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

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 51
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JimDreamworx View Post


    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.



    No, but you can get the old fashion slider trays and mount two vertically. The dimensions are 20.1" x 8.1" You need a hacksaw to mount them in a 19" rack horizontally. They work much better on metro shelves than server racks. You can even use cable ties instead of having to deal with all of those square bolts!!



    I feel like I have stepped back to 1997.



    Apple appear to have approached it from the dog-food perspective; it doesn't work for them, so they need to find a better way to do it. The collateral damage though is pretty dramatic when looking at their software products. They must have some kind of plan for addressing it...
  • Reply 22 of 51
    neilmneilm Posts: 989member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by doctorwho View Post


    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.



    Agreed, and add to that server-grade hot swappable drives.



    The Xserve is a niche product (education, science, video production, graphic arts, small business), and without a much broader product range coupled with a published, disciplined enterprise product plan it wasn't going to grow out of that. However I'd have thought its market to be sufficiently focused to be worth serving. Apparently not: I guess a few tens of thousands of units a year isn't enough in today's Apple, not even for a product with a fairly high average selling price.



    I'm glad I replaced our 7-year-old Xserve G4 with a new Intel Xserve a couple of months ago. No idea what we'll do next time around, but I've got at least 5 years before I have to worry about that.
  • Reply 23 of 51
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NeilM View Post


    ...I'm glad I replaced our 7-year-old Xserve G4 with a new Intel Xserve a couple of months ago. No idea what we'll do next time around, but I've got at least 5 years before I have to worry about that.



    Indeed. I figure Apple (in their very uncharacteristic method) announced the discontinuation of a product so that those that really require this solution can buy it now and install it without worrying about loss of support for a few years.



    And, as people always like to say, two years is an eternity in the computer biz.

    So any roadmap any company puts out that claims to see that far ahead is worthless.
  • Reply 24 of 51
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post


    No, but you can get the old fashion slider trays and mount two vertically. The dimensions are 20.1" x 8.1" You need a hacksaw to mount them in a 19" rack horizontally. They work much better on metro shelves than server racks. You can even use cable ties instead of having to deal with all of those square bolts!!



    I feel like I have stepped back to 1997.



    Apple appear to have approached it from the dog-food perspective; it doesn't work for them, so they need to find a better way to do it. The collateral damage though is pretty dramatic when looking at their software products. They must have some kind of plan for addressing it...



    Hacksaw or 12U spacing on shelf?



    No thanks, I'll stick to buying up the last of the XServes, install them, and worry about the next great solution a few years later when the AppleCare has expired.
  • Reply 25 of 51
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by peter02l View Post


    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.



    On the contrary, were it not for this announcement, we would have been renewing our server room with a several new Xserves, and an updated XSan system. If they kept making them, we'd keep buying them. However, Mac workstations just don't play as nice in an environment without an OS X Server infrastructure, unless you want to shell out a boat load of cash on third party software, like ExtremeZ-IP, which costs as much as an Xserve itself before you have even purchased a Windows Server to run it on. I was happy with the Xserve, and the way their server and clients systems worked together. Sure, there were a few gripes where improvements could be made, like a scalable filesystem or a bit more robustness and scalability in OD, but it was still a very workable integrated SYSTEM. Now it's not a system, it's a selection of client machines, with hurdles to co-existing with other systems. The list of shortcomings of those client machines on their own, like lack of choice in graphics cards, is a shorter list than what is good about them, but that list starts to grow considerably without the Xserve to allow them to be catered to.
  • Reply 26 of 51
    onhkaonhka Posts: 1,025member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JimDreamworx View Post


    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.



    Is there a real good reason that they have to be mounted as such?



    Seems Virginia Tech have been more than success standing their Mac Pros up.



    Virginia Tech building supercomputer out of 324 Mac Pros

    http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/20...4-mac-pros.ars



    Quote:

    Virginia Tech?s record breaking supercomputer, known as System X, SystemX, Big Mac, or Terascale Cluster, is originally made from Apple Macintosh computers in 2003. In 2004 System X was upgraded to Apple xServes 1U servers. In 2008, another supercomputing cluster of Macs [Mac Pros] was built [System G] at Virginia Tech.



    System G

    High Performance, Low Cost Supercomputer At Virginia Tech is a Mac

    http://obamapacman.com/2009/08/high-...h-mac-cluster/



    Virginia Tech Magazine: Factor of X. Summer FEATURE 2010

    http://www.vtmagazine.vt.edu/sum10/feature5.html
  • Reply 27 of 51
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post


    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.



    aaarrrgggh,



    I take your point that there are many options that exist for the server room that have a better roadmap, and I've seriously considered some of those options before this announcement, but for some of my clients, the enterprise offerings Apple had worked very well for the Mac environment they catered to, and one glaring factor is also price. The amount of stuff that comes included in OS X Server with unlimited client licensing makes an Xserve a cheaper option than an Windows Server with additional licenses. Also, since late 10.4 through 10.6 Server, i'd say that OS X Server has been very good. Before then, I would never have installed an Apple server for a client. They were just too flaky.
  • Reply 28 of 51
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,759member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post


    I can see Mac OS X Server being offered as a Virtualized solution in the near future anyway.



    Bingo. I could see Apple partnering with VMware and offering a bundle or something - it just doesn't make sense for them to try to compete in such a low-volume market that is also very specialized.



    At least that's my hope. They can't be running all SPARC in that new data center in NC
  • Reply 29 of 51
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,759member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by doctorwho View Post


    Virtualization is already an option for OS X Server, but only on top of a Mac host.



    Today, that is. Who knows what Apple might do in the future. Unfortunately, at this point it's just hoping/wild speculation. I hope Apple see's a real need here and does something to officially support OSX server under virtualization. People are doing it now in various methods, so it's not a wild desire.



    It will be interesting to see what value Apple places on the OS by itself for server applications if they do go this route.
  • Reply 30 of 51
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,759member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MarkJones View Post


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



    Sigh - someone needs to put the crack pipe down or just relax
  • Reply 31 of 51
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,759member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by z3r0 View Post


    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.



    That's a highly probably move - I forgot about Steve's good pal Larry buying up Sun.



    Although I much prefer the greater choice that would be offered if Apple partnered with VMWare for a special Mac OSX server edition.



    Either way, I think the proverbial shoe will drop after the discontinuation date for the Xserve - I can't believe Apple will just leave OSX server to the Mac Pro or Mac Mini.
  • Reply 32 of 51
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post


    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.)



    I wouldn't dismiss this as a legitimate argument. For a cluster, maybe, but 1u servers have their place in a server environment. More so than blades. Most data centers are still dominated by 2U servers.



    That said, Apple never had a server family anyway, they simply offered a specific 1U solution. At the time though, with the Xserve RAID and XSAN, Apple offered one of the lowest cost, high-performance SAN system around.



    They simply realized that they didn't want to spend the R&D to build an actual server family and update it, but Apple certainly has the breath and engineering skills to build the best servers in the marketplace.



    I actually think that they are uniquely positioned to build the "greenest servers" if they wanted to...
  • Reply 33 of 51
    Wouldn?t it be nice if Apple got into offering Mac OS X Server from the cloud? Who wants to maintain their own server hardware anyhow? If the price were right, i?d drop my Linux VPS in a heartbeat.



    But i suppose they?re going to use their new data center for iTunes, or some such silly thing!
  • Reply 34 of 51
    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.



    That's just laughable. Very non-sensical arguments. Just because they are expanding their reach into new categories that they have created, Apple has no reason to leave another market they already dominate.



    They unfortunately are leaving the server market (which I wouldn't confuse with the Pro market) because they had a niche offering with a costly support infrastructure and decided it wasn't worth their time.



    But the Pro-market to which I count their Mac Pro line, Macbook Pros and Pro software, Apple is a heavy weight. If I recall, Apple has something like 90% market share in desktops over $1000 (this is where the Mac Pro's are at home) and a significant market share on laptops over $1000 (unfortunately I don't recall the exact percentage).

    Apple's Pro software is also well positioned in virtually any creative department of US corporations, studios and agencies.
  • Reply 35 of 51
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post


    Apple is basically making consumer appliances at this point, including Mac computers. The power tools they're leaving to the big boys...



    I agree on servers, but in the "pro-market", Apple is the big boy... And last time I looked, the big boys look more like small boys compared to Apple
  • Reply 36 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.



    It's actually 5U and if you have to pay for rackspace in a data center, this can cost you a couple hundred Dollars a month for nothing...



    Also, uptime is everything in a production environment, so you are dismissing nearly everything why people buy a server over a cheaper desktop (hardware redundancy, hot-swappable components and remote management).

    A faster CPU and more internal storage are actually secondary over availability.
  • Reply 37 of 51
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MarkJones View Post


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



    I personally can't think of any compelling reason to be able to dual-boot directly into Linux on Mac hardware. The only reason I boot directly into Windows is for games. There aren't a lot of Linux-based games that are graphically intensive and that do not have MacOS (or Windows) alternatives. I played around with OpenArena (which was, actually, quite cool), and of course there are a few simulators and the Doom derivatives... I do have a Fedora VM on my Mini at the office that I use occasionally for testing purposes, but I don't care to boot directly into it.



    Besides, I believe BootCamp was intended for switchers. Most people running Linux are a bit more technically savvy and understand that OSX gives them the Unix they're looking for...
  • Reply 38 of 51
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JimDreamworx View Post


    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



    Interesting read!



    From the article (emphasis mine):



    Quote:

    One Apple Enterprise shop we spoke to said that Apple’s System Engineers have been on a campaign to assure that Apple has another solution in the pipeline beyond what they’ve announced. There wasn’t an exact timeline of release but there was an indication that when the Xserve inventory runs out, the new product will be released. That means a new Enterprise product could be ready in February.



    How close are we to ARM-based servers? From what I read it is quite possible that low-power ARM servers based on A8 or A9 ARM CPUs are eminent.



    Also, there are rumors of a 64-bit ARM architecture



    http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-n...n--says-report





    Interesting quote from this article (emphasis mine):



    Quote:

    One possibility - which would be very reminiscent of Intel's marketing style - would be if the basic Cortex-A15 design already supports 64-bit processing and ARM has quietly kept that detail back from the original announcement to give it more publicity. As ARM is licensor of IP it might be possible to allow chip partners to choose whether to opt for full 64-bit processing or opt for 32-bit depending on application and as they are designing their implementation of the chip.





    So, we know that iOS OS X shares a good part of its underlying code with Mac OS X and by extension OS X Server...



    ... It is currently possible to run web servers on iOS -- how much more would it take to run the full OS X Server?





    With all that's been going on it is quite possible that Apple has a revolutionary Enterprise, SMB, and Home Server Solution in the wings -- but was not able to get everything coordinated/completed in time. The Back To The Mac, OS X Lion preso would have been the best timing -- but maybe Apple (and its partners) couldn't make it happen.



    It is very Apple-like to EOL an older product when the inventory gets low, rather than restart production. Ideally, they can synchronize this with the announcement of a replacement solution.



    Maybe, in this case, they just couldn't make it happen at the same point in time.





    Finally, re Apple disappointing its enterprise customers:



    It's kinda' like picking a fight with your significant other... making up is so much fun.



    .
  • Reply 39 of 51
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by _Hawkeye_ View Post


    Wouldn?t it be nice if Apple got into offering Mac OS X Server from the cloud? Who wants to maintain their own server hardware anyhow?



    The XServes that I manage are simple file servers that I don't even look at for months at a time.



    My design pros want to work directly with files residing on a local server, (no matter how many times I tell them Apple and Adobe don't recommend it). One needs network speed to be able to do that. Until you have a gigabit or better connection to the "cloud", and a way to overcome the inherent latency of a remote server, it's not going to be feasible.



    The cloud may work for editing a small Word document but even an Excel spreadsheet of 2,000 rows slows to a crawl while being worked on by a G5 iMac when the file is local.
  • Reply 40 of 51
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,759member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    How close are we to ARM-based servers? From what I read it is quite possible that low-power ARM servers based on A8 or A9 ARM CPUs are eminent.



    Don't bank on it. Wrong direction. Intel isn't the problem. Duplicating what can be had in the commodity market for servers is the problem.



    Expect a deal with Oracle for Sun hardware, or a deal with the likes of VMWare for a bundled solution to run OSX server in VMware.



    I highly doubt we will see any further Apple server hardware. It just doesn't make sense, especially in the days of virtualization.



    And no, I don't think this is any prelude to licensing Mac OSX on desktop or laptops. Totally different target market, totally different set of parameters from the server side of things. Mac OSX will never be offered on non-Apple hardware. If you want to choose your hardware, there are other OS's for that.
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