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 Post subject: Xserve discontinued
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:03 pm 
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Apple is discontinuing the Xserve as of 31 Jan 2011. Apple suggests the Mac Pro or the Mac Mini as alternatives.
http://infoworld.com/d/mac/apple-discon ... xserve-346


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 Post subject: Re: Xserve discontinued
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:54 pm 
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I thought it was a pretty sexy little 1u server... I might have to pick one up now as a collectors piece. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Xserve discontinued
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:57 pm 
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You can show off a desktop or laptop to impressionable people, but another matter to point to yet another x86 1U server in a rack.

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 Post subject: Re: Xserve discontinued
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:20 pm 
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Well, the design never really changed between the G4 and G5 Xserves and the x86 Xserves (style wise that is). G4 Xserves can be had super cheap but are about as useful as an emac.

Anyways, I probably wont get one unless it is super cheap. I am not much of a collector and I feel bad when I look at computers that have no purpose.

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 Post subject: Re: Xserve discontinued
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:40 pm 
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zmttoxics wrote:
G4 Xserves can be had super cheap but are about as useful as an emac.

Well, there is something to be said for redundant power supplies and easy accessibility to the internal hardware, both big advantages over eMacs, although your (presumed) point about performance is well taken.

G4 Xserves still run Leopard Server quite nicely. Presumably, Leopard Server will still get updates through at least the summer of 2011, when 10.7 is supposed to come out. Not a bad run for a 7+ year old system. Even the newest G5 Xserves are already 4 or 5 years old.


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 Post subject: Re: Xserve discontinued
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:49 pm 
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I have a pretty maxed out eMac (1.25, 2GB of ram, 160GB disk, wifi, super drive) running 10.5 Server. It was my lab dhcp server at work, but I bought it home and replaced the bad caps I discovered on the last harddrive replacement and have yet to find a reason to bring it back to work. I might end up giving it away... :(

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 Post subject: Re: Xserve discontinued
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:17 pm 
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zmttoxics wrote:
I have a pretty maxed out eMac (1.25, 2GB of ram, 160GB disk, wifi, super drive) running 10.5 Server. It was my lab dhcp server at work, but I bought it home and replaced the bad caps I discovered on the last harddrive replacement and have yet to find a reason to bring it back to work. I might end up giving it away... :(

Nice system. Heavy, too! :D


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 Post subject: Re: Xserve discontinued
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:33 pm 
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josehill wrote:
zmttoxics wrote:
I have a pretty maxed out eMac (1.25, 2GB of ram, 160GB disk, wifi, super drive) running 10.5 Server. It was my lab dhcp server at work, but I bought it home and replaced the bad caps I discovered on the last harddrive replacement and have yet to find a reason to bring it back to work. I might end up giving it away... :(

Nice system. Heavy, too! :D

Thanks! Another spare parts special. I had another one just like it with a bigger disk but no wifi. I gave it away with my sawtooth though. I just dont have much use for PPC these days other then itunes server.

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 Post subject: Re: Xserve discontinued
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:51 am 
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josehill wrote:
Apple is discontinuing the Xserve as of 31 Jan 2011. Apple suggests the Mac Pro or the Mac Mini as alternatives.
http://infoworld.com/d/mac/apple-discon ... xserve-346


Well, then one thing is for sure: Apple is not eating their own dog food for their new cloud data centers ;-)

I assume apple has had little penetration in the data center, given that OSX Server really does not run most apps which are entrenched traditionally in that space. They also dropped any further effort with things like ZFS, so it is clear that Apple decided to be an consumer/appliance company and leave the enterprise to those players already entrenched there.

For small networks, OSX Server makes a lovely setup. So these new machines sort of make sense for that intended audience.

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 Post subject: Re: Xserve discontinued
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:40 am 
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R-ten-K wrote:
josehill wrote:
Apple is discontinuing the Xserve as of 31 Jan 2011. Apple suggests the Mac Pro or the Mac Mini as alternatives.
http://infoworld.com/d/mac/apple-discon ... xserve-346


Well, then one thing is for sure: Apple is not eating their own dog food for their new cloud data centers ;-)

I assume apple has had little penetration in the data center, given that OSX Server really does not run most apps which are entrenched traditionally in that space. They also dropped any further effort with things like ZFS, so it is clear that Apple decided to be an consumer/appliance company and leave the enterprise to those players already entrenched there.

For small networks, OSX Server makes a lovely setup. So these new machines sort of make sense for that intended audience.


I think that Apple could have done it if they had demonstrated more of an enterprise mindset. The Xserve is a nice setup - well built, and it includes pretty much everything you'd need for both headed and headless operation (though I'm not sure - can you do an install over the serial console/LOM device?). OS X Server is licensed for unlimited users, and really it isn't too bad now (seems to have gotten better than early versions, which had the microkernel context-switch-slowdown). What are they missing? The solid commitment. I don't see any mention of on site service, and I still don't see any numbers regarding guaranteed support commitments. Companies that depend on computers and don't have a great deal of surplus capacity want to have something they can install and rely on for a while, and Apple's software seems to average about one year of support after the next version is released. Most companies do 5 years. If I had seen those I would have looked at Apple products, not that I (or the organization I support) needs onsite service, but it shows a certain commitment. Not having those (especially guaranteed software support) kicked them down to the level of toys. Well made, and with good design, but still toys.

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 Post subject: Re: Xserve discontinued
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 10:35 am 
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SAQ wrote:
I think that Apple could have done it if they had demonstrated more of an enterprise mindset. The Xserve is a nice setup - well built, and it includes pretty much everything you'd need for both headed and headless operation (though I'm not sure - can you do an install over the serial console/LOM device?). OS X Server is licensed for unlimited users, and really it isn't too bad now (seems to have gotten better than early versions, which had the microkernel context-switch-slowdown). What are they missing? The solid commitment. I don't see any mention of on site service, and I still don't see any numbers regarding guaranteed support commitments. Companies that depend on computers and don't have a great deal of surplus capacity want to have something they can install and rely on for a while, and Apple's software seems to average about one year of support after the next version is released. Most companies do 5 years. If I had seen those I would have looked at Apple products, not that I (or the organization I support) needs onsite service, but it shows a certain commitment. Not having those (especially guaranteed software support) kicked them down to the level of toys. Well made, and with good design, but still toys.

Right on, SAQ. It was all about Apple's lack of an enterprise mindset at the corporate level. We brought Apple in a couple of times to meet our infrastructure people back when I was at "GiantHealthCareCompany." It was right around the time that the Xserves were first introduced, and we were looking at them for some scientific applications and a few other things. We were impressed with the local Apple enterprise service engineers (they really knew their stuff), the sales folks were pretty easy to deal with (particularly compared with Sun and SGI sales staff), and I was very, very surprised at how much our hardcore corporate IT guys seemed to like the products. But then...

...as soon as things like predictable, written product life cycle policies and enterprise support policies came up, the whole thing just ground to a halt. Such things apparently did not exist in the Apple world, and it was crystal clear that Apple was not really serious about engaging with enterprise customers on the server side.


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 Post subject: Re: Xserve discontinued
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 3:34 pm 
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You don't even have to be big. I do support for a sub-20 employee 501c3 with 2 volunteer sysadmins (I'm the primary, the other guy is mostly policy). There's no way I was going to recommend an Apple setup without any firm commitment from Apple to their software. As far as I can see it is simply more work for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Xserve discontinued
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 4:05 pm 
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Meanwhile, I'm still using IE6 and windows XP, office 2003 at work. Yup, I'm stone age enterprise.

There's no doubt the enterprise apps need the stability that only comes from years of runtime, but it has it's cost to the product side of the house. You can't have a single development team do both enterprise, and fast moving consumer products at the same time.

I prefer apple as it is. For the boring stuff, there are enough vendors ton choose from. But only one apple.

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 Post subject: Re: Xserve discontinued
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:27 pm 
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Apple advises users looking for Apple-powered server solutions to run either a Mac Pro or Mac Mini with Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server.


So pretty much they are scrapping their whole 1U server division completely and telling you "we don't do this anymore, go buy one of our desktop systems instead"?
I guess their niche that was carved out for the Xserve went away after they went x86 and suddenly they had to compete with the many, many other 1U server solutions out there from people like Dell, HP, and IBM.

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 Post subject: Re: Xserve discontinued
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:00 pm 
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Would Steve be crazy enough to release an OEM-licensed version of OS X Server for specific 1U servers (Dell, HP, IBM)?

They've already got the boot code, since the original P4 based x86 developer kits (way back before the Mac Pro) were BIOS based and didn't come with EFI. They might need to talk to them to implement some sort of custom BMC firmware that semi-simulates the SMC on a modern day Mac (mostly so DSMOS.kext has somebody to talk to), but it's doable, and I'm sure someone like Dell would be more then happy to comply.

End result: You can still run OS X (legally) on 1U systems. The HW just isn't from Apple- same way they dropped the XServe RAID and told everyone to go 3rd party instead.

-DN

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