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Jobs on Xserve: 'hardly anyone was buying'

updated 08:25 am EST, Mon November 8, 2010

Jobs says Xserve cut because of poor sales

Apple chief Steve Jobs in a brief e-mail this weekend justified the end of the Xserve. A French customer pleading that his company depended on the platform was told that sales simply weren't enough to justify sales. "Hardly anyone was buying them," Jobs wrote.

No explanation was given for the poor sales, though Apple's promotion and development of the rackmount server has dropped off sharply in the past two years. It once gave the Xserve the same prominent placement as other Macs on the online store but eventually relegated the server to a much lower-profile text link. The Xserve also skipped the most recent processor updates to the Mac Pro and didn't get the six-core Xeons or other upgrades from earlier this year.

Regardless of factors, existing users have already complained that the current options won't let them use Macs in future server arrangements. No other Macs support lights-out management, which allows IT administrators to control a system when switched off or another unusable state, as well as true redundant power supplies and enterprise-level support. SAS drives and externally accessible hard drives are also unavailable on the Mac Pro or the server edition Mac mini.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. erics

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2010

    +8

    on its way...

    we just ordered one.
    should drop Nov 10.

  1. burger

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2000

    +20

    Expectations

    I don't really see the Xserve as a product Apple should have expected to sell in mass quantities, but more of a support product for businesses that have the need to use them in a high availability environment. Kind of a nicety for businesses that have put forth the effort to incorporate Macs in an enterprise level environment beyond simple AD binding for OD policy and management, not to mention those that are using them for full blown hosting solutions and file sharing.

    Rack space and redundancy are key in almost any business, and the Xserve helped to provide a great solution for this need.

  1. eldarkus

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2004

    +1

    Plan

    There must be another plan in place to get a rack mount server with LOM and redundancies. I just cant see the Mini or Pro being a viable alternative. Or at least I really home so!! I dont wanna move to MS servers

  1. blidd

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2003

    +2

    The Apple Xserver was greate value

    If you needed a One U file, mail or webserver with unlimited user access, but if my companies salesnumbers of the Apple Xserver reflects the rest of the industry, then Steve is right about the lack of sales sadly.

  1. facebook_Fabio

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Nov 2010

    +1

    Mac Os X Server is the next

    I'm expecting that in a couple of years Os X Server will follow the same path.
    They simply aren't interested in such market anymore.

  1. cmdahler

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2005

    +19

    Well, duh...

    When Steve says, "Hardly anyone was buying them," my first thought was "No kidding, really?" I mean, when you have a product that you relegate behind a tiny link on your Store page and just basically don't make any serious attempt to market it, it's no wonder it doesn't sell. The enterprise market is not like the consumer market: you don't just throw something against the wall and see if it sticks, or adopt a rather arrogant "if we build it, they'll buy it just because we're Apple" sort of attitude. That sort of thing works with mass consumerism; in enterprise, you've gotta act like you really want or gosh, even need, someone's multi-million dollar thousand-server order to get it. It's telling that Apple didn't even use the Xserve in their own datacenters....

  1. jreades

    Junior Member

    Joined: Feb 1999

    +5

    Support...


    From what I heard there were also some support questions -- Apple is geared up to provide good consumer support, not so much on the enterprise end where people expect a very different level of involvement with their issues.

    I guess that the Xserve was kind of stuck between two markets: the large scale enterprises weren't going to trust their server farms to Apple anyway (and the specs of the Xserve were good, but not *that* good), and the small businesses weren't often in the market for 1U rack mounts when a Mini or a tower would *seem* to do most of what they needed.

    j

  1. TheSnarkmeister

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007

    +9

    Very Sad

    The XServe was a great product at a great price, it didn't sell because Apple didn't sell it. And things don't get done at Apple when things are taken off of Steve Jobs priority list. Jobs has never had much interest any enterprise products, namely because he is awful at maintaining relationships. He simply doesn't get relationships, not with his girlfriends, not with his children, not with his family, not with his founding business partners, not with his vendors; indeed, pretty much not with anyone he is suppose to treat with respect instead of a mark. With consumers, you can sell them something and walk away, with business, you have to maintain a relationship. Jobs doesn't understand relationships. Virtually ever single business partnership Apple has attempted has failed due to neglect from the top.

    Don't get me wrong, Jobs is a brilliant, driven man who is probably the greatest entrepreneur of the last century, but he has his faults. This is a one of them. It is tragedy, one that could have been prevented if Apple had been professionalized years ago with divisions and divisions managers given autonomy. Instead we still have this cultism, which is fun, and entertaining, and does produce a lot of successes, but occasionally it also results in someone loosing an eye.

  1. mytdave

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2000

    +16

    well duh

    Of course they weren't selling, Apple foolishly dropped the XServe RAID array, and then they didn't update the XServe for years, and relegated the line to nary a comment on the Apple Store. It's a self-fulfilling demise. And that's the problem. What Steve is failing to see is the whole ecosystem falls apart without an end-to-end solution. The XServe and MacOS X Server are critical to supporting Macs (desktop or laptop) in any business - enterprise or SMB. In turn the Macs are critical to supporting iDevices in business.

    Sales numbers are not important, what is important is keeping an up-to-date end-to-end solution for your customers. I fear that the entire ecosystem will begin to collapse with the demise of the XServe. Seem silly? Mark my words. This move sends a message to business owners that Apple cannot be trusted for long term viability. If they can't be trusted with a server platform, why should they be trusted with iPads?

  1. WiseByte

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2010

    +6

    True, but not justified.

    I'm sure it's true that Apple does not sell as many XServes as they do everything else, XServe is the only enterprise product they have and if Apple wants server space on enterprise racks, they need an enterprise hardware server.

    Of course, Apple sells more consumer products because there are more consumers, but we are not talking about consumers are we? We are talking about big and small companies that needs enterprise class hardware server. People that wants high availability, notification and the ability for remote support.

    Killing the XServe is only justified, not by how many they sell vs. consumer products, but by Apple's willingness to stay with enterprise/business customers, who need/want an ecosystem of Apple products from hardware servers to workstations and everything else in between.

    I should know because I'm a systems engineer and work for an Apple Value Added Reseller.

    Hey, if you wanna let Apple know what you think about this please use this link, as I have:

    http://www.apple.com/feedback/xserve.html

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