∞ Apple to discontinue Xserve in January, 2011

In a move bound to disappoint IT professionals and others, Apple has posted a technical bulletin to its Web site noting plans to discontinue its Xserve product after January 31, 2011.

[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]The $2999 Xserve is Apple’s rack-mount server. It runs Mac OS X Server, coming with an unlimited-client license, and occupies 1U of rack space. It sports optional dual redundant power supplies, hot-swappable front mounted drive bays and more.

An orange tab now appears at the top of the Xserve information page on Apple’s Web site. It reads “Available until Jan. 31. Read more.” Clicking on the tab leads to a “Transition Guide” PDF posted by Apple.

“Apple is transitioning away from Xserve,” states the Transition Guide. “Xserve will be available for order through January 31, 2011.”

After the end of January, Apple will offer two hardware configurations that include Snow Leopard Server: A Mac Pro and a Mac mini.

Apple notes that since its introduction in fall of 2009, the Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server has become the company’s most popular server system. The specially configured Mac mini eschews a built-in optical drive, instead using two 500GB 7200RPM hard disk drives. The Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server also starts at $999, a fraction of the cost of an Xserve or Mac Pro with Snow Leopard Server.

  • Eric

    Mounting bunches of Mac Minis is probably more efficient and less expensive for the same horsepower, but it’s kind of sad that Apple wouldn’t, or couldn’t make a go of it.

    • Mac minis and Mac Pros lack a lot of things that made the Xserve a great piece of enterprise kit, however – redundant power supplies, for example, and easily hot swappable drives. No way to equip the Mac mini with Fibre Channel. And the Xserve occupies 1U of rack space, while the Mac Pro takes up 12U.

      Still, Apple apparently sells enough minis with SL Server to make it worth their while to continue those in favor of the Xserve. That suggests to me that Apple is probably deemphasizing any sort of corporate enterprise strategy in favor of small workgroups and SMBs.

      • If worse came to worse they could always allow OS X Server to run on select non-Apple hardware. I just don’t see them caring that much at this point. The amount of sales they are going to lose because of this decision will definitely be negligible. After all, lots of Xserves CAN be replaced with Mac Pros or Minis.

      • AtomicTube

        I totally agree – our company has hundreds of xserves that can’t be replaced with Pro’s or Mini’s. We will now have to move away from Apple. Unfortunately, our mac clients will probably also start being phased out.

  • IPhonzie

    My company has a rack with 6 aging Xserves in it, and 2 Mac minis. Over time, we were plannin to replace the Xserves with minis anyway. They run much quieter and cooler, take up far less space, and multiple can be sustained through an inexpensive UPS. The Xserve has been a great tool for us, but the days of heavy iron are ending. I’m ok with that.

  • We just did replace an 8-year-old Xserve G4 with a new Intel-based Xserve a couple months ago. This one will likely last us just as long unless the hardware fails.

    Definitely see why Apple is killing the product though. The Mac Pro makes a good expandable server, and the Mac Mini makes one hell of a nice low end server.

  • I liked the case.

  • Lucas

    in the long run, Apple likely sells few xserves compared to Mac Pros and Minis with their server software. So given their data, the xserve is a dying beast.

    And yet they gave 3 months advance notice and have said that they won’t cut off hard drives etc right away. So it’s not like they are ignoring that a handful of folks are out there on the old set ups. THey are giving them a little more time to investigate those Windows and Linux set ups not that Apple is giving them the finger (as those that believe that anything that isn’t what they would do when they would do it is crap would say)

  • AtomicTube

    Several businesses will now be forced to migrate away from Apple. It is very unfortunate Apple could have had an even bigger footprint in business computing. I think there will be a much larger impact to Apple than they may have anticipated. This isn’t just a matter of moving to Mac Pro or Mac mini. We now know that at anytime Apple will just drop something that “a” business depends on.

  • roberto

    MacMini is a great server BUT if I need e reliable server, with double power supply, with LOM, with the possibility to work with Hot Swap disks, what can I offer now? Because if I have to compete with other systems, I cannot offer a MacMini or a MacPro; it does not have the same hardware. We are OUT from competition now.