro and the MacBook Pro.



    1: The MacPro is too much power for most consumers, high end 3D games have gone over to consoles, far easier and cheaper. We will soon hear the same that occurred to the X-Server "we are not selling them". The cause? Power and performance isn't important anymore, portability and functionality is.



    2: The MacBook Pro will undergo changes, already rumored the Superdrive and hard drives will be axed in the next versions, to be external optional devices.





    The next to go are Apple's "Pro' software or morph into some sort of iOS cloud based solution, this way Apple can focus on selling consumer hardware strictly and if you need more horsepower for "Pro" work, you can use the new NC servers.





    A final insult, iOS will rule on all Apple hardware and the mouse and the independent trackpad will disappear.



    I wouldn't be surprised if Apple implements some sort of touchscreen/keyboard on the MacBook Pro's instead of the real keyboard, of course they have to solve the heat issue, as keyboards are presently used for venting (thus no liquids on keyboards) but if they start using less powerful A4 dual cores (coming soon) that should take care of that problem nicely.



    Independent graphics? Gone. somebody better call Nvida with the bad news.





    Welcome to the new Apple.



    Utter rubbish. Not even worth responding too. The machines continue to get more powerful, further accepted by business at all levels. Apple make phones, music players and computers - hence dropping "computer" now that's not all they do. The mouse and track pad will disappear? I guess that's they why the brought the magic mouse to market and just introduced a stand alone track pad!?



    As far as "Enterprise buyers frustrated by Apple axing Xserve, but sticking with Mac" - they can't be too frustrated then! So the replacement takes up 3U instead of 1U and it's two- three times more powerful for less cash?
  • Reply 14 of 51
    Although I'm disappointed too, unfortunately this is how Apple always treated IT customers, even as way back as OS7 Server.



    Many IT professionals gave Apple another go after Jobs showed-off OSX Server running 50 diskless iMacs and gave the impression that Apple was committed to a new server market with OS X Server.



    Support for OS X Server has been another major disappointment. Apple Servers?... Heck no, never again!
  • Reply 15 of 51
    amdahlamdahl Posts: 100member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    They should also ditch the server version of the OS. Imagine how much software dev resource it would free up not having to maintain that distro. Maybe then Lion could have some more stuff in it.



    This makes a lot of sense. Servers are old tech.



    You can replace OS X Server stuff with .Me and the new data center in Carolina. Maybe an Apple TV for the stuff you need on demand.
  • Reply 16 of 51
    z3r0z3r0 Posts: 230member
    That doesn't make sense for those who rely on Final Cut Server, XSAN, Podcast Producer, Quicktime Streaming Server, Open Directory, iCal etc...



    Apple specific server applications do not run on anything but Mac OS X server.



    The best thing Apple can do if they don't release a replacement to the Xserve, is to partner with Oracle. I would be great to run Mac OS X Server on their Sun Fire servers.



    Sun Fire X4170 M2 Server



    Apple can take advantage of Oracle's sales and support channels without having to spend money on developing the hardware. They would gain instant credibility in the enterprise with this move.



    Although I wish they would have bought Sun when they had the chance. They would have been able to control their destiny and not be dependent on a third party, but thats old news.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Amdahl View Post


    This makes a lot of sense. Servers are old tech.



    You can replace OS X Server stuff with .Me and the new data center in Carolina. Maybe an Apple TV for the stuff you need on demand.



  • Reply 17 of 51
    bwikbwik Posts: 562member
    Just to play Devil's advocate, Office 2011 makes the Mac pretty much corporate-friendly. Stata, Mathematica and MATLAB all have good Mac implementation. What we don't have is SAS. If we did, a lot of corporate / finance America could run Mac without a problem.
  • Reply 18 of 51
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MarkJones View Post


    ...

    Didn't Phil S. mention that the "consumer" market is like over 50% of the total computing market?



    Why sit still and be consistent when you can have over 50% of the market going where the consumer wind blows and mass produce a simple set of hardware?



    Why bother with the many needs of the enterprise market for specialized hardware who are only going to try to chew you down on price?



    Why cater to a market trying to make money when you got a larger market willing to blow money?...



    This is so true. Especially about how enterprise has a habit of nickel and diming vendors and having expectations far greater than the average consumer.



    Anyone who has ever worked in IT understands the slow, plodding mentality. There are very few dynamic companies that can stop and turn on a dime if a great new technology arrives.



    Yes, Apple will do things like have ActiveSync and Exchange support, but that is because Apple is not about to release an email/calendar system to battle Exchange, GroupWise or even FirstClass for that matter.



    But, who knows, maybe this will be true in February....

    http://www.9to5mac.com/40192/what-replaces-xserves
  • Reply 19 of 51
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post


    You can mount a Mac Pro sideways in a rack and it uses 3U...



    If there is a solution to mount it sideways in a 19" rack that does not butcher the case and allows the box to be moved in and out with cable management, I'd love to see a link for it.



    I will buy it tomorrow for a number of clients of mine.
  • Reply 20 of 51
    "Apple can do no wrong -- even when it does something wrong."



    And therein lies the problem. They need to be held accountable.
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