Death of the Xserver

Anyone have any strong feelings about end of the xserver other than myself?

At the end of January 2011 apple will cease all production of the xserver line. If you wish to continue to use Mac's Server OS you will be limited to either a tricked out MacPro or a Mac Mini. No this is not a joke, they want you to use a desktop enclosure (12u) as a server solution, or the macmini. There is no LOM, or dual power supply option for either of these "solutions". Not to mention the joy of any admin who walks into his server room to see mac mini's or mac pro's stacked to the roof, hope you have some extra space. Also, have fun with that cabling solution as I'm sure that it's going to be made with a server rack in mind (insert eyeroll here), or maybe apple is asking us to completely rebuild our MDF to look like your basic internet cafe... who know's at this point.

We have several Xserves that do pretty well, it's true the 10.6 is a bit buggy, but my 10.5 xserve runs like a champ. All in all, our district has around 90 xserves and we run all apple products (main reason we went with apple was the ability to go apple from top down). Since this is no longer an option, at least in my opinion, I am going to strongly advocate we move away from apple, as you probably have guessed top to bottom, as other solutions are a bit cheaper and are more flexible. I was wondering if there were other admins out there like me who are in a similar situation and what plans your organization has for the transition?

apple transition document:

apple xserve discontinuation forum:


ACSP & ACTC certified
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  1. I'm afraid that, IMO, Apple were always a bit of a joke in the server world compared to the likes of IBM. The Xserves (we had one) looked very pretty in the rack but the build quality wasn't a patch on the real stuff. And I'm sure that OS X server was fine for small shops, but no way was it an enterprise system.

    I don't think that a huge number of people will see this as a great loss.
  2. We employed the xservers on a massive scale and they did everything we asked of them. We run an LDAP of 300 user accounts off of one xserver. We could not serve an OSX environment with IBM servers which is why we don't use them. Now it's true you can get an active directory bind, but it's definitely not the same.

    Now obviously there are some shortcomings of the xserve but what it did, I found it did well.. serving webpages, wiki's and blogs integrated with LDAP authentication, great user account control, email... now all of these can be run on a site basis as a mirror getting preferences from the opendirectory master...again, not the best of the best but definitely good at what it did. This is especially important if you wanted a top down experience for end users. We could provide our employees and students with a simple and similar experience. I agree it wasn't gonna make it into datacenters even with xsan, but having worked with quite a few servers I found it more than adequate for what I wanted out of it (it did however, take a little getting used to).

    If you check out the link to the apple forums it seems quite a few people have a problem with apple's move. I guess the lack of interest in this forum probably speaks volumes as to why it wasn't continued though :P
  3. I'm sure that OS X server was fine in Mac-only environments, but those are few and far between in the commercial world. This latest move sums up Apple's lack of professional support for enterprise environments. Take IBM - they still support OS/2 on their servers even though it disappeared years ago. Yet Apple are, effectively, starting to drop support for a current server OS. It's that sort of attitude that explains their lack of success in the enterprise world.

    And why should they care about it? Apple make far more money now as a consumer electronics company than they ever did as a computer company. I fully expect them to quietly drop the Mac, and OS X, in the foreseeable future.
  4. It wouldn't surprise me, jack... but then Apple is making a ton of money from people willing to pay twice the price of a WinPC that is fully capable of doing everything the Mac can do and more. Apple has done little to show me that they are worth the price premium.

    But yes, the iPod and iPhone are really what saved the company... not their desktops / laptops / servers. Not to mention that these devices are the only place we've seen any real innovation; the only innovations I've seen in their computers is in asthetics. But then I suppose that's what helps sell so many overpriced computers.
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