Current forum discussions.
Yesterday in the MacNN forums Mac Enthusiast bojangles points out a quiet bug fix in Mac OS X 10.7.4 that affects Screen Sharing on multiple displays, click here to read more. Also Yesterday one forum member was replacing a G5 Xserve with a late 2008 Xserve and had some questions, read more here.
Bug appears to affect auto-restart on some Xserves
A bug discovered in the Mac OS X 10.6.8 Server update is causing the hardware monitoring daemon, hwmond, to consume up to 95 percent of CPU power on a variety of Xserves, according to an Apple forum thread. Member Arminhempel reports a CPU load up to 70 percent after every reboot on several Xserves he manages; Jean-Serge Remy has an Xserve Xeon showing an 84 percent hit, while InfraredAD is experiencing a 95 percent load on a 2008 quad-core Xserve, essentially wiping out an entire core. Both the combo and delta versions of the update have generated errors and, so far, the only reliable way to fix the issue is a downgrade to Mac OS X 10.6.7.
Mac Pro may get remake for rackmounting
Apple may be on the verge of a long-expected revamp of the Mac Pro that could potentially assuage fears following the end of the Xserve. A rumor Thursday had the system narrower, going from over eight inches to five, while also becoming shorter at 19 inches. The layout as described by 9to5 might help it fit into a 3U rackmount, three times bigger than the Xserve's 1U but also capable of working as a regular desktop.
ActiveSAN officially announced, due in the spring
Active Storage has made its leaked XServe replacement officially known on Monday, calling the metadata controller appliance ActiveSAN. Apple's Xserve are discontinued as of today as well, and the ActiveSAN is being endorsed by Apple. Active Storage CEO Alex Grossman said the product is easy to use and offers more than just generic server functionality for Xsan and StorNext installations.
Hardware said to be Apple-recommended
Putting an end to speculation, Active Storage has announced the ActiveSAN, a new rackmount server. The hardware can be used on Xsan and StorNext networks, and is described as a 1U device with a Nehalem Xeon processor, 8GB of RAM, a Fibre Channel link and quick-removable power supplies. A public demo is planned for April's NAB 2011 convention, with a release in the second quarter of 2011.
Active Storage to take wraps off "solution" Feb 1
A third-party company headed by a former Apple executive may be preparing to step in and offer a replacement for the XServe -- one that even has Apple's blessing, reports say. A post at 9to5Mac points out that Active Storage, run by former Apple executive and server technologist Alex Grossman, has a "countdown" timer set to just after the final day of XServe availability, and a draped 1U rack-mounted product apparently waiting to replace it. Grossman himself was one of the people responsible for bringing the XServe to market eight years ago, and the new mystery product is billed as "not an alternative ... a solution."
Sources also claim info on Xserve, Blu-ray
The next Final Cut Studio should ship in March or early April, and be a "substantial update" if not as feature-complete as some people may be expecting, according to information obtained by Hardmac. The timeframe is roughly in keeping with a promise from Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who in November suggested that Final Cut would be updated "early next year." Two separate betas of the software are said to be in existence however: one for Mac OS X Snow Leopard, and another for Lion. Some features are allegedly being reserved for Lion, as a result of changes made to Mac OS X's QuickTime layer.
Company scales back in advance of Xserve's end
Apple has removed SSDs as an option for Xserve orders, the company's online business store shows. When choosing a custom configuration, institutional buyers can now only pick from conventional hard drives in capacities up to 2TB. Business representatives from the company are, unusually, said to have no explanation.
Many sticking with Apple-recommended alternatives
IT companies hoping to find a rich vein of new business assisting enterprises in moving away from Apple server hardware after the discontinuation of the XServe may be disappointed with the preliminary results of a survey conducted by the Enterprise Desktop Alliance, an industry group that represents such organizations. The survey has found that XServe owners mostly plan to stick with their current machines through the normal replacement cycle, and even then a substation portion plan to shift to other Apple-based alternatives rather than move to Windows or Linux.
Also offers low-cost XServe migration advice
Group Logic has updated its ExtremeZ-IP software -- which offers integrated Windows file and printer services to Mac clients -- to version 7.1, which expands support for Microsoft's Distributed File System (DFS), allowing DFS file share support for Mac clients running 10.4 or higher. In addition, the company has unveiled low-cost services to help XServe users migrate to a Windows file server while still retaining connectivity and support for Mac clients.
Educator offers "solution" to XServe loss
An Apple Distinguished Educator and University Executive Forum member, Dave Schroeder of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has penned an open letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs in reaction to the recent announcement of the ending of XServe sales. In it, Schroeder asks Jobs to extend the 2007 loosening of virtualization rules on OS X Server and allow it to be virtualized on non-Apple hardware. Without such a move, says Schroeder, the loss of the XServe will force a transition away from Apple server technologies, which will have "a significant negative impact on many major campus initiatives which impact your products and services, including iOS mobile development, campus-wide lecture capture with Podcast Producer, our iTunes U presence, our campus IP TV network, and … critical services to Apple clients that allow those clients to exist alongside other platforms."
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.
Xserve gone Jan 31 in push to Mac Pro, Mac mini
Apple today sent notice that it was phasing out the Xserve. The rackmount server will be discontinued as of January 31, 2011, and the currently available 160GB, 1TB and 2TB Apple Drive Modules will ship through the end of 2011 or until stock runs out. The company plans to honor AppleCare warranties and will have repair parts for up to seven years in California and five years in the rest of the world.
EU may make firms take plea to avoid huge fines
The European Union is about to fine nine companies a total of $370 million for allegedly fixing pricing on flash memory, leaks revealed on Monday. Samsung, Hynix, Toshiba and six other major companies are being pressed to admit to colluding on high prices in exchange for seeing a 10 percent drop in the fines levied against each company. An NYT contact believed a ruling could come as soon as Wednesday.
Intel ships 32nm Xeon, Core i7 chips
Intel on Tuesday formally launched its first six-core workstation and server processors. The Xeon 5600 has been made on the same 32 nanometer process as the Core i7-980X and give more performance without consuming more power as a result. Performance gains range from 10 percent in single tasks that don't use the extra two cores to as much as 60 percent for heavily threaded apps, but even the flagship, 3.33GHz X5680 consumes the same 130W as its predecessor.
Parallels Server for Mac brings new features
Parallels on Wednesday introduced Server for Mac Bare Metal Edition, a new virtualization utility for Apple's Xserve. The software builds upon Parallels Server for Mac, initially launched in 2008, but with a new architecture that is claimed to provide the first "bare metal" hypervisor for Intel-based servers. The updated utility is said to offer improved performance, while allowing systems to be migrated without going completely offline.
Mac Pro and Xserve get quiet BTO updates
Apple today quietly upgraded the Mac Pro and Xserve with a handful of feature upgrades. The single-processor Mac Pro now has the option of a 3.33GHz quad-core Xeon, pushing its clock speed up past a fully-equipped eight-core version's 2.93GHz limit. The Xserve has also been upgraded to accept 4GB RAM sticks and can recognize as much as 24GB of RAM in the single-processor version and 48GB in the dual-processor model.
iMac update targets ATI video card problems
Apple has posted two new firmware updates, addressing separate pieces of hardware. The iMac Graphics FW Update 1.0.2 fixes stability problems on iMacs running an ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro video card, or else the Radeon HD 2400 XT. Systems must also be operating on Mac OS X 10.5.2 or later.
Final Cut Por 6.0.6 update
Apple has released a minor update to its flagship video editing suite, Final Cut Pro. The v6.0.6 patch addresses problems with real-time playback on early 2009 models of the Mac Pro and Xserve. Specifically, the hardware and software should now be better at handling complex sequences and/or formats which consume a lot of bandwidth. The update is a 19.15MB download, and requires Mac OS X 10.5.5.
Nehalem Xserves launch
Validating recent leaks, Apple has released two new Xserve models. The servers are sized to fit a 1U rack, and have been upgraded to Intel's Nehalem platform, which Apple claims can produce up to an 89 percent improvement in terms of performance per watt. The base model uses a single, 2.26GHz quad-core Xeon CPU, while the upper tier adds a second Xeon and allows scaling clock speed up to 2.93GHz.
Apple Slips Nehalem Xserve
Apple today has accidentally confirmed plans of its own to launch Xserve rackmount servers based on Xeon processors using Intel's Nehalem architecture. A Hong Kong product page (still active as of this writing) has a broken image link that asks users to "pre-order the new Xserve using Intel Xeon (Nehalem)" but doesn't take visitors to a relevant page. No specifications or other details have surfaced with the link itself.
Xserves along with 10.5.7?
The new Nehalem-based Xserves may launch in tandem with Mac OS X 10.5.7, investigation reveals. The evidence is said to lay within the most recent developer seed of v10.5.7, which contains an extension file called AppleTyMCEDriver. Inside is a machine identifier listed as "Xserve3,1;" the same identifier appears in a Nehalem-specific error message, which also mentions the most recent Mac Pro.
Nehalem Xserves soon?
Apple will introduce an updated line of Xserves within the next few weeks, connected sources are said to claim. The servers, designed for 1U rackmounts, are also said to be based on Intel's Nehalem platform, specifically the Xeon 3500 and 5500 processors originally introduced with the latest Mac Pro. Should they mirror configurations of current Xserves, the new ones are predicted to be divided into single-processor 2.66, 2.93 and 3.2GHz models, alongside 2.26, 2.66, 2.8 and 2.93GHz dual-processor options.
G4, Xserve support dies
Apple is ending most or all of its support for a host of older Macs, according to a memo issued to Apple Authorized Service Providers this week. Headlining the bulletin is a range of "obsolete" products, which Apple classifies as hardware that was discontinued over seven years ago; these include the PowerBook G4, and digital audio or Quicksilver models of the PowerMac G4 and Macintosh Server G4. As of March 17th, no support of any kind will be available for the obsolete systems, including replacement parts.
AFP server problems
Problems with Mac OS X Server are causing some corporate networks to come to a crawl, complaints from network administrators indicate. The problem is believed to stem specifically from Apple File Protocol, as used by Mac OS X Leopard Server; whereas Leopard typically consumes only a portion of the CPU power on an Xserve, some administrators have noticed quad- and eight-core Xserves becoming non-functional due to AFP activity. CPU burden can become as bad as 800 percent, according to one complaint.
Apple enterprise VP gone?
The senior VP of Apple's enterprise sales division is leaving the company and will not be replaced, reports claim. Al Shipp, said to have been with Apple since 2004, is departing for places and reasons unknown. His immediate subordinates will instead have to follow John Brandon, the senior VP of sales for the Americas and Asia-Pacific. These include Stuart Maclennan, a director of territory sales; David Puklin, a director of named accounts; and Ron Police, the VP for federal and governmental sales.
Apple hires IBM chip exec
An ex-IBM chip design expert is expected join Apple next month, but is facing a lawsuit from his former employer that could block his employment with the Cupertino-based company. According to the complaint, former IBM executive Mark Papermaster will join in Apple as a senior executive in what could be an attempt to make new inroads into the server market and/or bolster the company's Xserve line up. Papermaster, expected to work closely with Apple CEO Steve Jobs, is being sued by IBM to block his employment at Apple and prevent him from divulging trade secrets related to IBM's Power chips and server products.
Digital Archive for Mac
Atempo today announced Mac releases of its Atempo Digital Archive (ADA) and Digital Archive for Messaging (ADAM) software, with support for Apple's Xserve and Final Cut Server. ADA allows automated transfer of data from a primary disk to archives. End-users have access to a client interface, which lets them drag and drop files from source directories to archives.
Regional, product Q3 sales
As a part of its Q3 2008 financial results, Apple has posted explicit figures for sales by region, sector and product. The bulk of sales were of course in the Americas, where the company sold slightly over 1.1 million CPU units, producing a revenue of approximately $3.4 billion. The next-largest market was Europe, with 576,000 units and revenues of $1.6 billion. The retail sector, measured separately, is said to have accounted for 476,000 units, and revenue of $1.4 billion. Japan amounted to only 102,000 units and $365 million in revenue, but Apple supplemented this with $571 million from "other segments," including FileMaker and Asia Pacific streams.
Mac Pro overclockable
ZDNet has announced what it says is the first tool for overclocking the Mac Pro. Windows options for overclocking are prevalent, but none have been available for the Mac Pro, according to ZDNet. It claims that the new software, called ZDNet Clock, is capable of speed increases of 15 to 20 percent, and most computers with 2.8GHz chips should be able to meet or exceed 3.2 GHz. The version 1.0 software supports Intel processors on a Mac Pro or Xserve and requires Max OS X 10.5; it is available for download now, free of charge.
Following only a day after the release of Parallels Server for Mac, Media Temple has begun a private beta of (xv) (Xserve-Virtual), a new hosting service. The company takes Parallels Server, and combines it with Apple's Xserve hardware to run virtualized copies of Mac OS X Leopard Server. The primary advantage of this is said to be lower price overhead than a dedicated Leopard server, while still retaining access to flexible resources.
Xserve EFI 1.1 update
Apple on Monday unveiled Xserve EFI Firmware Update 1.1 for Intel Xserve servers, stating that the patch offers users improved stability when applied. As with most recent Apple updates, little is revealed about what problems the update resolves; it is not known whether "stability improvements" refers to freezing, kernel panics, or other miscellaneous temporary failures. Xserve EFI Firmware Update 1.1 is available from Apple's support website, and through Software Update.
RocketRAID firmware update
HighPoint Technologies recently announced a new firmware update to the RocketRAID 3522 SATA hardware RAID controller, which will support booting to Mac OS X on Apple Mac Pro and Xserve models released from (2006 through 2008). The RocketRAID 3522 is a PCI-Express x8 external hardware RAID controller with Intel IOP 341 (800MHz) RAID engine and will support up to 8 SATA hard drives.
Kingston memory for Xserve
Kingston today announced availability of 800MHz DDR2 fully buffered DIMMS, designed to fit in the new Mac Pro and Xserve computers, in 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB capacities. The memory comes in paired sets, which ultimately allow for 25.6GB per second transfer speeds when the Mac Pro is fully outfitted. As with all Kingston memory, each chip features a lifetime warranty. Kingston is selling the memory modules starting at $180 for the 2GB chips.
Apple kills Xserve RAID
Despite today's unveiling of the Xsan 2 file system, Apple quietly discontinued the Xserve RAID platform, with any references to the hard drive system absent from the online store. The only mention of enterprise-level RAID hard drive products is that of the Promise VTrak system, for which Apple is also selling a number of service parts as well. The VTrak RAID systems range from 4.8TB to 16TB, and are configured with either SATA or SAS drives.
42TB in 4U
Nexsan has announced the the SATABeast Xi, a high density, energy efficient storage solution built and optimized for the Apple Xserve and Mac Pro. The solution offers up to 42TB of storage in 4U of rack space, and features AutoMAID (Massive Array of Idle Disks). This allows SATABeast Xi to place its disk drives in an idle state to conserve energy yet provide near-instantaneous access to data. The unit also offers dual function Fibre Channel and iSCSI connectivity at wire-speed performance. The SATABeast Xi is designed for primary storage of large data set applications like uncompressed, real-time HDTV as well as multi-stream and analog TV signals and video editing.
Refurb Xserves, Apple TVs
Apple's online store is once again offering reconditioned Xserve Quad Xeon server systems, as well as its Apple TV set top box at discounted rates. Refurbished Xserve 2.66GHz Quad Xeon servers each feature 1GB of memory, an 80GB hard drive, and Mac OS X Server 10.4 Unlimited-Client Edition for $2,999. Apple's faster Xserve 3.0GHz Quad Xeon servers with 1GB of memory, an 80GB hard, and Mac OS X Server 10.4 Unlimited-Client Edition are each available for $3,799. Reconditioned Apple TVs with 40GB and 160GB hard drives are also available for $229 and $339, respectively.
Xserve "Lights-Out" v1.1
Alongside its iPod software updates, Apple has released Xserve Lights-Out Management Firmware Update 1.1 for its high-density, 1U rackmount server. The Xserve The update includes changes to the Lights-Out Management environment for the Intel-based Xserve. Apple said it addresses the intermittent issue that causes the LOM port to be unresponsive. This update is strongly recommended for all Intel-based Xserve systems. The Xserve Lights-Out Management Firmware Update 1.1 application will be installed into the "/Applications/Server" folder of the selected volume, according the documentation. Users must then run the firmware update application -- either through the Finder or via the command line-- to perform the update. The 780K download is available via the Web.