∞ 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.