Apple partners rue demise of Xserve

Apple partners are rueing the demise of the Xserve range that was killed off late last year but only stopped shipping earlier this week. In November, Apple released the Xserve Transition Guide that confirmed it would not be developing a future version of the rackmount line of Mac servers range. &qu

Apple partners are rueing the demise of the Xserve range that was killed off late last year but only stopped shipping earlier this week.

In November, Apple released the Xserve Transition Guide that confirmed it would not be developing a future version of the rackmount line of Mac servers range.

"Xserve will be available for order through January 31, 2011. Apple will honour and support all Xserve system warranties and extended support programmes," the firm said in a blog.

"We are disappointed to see it go, Xserve was a very successful product for us but we are now looking for alternatives" said Darren King, managing director at London-based Apple Premium Reseller (APR) Square Group,

He said the 1U Xserve had a small footprint that sat neatly in a rack, dual power supply and dual Ethernet, lights out management and ran on Mac OS X. "It was a neat solution for storage and archival at a sensible price performance".

The alternatives from Apple include either the Mac mini - a server option was included in late 2009 - or the Mac Pro, following the release of a standard server configuration in November.

Another stalwart Apple partner said the discontinuation of Xserver had left a hole in its portfolio that it was struggling to fill.

"Apple's strategy is based around the iPad, the iPhone and the iPod, than enterprise IT so this has created a bit of a gap for us, but it didn't sell that many Xserves in the UK so it was purely a commercial decision," he added.

Data from market watcher IDC revealed that in 2009, Apple sold 21,000 units out of the 6.6 million servers shipped worldwide.

"Xserve was heavily implemented in a few niche sectors including media, healthcare and pharmaceuticals," said Nathaniel Martinez, IDC programme director for European systems and infrastructure solutions market.

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