apple stops xserve!!!

loccoliv's picture
tomwelch's picture

Yeah, this is not cool. I'm slightly bemused that Apple suggest a Mac Mini or a Mac Pro as a replacement.

The Mac Mini has no expandability and non user serviceable hard drives. While the Mac Pro is a great bit of kit, its not designed for a rack and takes up far too much space. Neither of which currently have LOM or redundant power supplies.

My concern is that they stop development of OS X Server and/or Xsan at some point.

(
ACSA's picture

Unbelievable... Now for sure nobody is wanting any more Mac Servers..... Without a rack mountable server.... WTF...... :shock: :shock:

For XSan.... Well, just as clients... But for the Metadata servers.... Take out the big wallets.... StorNext we need some FULL licences... for running on a couple of Dell RedHat powered servers.......

Nice, Apple, really Nice....

We probably should have seen this coming, with the lack of any IT track at the WWDC...... Apple ≠ Enterprise..... Apple = Consumer

proton's picture

Also consider, that to run Xsan you have to use Mac Pro (macmini does have 1 NIC only).

Moreover, to match performance of Xserve you need a beefed up Mac Pro, which costs almost 1.5x-2x times more than Xserve counterpart.

And all this for the machine without second PSU, LOM, SNMP and 12U?

It's official, I'm looking for Mac OS X Server and Xsan alternatives! $%# Apple.

ACSA's picture

proton wrote:
Also consider, that to run Xsan you have to use Mac Pro (macmini does have 1 NIC only).

Moreover, to match performance of Xserve you need a beefed up Mac Pro, which costs almost 1.5x-2x times more than Xserve counterpart.

And all this for the machine without second PSU, LOM, SNMP and 12U?

It's official, I'm looking for Mac OS X Server and Xsan alternatives! $%# Apple./quote

Dell with Redhat and StorNext licence... the expensive ones... so in hardware you could be cheaper... In software cost definitively more expensive....Here in Europa, StorNext costs around ± € 3500.00 a pop..... Do the math...

I did a number of XSan's based on XSan, with only clients with StorNext FX licences. Why? Server SAN this way is more cheaper, then the alternatives.

And everybody need to use SMB.....

proton's picture

I have tried MetaSAN couple of years ago. It worked great, at least in the demo. And pricing is similar to Xsan. Don't know about such things as ACLs though.

When I saw Xserve accouncement first idea that came to my head is: Windows Server with AD, metaSAN, Mac OS X FCP workstations binded to AD and with metaSAN clients.

nrausch's picture

Stevie has lost his mind!

Lately their designs have taken several steps backwards.(iPhone4 is ugly as sin & the new macbook pros have that "box-y" look. New Apple TV has no internal storage. Macbook air is just silly. Everything is getting square and losing it's beautiful Apple "curviness" that I've loved all these years.)

Discontinuing the Xserves just shows how bad things are really getting.

I can't imagine anyone will run XSAN, when they can now make their servers Stornext.

So to have a render farm.... you'll need a server room the size of a football field to host macpro towers. If anyone even chooses to use them.
They will lose tons of sales and perhaps the entertainment industry altogether. The Xserve in my opinion is one of the last beautiful & genius products they make. This is the beginning of the end.
It is inevitable that Final Cut Server and Final Cut Studio will get discontinued at some point, and the entertainment industry will be thrown back to the cave-man days of working on AVID, or be forced to edit using iMovie on their iPads.

Breaking my heart a little. Why would God let Steve do this?

Why Stevie, Why?

Can we start a petition or something?

aaron's picture

Let's be clear: Apple has discontinued the Xserve. Not Xsan. (At least not yet. We all can have predictions.)

The Xserve was almost universally the MDCs for Xsan. But a Mac Pro can also be an MDC, but with plenty of disadvantages. On non-Apple hardware, StorNext can be used, but this is much more expensive software.

This also has huge implications for render farms and other dense applications.

Aaron Freimark
CTO, Tekserve

proton's picture

aaron wrote:
Let's be clear: Apple has discontinued the Xserve. Not Xsan. (At least not yet. We all can have predictions.)/quote

I'm sure they will. Maybe not this year, but the day is comming. As nrausch pointed out you cannot run Xsan in the server room in civilized manner anymore.

Unless Apple would allow to run Mac OS X Server on decent hardware or in bare metal virtual machine, basically the announcement is the end of Xsan and Final Cut Server.

I have sent couple of emails to my direct Apple contacts, let's see what they say.

nrausch's picture

What if....

Like the Xserve Raid basically being replaced and improved upon by Promise (a company devoted to storage performance)... Apple is secretly handing over the manufacturing and support of an enterprise class server hardware to a 3rd party manufacturer that will be blessed to run OSX server software?

Perhaps this company will be devoted to producing and supporting the new & improved Xserve replacement for Xsan and Render Farms, etc...

This is the best case scenario. I eagerly await such an announcement.
A boy can dream can't he?

proton's picture

You have missed one important line in PDF transition document.

Quote:
Xserve will be available for order through January 31, 2011. After that date, customers looking to upgrade, replace, or supplement existing Xserve systems with new Apple hardware [b]have the following two server
solutions/b to choose from./quote

When Apple discontinued Xserve RAID at the same time they've announced Promise. But this time it's different.

reynaj's picture

That would be nice. Or if somebody like ActiveStorage took it over as they did the XserveRAID type of RAID.

aaron's picture

License Mac OS software on someone else's hardware? When Hell freezes over.

Aaron Freimark
CTO, Tekserve

Pablitus's picture

Damn....i was planning to refresh 3 Xserves with new hardware...two of them cassually was planned to be MDC and the other, yes, a Final Cut Server....

A Mac Pro as replacement? don't make me laugh.

Bye bye Apple, have a nice time selling iPADs....

aaron's picture

Aaron Freimark
CTO, Tekserve

loccoliv's picture

what about the certifications????

loccoliv's picture

look forward the ipad 2 feat. fiberchannel adapter & xsan3.0 :-)

nrausch's picture

“Xserve is the result of listening to our customers,” said Steve Jobs

They have to have something amazing planned!!

Not just "Use a macpro or macmini, I don't know what else to tell you...
The Xserve was just way too practical and useful. We could not have that."
Besides, there's a handy little app for your precious iPad that will run OSX server. That's all anyone needs, right?"

OMG

jsiegers's picture

What about OS X Server?
And then especially Open Directory! We use all kinds implementations with OD. I could hardly imagine Apple would discontinue that.
But then again: Apple does what it wants.

I hate it that we're so dependent upon one company.

aaron's picture

OS X Server is sticking around. Don't panic please.

Aaron Freimark
CTO, Tekserve

elijahbuck's picture

Ahhh, so that's why Apple needs to [url=http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/10/10/22/apple_may_double_north_car... the floor/url space of their North Carolina Data Center.

Tim Burton's picture

My bet is we'll be seeing a new MacPro Q1/2 next year, which will be smaller with a factory option for an elegant rack kit.

Not sure how many of you have poked around inside the HP Z800? Has a design that feels very mac pro inside, but has modular pull out PSU etc. If they went down this design they could offer dual PSU as a BTO option for the Mac Pro.

Doubt we'll be seeing a DL380 or X3650 painted silver anytime soon.

T

ravi's picture

jsiegers wrote:
What about OS X Server?

But then again: Apple does what it wants. /quote

True. It is just business.

Quote:

I hate it that we're so dependent upon one company./quote

You don't have to! The world is full of other solutions. I simply don't understand all the hand wringing in this thread. Apple has always been a consumer company, not enterprise, and it has made it clear any number of times. If we want to deploy Apple solutions in enterprise environments, it is our choice.

jlungaro's picture

Hope that Apple enterprise will live on

ncaplin's picture

I'm a technology manager at a Fortune 200 company. We use Xsan, OS X Server, QTSS, Final Cut Studio (15 workstations).

We just budgeted about $80K for 2011 for new Xserve, Xsan, and Final Cut Server. This news has me very seriously considering changing those plans.

You may say that Apple remains committed to OS X Server, Xsan, etc., but AFIK, that was Apple's stated position on Xserve until today when it wasn't. This is a matter of trust. And Apple has consistently betrayed that trust in recent years when it comes to issues that concern enterprise customers:

1. There has been no significant progress on Final Cut Pro in almost 5 years. It's still 32-bit, modal, and renders not noticeably faster on a 12-core Westmere Mac Pro with 32GB RAM than on a 2-core MacBook Pro of similar clock speed.

2. Apple has pulled out of NAB and MacWorld Expo in recent years, raising questions about its commitment to the professional creative market.

3. Apple has deprecated QuickTime Pro in favor of QuickTime X, which doesn't have the features pros need (Export options, etc.)

4. Apple hasn't updated Xsan significantly for years.

5. Apple discontinued its own Xserve RAID product. Sure, third party hardware alternatives exist (good ones, too), but we know Apple's stance on third-party computers running Mac OS (Power Computing debacle).

6. No IT track at WWDC 2010.

In nutshell, to regain our trust, Apple needs to communicate better with us. Tell us the roadmap, the reasons for this decision. Don't leave us hanging in the wind wondering when the rug will be pulled out from under us.

mark raudonis's picture

I've been X-SAN's biggest fan, all the way back to the Beta version, but I can only perceive this move as a full on retreat from anything even remotely "enterprise capable".

Announcing the end of one product is business as usual. NOT announcing a viable alternative is signaling a SIGNIFICANT change in direction for the company. To quote Bob Dylan, "you don't need to be a Weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing".

mborsten's picture

Why don't we all, instead of thinking the worst, hope for Apple to blow us away with new products that open up new possibilities for whatever we are all doing. At the moment, all we can do is speculate, so let's speculate about what this could mean in a positive way. Change can be very scary, especially the way Apple usually does this, but I hope that, a year from now, we are all playing with new technologies from Apple that we did not expect today.

aaron's picture

Let's try to keep this discussion professional and constructive, folks. I've deleted one comment that did not meet that standard.

Aaron Freimark
CTO, Tekserve

abstractrude's picture

Here is the thing about apple. You get most of what you want. Then they take it away. They make a great product for a time then they go on to the next thing. Which is fine. EXCEPT when you're dealing with platforms. (final cut/xsan) (mac/creative environments)

For example. Ipod mini was best selling ipod ever and they killed it and everyone called them crazy. Its fine because its an ipod and they replaced with a better product. "Product" is key here.

Now with xserve raid they build a great product and kill it. As everyone knows here these things are everywhere because you cant just go out an buy an xserve raid nano product. I know entire televisions shows on TV right now that are made exclusively on xserve raid. because of platform.

You're (business) invested in a platform. That platform requires rack equipment. Apple looks at everything through perspective of product when sometimes its platform. The point of this post is that the xserve was there because its part of the platform and it had to exist. Who cares if it doesn't sell a lot, it doesn't need to.

My only wish is that apple would spin their server hardware off to oracle or something to build boxes like way back in the day when other companies were building apple server and apple provided the software. Or maybe ill go pickup the xserve nano pad.

The way I have always looked at apple is you get most of what you want. But now I have racks with Mac Pros? Too bad. You think apple would now have the resources to make xserve 2 or something even better. The truth is Apple hasn't been very good at being a big company. IMHO apple blew it today. big time. not because they killed a product, because they are starting to kill a platform

-Trevor Carlson
THUMBWAR

beauh's picture

It seems to me that this is completely at odds with a vast majority of Xsan an OS X server solutions out there... To say that the loss of Xserve's will not impact Xsan or OS X server seems short sited: I personally have performed a large number of such installs that never would have been purchased without a rack-mountable, LOM-capable, server infrastructure to support it.

While I'll take your word for it that you intend to continue to develop the software, the truth of the matter is that an OSXS/Xsan solution just got a whole heckuva lot less attractive: I don't see how that could possibly NOT impact either Xsan or OSXS down the road unless a viable, enterprise-friendly replacement becomes available (but if that's really coming, why not wait to discontinue the Xserve until then?).

This is a sad day for OS X server/integration specialists who found their niche in the enterprise space...

ogminlo's picture

You'd think the same company that makes the MacBook Air and the Mac mini could find a way to make the Mac Pro just a tad smaller. All they have to do is make it a shade shorter and nix the handles and it fits in a rack with 3rd party hardware. 3U is better than nothing.

The original Xserves didn't have redundant power or LOM, and the LOM was never implemented well anyway.

donmontalvo's picture

I certainly hope Apple plans to loosen the EULA on Mac OS X Server so we can VM it onto our enterprise class infrastructure solutions (ESXi; EMC san). That is, unless Apple is working on iPad clustering solutions for multimedia/graphics environments.

Don

--
Don Montalvo
Dallas, TX
http://linkedin.com/in/donmontalvo

aaron's picture

Today Apple announced a [url=http://www.tekserve.com/store/186/MacProServer/208132]Mac Pro Server/url for $2,999. While not quite an Xserve, the bundle does represent a $500 discount from a similarly configured Mac Pro. The base configuration includes the following:

  • One 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon Processor/*
  • 8GB (4X2GB) RAM/*
  • Two 1TB Drives/*
  • Mac OS X Server Unlimited user license/*
  • ATI Radeon HD 5770/*
  • 18x Double-Layer SuperDrive/*
  • Magic mouse/*
  • Apple numeric keyboard/*/list

    (Standard disclaimer: [url=http://www.tekserve.com]my employer/url sells these...and we still have Xserves in stock!)

Aaron Freimark
CTO, Tekserve

fritz.'s picture

"Simplify, simplify, simplify"

Oddly enough, I'm looking forward to see what they have in mind. While I haven't heard of OS X Lion Server yet, I'm pretty sure Apple has a few tricks up their sleeve to account for this piece of news. For one, it's high time for a design change to the Mac Pro anyways so it can shed its 8 year old G5 coat.

donmontalvo's picture

aaron wrote:
Today Apple announced a [url=http://www.tekserve.com/store/186/MacProServer/208132]Mac Pro Server/url for $2,999. While not quite an Xserve, the bundle does represent a $500 discount from a similarly configured Mac Pro. The base configuration includes the following:

  • One 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon Processor/*
  • 8GB (4X2GB) RAM/*
  • Two 1TB Drives/*
  • Mac OS X Server Unlimited user license/*
  • ATI Radeon HD 5770/*
  • 18x Double-Layer SuperDrive/*
  • Magic mouse/*
  • Apple numeric keyboard/*/list

    (Standard disclaimer: [url=http://www.tekserve.com]my employer/url sells these...and we still have Xserves in stock!)/quote

    The problem in enterprise is going to be the lack of resilience/redundancy. Without hot swap parts and dual power, we need to DOUBLE THE PRICE you quoted for each deployment. Add to that the increased space and power.

    We've already migrated every service possible off Apple hardware. The only things left are (1) NetBoot and (2) Apple SUS. The reason? To prepare for precisely what Apple just did.

    Don
    --
    Don Montalvo
    Dallas, TX
    http://linkedin.com/in/donmontalvo

Tim Burton's picture

ogminlo wrote:
You'd think the same company that makes the MacBook Air and the Mac mini could find a way to make the Mac Pro just a tad smaller. All they have to do is make it a shade shorter and nix the handles and it fits in a rack with 3rd party hardware. 3U is better than nothing.

The original Xserves didn't have redundant power or LOM, and the LOM was never implemented well anyway./quote

I have seen Mac Pro's with the handles machined off! :D

Im interested to see what Apple comes back with, however there is always StorNext :)

raji's picture

Alex Grossman, CEO of Active Storage, my boss and also the former Senior Director of Apple's Server and Storage product lines, posted a letter to our homepage in response to today's developments -

http://activestorage.com/letter-from-alex-grossman.php

Xserve and Xserve RAID came out of Alex's group at Apple so in many ways he is the grandfather of the Xserve - the salient points I took from it were the following, but you should read for yourselves:

- Active Storage has some exciting things in the works that will shape the broadcast, post-production and creative professional market for years to come. (Of which Innerpool is simply a beginning)

- Our investment backing, led by Intel Capital, is committed to our growth, and the Active Storage team from engineers to support, sales, finance, manufacturing and marketing, are up to the challenges of tomorrow.

- We understand the market deeply and above all are NOT enterprise storage trying to do media..... we are focused on media first and foremost

mcal27's picture

Guys some of you have mentioned a petition. I've created just such a thing... I'm a Server techie myself and like you am stunned at the news!!! I've just bought xsan and final cut server is on route.. I also install/config this stuff for a living.
Please consider signing my petition so we can get a clear statement of intent from Apple, and know if we need to retrain or not... I feel we need something in full and official.

I know its my 1st post on here but I plan on being a full and active member. If your with me on this please find the petition here:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/applepros/

Al.

10.5 ACSA
10.6 ACTC
FCP & Logic Pro certified.

handygeek's picture

Just when Apple is getting some kudos from the enterprise market, they are essentially abandoning it. It makes zero sense. If anything, they should attack the enterprise market with wild abandon. Short of that, I think the only solution is for them to license the OS to some select third-party providers much like they did with their RAIDs. It's either that, or Apple is going to have to rethink whether they want any enterprise to take them seriously. Bad, bad move, IMO. Colossal mistake, SJ & co.

handygeek's picture

BTW, the Mac Pro is no substitute. I can't believe they offered that as a real option. It's insulting really.

aaron's picture

I wasn't supposed to work today. You know how that turned out. It's been perhaps the busiest day in Xsanity's five years. And for a good reason. But it isn't the demise of a particular line of hardware.

Today, November 5, 2010, an entire industry of Apple server engineers caught a glimpse of their own obsolescence. This is scary shit. I am in shock.

And yet, is it possible to be shocked but not surprised? Apple has always done what is best for Apple. They aren't a sentimental company. They are very good at looking at their "long tail" of minor products...and cutting it off.

Apple has been very clear: they are a maker of mobile devices. Secondly, they are an entertainment distribution company. Thirdly, they sell personal computers. The software and servers that create this content have been part of this ecosystem. But it has never been central to it.

Now is a good time to begin thinking of your own Plan B.

I've been here before. When OS X Public Beta came out, I was pretty good at System 9. I knew nothing about Unix. But I saw the future, and I studied. Really hard. I battled incomplete documentation and buggy software. But the effort paid off.

I now have a family and a mortgage and even reading glasses. I'm not looking forward to the "career adjustment" this time around. But I've caught a glimpse of my own obsolescence, and I didn't like it.

I'm going to keep Xsanity around for a long time. We are going to need each other.

But you know what? Only yesterday (and no, I didn't have prior knowledge), I registered a new domain. The site isn't yet up, but the vision is clear. Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome:

EnterpriseiOS.com

Coming December, 2010.

Aaron Freimark
CTO, Tekserve

abstractrude's picture

Quote:
Today, November 5, 2010, an entire industry of Apple server engineers caught a glimpse of their own obsolescence. This is scary shit. I am in shock./quote

so true...already taken an offer with a more ios heavy future. i will honestly miss the xserve though. I have g5's still running hosting essential services all over the place. great hardware. i will drink a fresh tasty american beer to you xserve.

-Trevor Carlson
THUMBWAR

ogminlo's picture

aaron wrote:
This is scary shit. I am in shock./quote

The scary shit is not what we do know, it is what we don't. Is this a dead canary in our coal mine?

I'm a hell of a lot more worried about what this augurs for the future of the rest of the Pro Products at Apple than I am about how I'm going to deploy an FCSvr in January without a redundant power supply or tidy rack mounts.

A stark vision of our own obsolescence, indeed. Here we feel the other side of the hyper-specialization blade...

MattZ's picture

I can't count how many xserve's i've racked in my time....but you will be missed!

TheMadCow's picture

Being in the Entertainment Industry, I keep getting my nose smacked by Apple for trying to use their hardware.

Xsan became an issue to support with the whole Xraid killoff. The cost became prohibitive when up against other offerings. Facilis has paid off as a "good" alternative. Not perfect, but it's supported and they grow.

Once we switched to Intel, a whole new window opened (pun intended). The hardware was fast, and serious 3D (most Maya) work was in reach. But we had no video cards that were blessed by Maya that didn't run $2500 because Apple didn't have drivers. Why Apple won't toss some of that $60billion warchest at iNvidia to write MacOS drivers for their cards and allow Macs to use the same hardware that PC's get to have access to is totally beyond me. Seems like a no brainer to gain some serious entry into a market with money.

Now our servers are being killed off. Big fibre attached storage will not work with a mini. Please. I'm also not keen on eating all the rack space with big assed boxes that are a huge step down in functionality that the Xserve had.

Unless Apple is going to pull a monkey out of a hole with Intel Light Peak and turn the whole industry on it's ear, things are looking pretty grim. I'm not keen on learning to admin windows servers. I wish Steve would send a more clear message that doesn't include a smoking crater where the server group used to have offices.

ogminlo's picture

Apple's inane secrecy with respect to pro products is truly maddening.

thomasb's picture

[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1srU6Z77jfc]The message is pretty clear./url

If only Apple allowed us to virtualize OS X Server on other hardware, I would not be too afraid. We have yet to see what happens, but this is a very strange move from Apple.

aaron's picture

thomasb wrote:
[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1srU6Z77jfc]The message is pretty clear./url/quote

Thomas gets a cookie! Apple isn't secretive, if you listen carefully everything is announced.

Aaron Freimark
CTO, Tekserve

ogminlo's picture

Remember this? How times do change...

[img]http://images.appleinsider.com/nab-apple-2007-1.jpg/img

ACSA's picture

This is really scary stuff, All of the investments we made, not just in getting our clients/bosses to buy Apple Pro HW, but also the investments we made in the knowledge, regardless if it is via training self-study or a combo of these two.

I for one have made a decision to go into iOS development, say like 2 years ago. For now my consultancy is a side business. I find it scary that this high skilled industry where I make, or try to make a living in, is still not taken very seriously by Apple. Whenever we go to meetings or tech sessions given by Apple, the story is always: "We need you, we need your experience and knowledge."

But given the fact the way Apple kicks out a serious part of our livelihood, scares me big time.
Because what is Mac OS X Server without proper Server hardware?
A solution not supported by Apple for a number of years.

When we for small to medium companies installed Mac OS X Server on a MacMini, the official response was always the same, do not do it, because.... Well we all know the arguments. (BTW these are the same arguments we, as a community, are using now..... :? )

And at the same time am I glad to know that I made a right decision a couple of years ago. And continue more and harder into the iOS development.

@Aaron:

Yes we need each other now more then ever. It would be waste if the knowledge and feelings of togetherness would be lost. I always enjoy this site, mainly because of the people driving it! For me the site has always been an example of the level of expertise, we all need to be able to access. And in a way it should be an example for Apple: Take a look her, this how you give proper Enterprise level of support. Instead of the "normal" questions..... "Did you reset the PRAM?" or questions of that nature....

Kind regards

Arnold

lucasnap's picture

I think we should come a long way with a combination of Stornext, OpenLDAP, Named, DHCPD, Helios and what more running on Linux/UNIX...

Maybe this is the beginning of us taking matters in our own hands. Away with the idea that you can built an Xsan by dubble-clicking and relying on one company for everything (talking about single point of failure).

Users/editors can run there clients on Mac if they want, we shall built a REAL server setup for them.

But first.. I must take a Linux lesson or two :oops:

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