Friday, November 5, 2010
It's Goodbye Xserve as Apple Focuses on Power Macs
The Mac Pro and Mac mini will continue Apple's server heritage as the computer maker discontinues the Xserve. Apple said the Mac mini with Mac OS X Server Snow Leopard is now its most popular server, and a new Mac Pro Server has appeared in the Apple Store. Apple said the Mac Pro with 12-core Xeon Westmere processors outperforms the Xserve.
Apple's Xserve has been xx'd out. In an announcement Friday, the Cupertino, Calif.-based computer maker announced the server will only be available through Jan. 31 as the company transitions "away from Xserve" to Mac Pro or Mac mini systems running Mac OS X Server Snow Leopard.
The company added that it will honor all Xserve warranties and extended support programs.
Mac Pro Server
Some tech sites are noting that Apple has begun showing a new Mac Pro Server on the Apple Store, even though there hasn't been a formal announcement. That product features a 2.8-GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon "Nehalem" processor, 8GB of memory, an ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB of GDDR5, two 1TB hard drives, and an unlimited-client Mac OS X Server license for $2,999. The server can be upgraded to two 2.93-GHz six-core Xeons with as much as 32GB of memory.
Apple noted that its desktop tower systems have been used as servers for quite some time, and the most recent Mac Pro, with 12-core Xeon Westmere processors, performs faster than the Xserve.
The only instance in which the Xserve scores higher than the Mac Pro, Apple said, is when a high-density 1U rack -mount form factor is required. "When configured with equal memory and disk," the company said, "Mac Pro can deliver equal (quad-core or eight-core) or better (12-core) processor performance than Xserve."
Additionally, the Dual-Channel and Quad-Channel 4Gb Fibre Channel PCI Express Cards in an Intel-based Xserve system can be ported to a Mac Pro.
Apple said its Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server has become its most popular server system. Introduced in fall 2009, it is targeted at small businesses and work groups of up to 50 people. One Mac mini, according to the company, can be deployed as a single-task server for a large number of users in a business or education environment. One Xserve could be replaced with multiple Mac minis.
The Mac mini doesn't have the range of performance available from an Xserve. The Xserve was originally intended for large businesses, but it hadn't been updated since April of last year.
The company has increasingly been showing it is serious about getting deeper into the business market, and has had success with the iPhone and iPad in particular. Apple doesn't separate out the sales that come from companies, but it now has 150 salespeople focused entirely on the enterprise . But it still has a long way to go, as only 3.6 percent of all commercial computer sales are Apple's.
Last month, Apple and Unisys signed a contract for Unisys to provide maintenance, system integration, and other support for Apple products in companies and government agencies. The products supported are Macs, the iPhone, and the iPad.