News: Xserve Officially Discontinued

Posted on January 31, 2011

Today marks the end of an era—Apple is discontinuing its line of rack-mounted servers, the Xserve. Originally launched way back on May 12, 2002, the Xserve has had an amazing almost-9-year history…or not. During its lifespan, it quickly chugged along, offering the capabilities of its Power Mac, and later Mac Pro contemporaries in a thin, rack-mountable package. Due to slow demand, and arguably better options, Apple announced on November 5 of last year that the Xserve was on its deathbed.

Xserve Discontinued (2002-2011)From the official guide, Apple is pretty blunt:

Apple is transitioning away from Xserve. 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 have the following two server solutions to choose from…

Obviously, Apple will keep supporting the Xserve hardware as far as warranty and security updates go, but urges people look into their more desktop-based alternatives, depending on if you want power/expandability, or some power/small size/energy efficiency:

Mac Pro systems deliver performance and expandability equal to or surpassing Xserve, and offer an ideal server solution for customers looking for the highest levels of perfor- mance, storage, and expandability. The Mac Pro tower form factor can be deployed in an office environment on or under a desk, or in a data center environment on a shelf in a rack with two units per 12U.

Mac mini is Apple’s most popular server system and brings great capability in a small, efficient form factor that is affordable and can be deployed anywhere. Perfect for small business and workgroups of up to 50 people, a single Mac mini can run the full suite of services that Mac OS X Server has to offer. For a larger number of users in a business or education environment, a single Mac mini can provide a single service. Depending on the workload and size of the workgroup, a single Xserve could be replaced with one or multiple Mac mini server systems.

It obviously makes a lot of business sense for Apple—Mac OS X Server can run on just about any Mac, so why have a completely different hardware design when you can repackage the various desktop Macs as very capable servers? Still, it will be sad to see a rather small and unique part of Apple’s lineup fade away.

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