Is the Xserve dead?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by strausd, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. strausd macrumors 68030

    Jul 11, 2008
    After the Mac Pro update with new CPUs, how come Apple didn't put them in the Xserves too? Is this gonna go like the Xserve RAID?
  2. Silencio macrumors 68020


    Jul 18, 2002
    A new Xserve would most likely be in the same boat as the new Mac Pros in that a new model wouldn't ship until August. Apple sells many more Mac Pros than they do Xserves, hence their prioritizing getting the Mac Pro out.

    I don't think this means much of anything. We'll see a new Xserve eventually.
  3. strausd thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jul 11, 2008
    The Mac Pro is the second least popular computer Apple has. They would have at least announced that they will be putting new CPUs in the Xserve if they were. I think it might be dead soon.
  4. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Just recently people are saying Mac / Mac Pro are dead. Please give it a rest.
  5. RubbishBBspeed macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2009

    Has that anything to do with it lagging so far behind the times, from the many years I've known MP's owners, they always sow them as machines way ahead of the curve. When this is no longer the case then demand will inevitably drop off.

    My thinking as stated in previous posts is that could this new MP be a short-term update and that Apple will get back on track with developments and be re-updating the MP early next year.

    But I suppose most of this is determined upon what Apple have in-store with regards to cloud and grid computing????
  6. StealthRider macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2002
    Yokosuka, Japan
    Xserves have often been updated later than the Mac Pros. Keep in mind that reliability is generally more important than speed in servers.
  7. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Remember that the iMacs were announced the same time as the Mac Pro. That was first time , two mac products announced at same time, that has happened all year. Up to that point Apple has been dropping Mac models once a month.

    Think about it. if Apple announced all the Mac product updates in say March what would they do the rest of the year?? There is no advantage in dropping them all at the same time. This isn't a sprint. If they spread approximately yearly updates for various products out to different months you have something new to talk about about half of the months in the year. That as oppose to two (or three) large dog and pony circus shows a year.

    I have no idea why folks are so frantic to attach the Mac product they are interested in to either another iOS product or to another Mac product. They are all different. If the announcements come in a different month that says nothing, in and of itself, about internal priority or attention assignments. External hype is a bigger driver of those intense sibling rivalry notions.

    Grumbling about the Mac Pro might have been high enough to pull its date forward (out of August). Note that they really haven't shipped in sustained volume, just primarily taking orders. Lots of indications that the real plan was for August ship date.

    If sticking the to same "one a month' assignment modus operandi then XServe wouldn't have been scheduled to see light of day until September. I wouldn't consider even a big issue if no rumblings until November. If you look at the buyers guide they've done a "Hibernate" mode before for over a year with Mac Pro ( 8/2006 - 1/2008 ). Would have to add several months time from now before really started to be a significantly "new" length of time.

    Besides, throwing an additional two cores at a XServe is going to buy what for a mainstream file, email, and/or calendar server ? None of those are usually particularly CPU bound. (putting aside highly active XSan nodes and the like) The new AES instructions would help a crypt software library update that leverages them (e.g., perhaps faster VPN if AES encoded). However, would be surprised Apple had that as a fastrack software priority. Their use of opensource software updates is typically waaaaay behind the curve.

    Middleware server? More slower cores perhaps, but more faster ones typically flattens out the $/performance curve.

    Are folks really using an XServe as a high performance computational node these days ? If just need a bare bones 1U box to just crunch numbers ( not particularly run some Mac OS X specific application) there are cheaper/better options out there. Can't see why anyone would build a large supercomputer grid out of XServes because there are zero Infiniband cards available that I know of. That is not an indicator aggressively competing in the HPC market. Not surprising XServes have practically disappeared from the top 500 list.

    If just need a modestly small number of HPC nodes can just use Mac Pros. Not quite 1U density, but if only have 4-5 nodes weren't going to fill up a whole rack anyway. [ would suck if trying to reuse 1U rack slots and had lots of other stuff in the rack also. However, that "other stuff" folks will be inclined to buy more of those. ]

    The upgrade is really primarily just a CPU package 'speed bump'. Additionally, the 6 core updates come with a price bump too. How many folks want a more expensive XServe if not CPU bound ? Very few.

    When it does get dropped it probably will be like the XRaid. How long that will take who knows. The 30" Display was sold for many years with zero updates before recently being dropped with practically zero "heads up" lead time.

    The current rumors about "Sandy Bridge" era updates that a XServe would pick up for are late 2011 anyway. if get an update in Sept/Oct 2010 and then an update in Sept/Nov 2011 there would be very little support for "doom and gloom" notion. With that as a plausible targeted schedule, there is little wrong or unsual indicated by a short delay from now.

    Steve Jobs has commented in a couple of interviews that Apple looks to sell products where they can blend hardware and software to sell a differentiated system.

    The XRaid and 30" Display are products where you really can't do that very much with software value add. A pure RAID box is suppose to send back data for the blocks requested. (yeah there is some software in the controller but it is more emebbed software and Apple is just buyng the controllers. ) It the RAID box does its job right is it providing a standard interface that other boxes also serve up. Likewise, monitors don't really run anything (some menus and perhaps a USB/KVM hub by that is it). A great monitor is one that plugs into a variety of computers. Apple will sell 24" and 27" panels because have iMac 24" and 27" panels lying around anyway, but it is more "hobby" than a focus.

    XServe survival depends in part upon whether the software Apple adds to the system gives them enough market differentiation to make significant profit margins. The mini serves seem popular so it appears to have some positive differentiation. There just needs to be enough folks with workloads that a "too big" for the mini.
  8. Winni macrumors 68030


    Oct 15, 2008
    Not until they're decently buried. :p
  9. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Id like to think that. I sure hope this XServe G5 holds off for another year :)
  10. srgz macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2010
    I am interested in buying an Xserve right now but I guess I'll hold off and wait for an update -- if it doesn't come in 3 months I'll just build my own server with a supermicro mobo and a rack mounted chassis and 12 or 16 hdd bays, and then just install 10.6 server on there. I think that might be a better option anyways...I dunno...

    I would end up with more available PCIe slots and I would probably end up finding a higher spec'd server mobo (6gb\sec SAS+SATA RAID that supports SSDs, 10 gigabit ethernet, faster CPUs, etc.) for around the same price.

    If you ask me, Apple doesn't really care about the Mac Pros or the Xserves anymore. I know the MP just got an update...but seriously -- compared to other workstation class computers from HP and Dell, or even compared to a whitebox system that I could put together from parts bought on newegg, it's both overprice and underspec'd. The god damned RAID card they sell with the Mac Pro \ Xserve doesn't even support the Apple branded (samsung OEM most likely) solid state drives...and they're still using 3gb\sec SATA instead of's quite funny if you choose the SSD option on the configure your mac page and then it automatically tells you that their RAID card sucks so bad it won't work with SSDs.

    I could rant on and on but I won't...I'm just saying Apple used to be at the bleeding edge of tech on their workstation and server computers...frankly it's what made them who they are....but I guess it's also the reason why they almost went under as well. They are (well were) the cadillacs of the desktop personal computer industry. It seems like they have shifted focus to mobiles completely. I would not be suprised if they decided to can the MPs and Xserves within a few years, just like they canned the Xserve RAID for the same reason -- it was overpriced, and underspec'd, and not very well supported -- and more importantly, you can get better quality products for less from other mfgs. I'm not blaming's a smart business decision I guess...all the wasted money and time spent on the development for products that really don't sell all that well...but it's dissapointing for people like me who have been using Mac workstations since the quicksilver and mirror door :) Those were the days! I still have the first ever Xserve's a G4 I believe -- RackMac1,1!
  11. strausd thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jul 11, 2008
    Ya, thats not true at all. Go build a dell workstation 12-core at 2.66 GHz and the same stuff as a Mac Pro, the MP is cheaper. Even with the bottom line GPU on the dell, the MP is still $400 cheaper, comes with more RAM, bigger hard drive, and a better GPU. The dell workstations will only be cheaper for a single CPU, but dual CPUs no. So for people who need to render power, the MP is the better choice IMO.
  12. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    Not to mention, price out a Dell/HP server with the same specs as a Xserve, and include Windows Server (or a Redhat subscription)

    Just about the same price. Now, if you're just buying $900 servers from Dell and want to throw Linux on them, of course they're cheaper. But for a similar spec server with a commercial OS (with support, etc) it's just about the same price.
  13. strausd thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jul 11, 2008
  14. RayK macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2005

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