Today, Monday January 31, is the last day to buy a new Apple Xserve. Once the foundation of the world's fastest academic computing cluster, it had a pretty good run. Introduced in 2002, the Xserve is longer-lived than all but one of the Mac product lines currently sold. But you won't be able to say that tomorrow.
I'll bet that every reader of this site manages at least one Xserve, and many a dozen or more. You guys here were quite vocal when Apple made the end-of-life announcement. The forum thread has reached 78 comments, mostly in a single day, breaking several site records.
This change represents more than a hardware transition. The end of the Xserve means the end of OS X Server as an application platform. (The software isn't going away, but without a 1U platform we're going to see a lot less of it in the server room.) An entire swath of application developers, disproportionally in the audio/video space, are scrambling to figure out alternatives. Mac Pro? Linux? Appliance?
One of those applications in limbo is Xsan, specifically the "Xsan server" portion we know as the Metadata Controller. Xsan is still with us, and probably will be for a long time. But administrators increasingly will build new SANs using StorNext (or volume-level SANs, or even NAS technologies such as Isilon). Xsan, then, becomes a client of StorNext.
But what's that announcement coming this morning? Let's see...