Apple exits server market

This is old news (almost a month old) but I want it to be written down somehow, since I’ve worked and I’m still working with Apple server stuff.
To the most of system administrators and software developers it’s odd to think of using Apple hardware and software as a server environment.
Now that Apple has decided to quit server market and to stop selling its XServe machines after January 31 2011, I would like to make clear my point of view.
Apple XServe are expensive machines with a proprietary operating system that is pretty difficult to change for your needs: everything must be configured from graphic front end tools that are really poor.
With OS X Server you can have different services running with few clicks: web, mail, dns, ftp, file server and a few Apple dedicated services like Quick Time streaming or iCal calendar. Unfortunately this services are to be used the way they are provided. Let’s think about web services for example: apache and PHP are compiled with really stripped down extensions and it’s really hard to use projects like WordPress, Drupal or even Phpmyadmin (not talking about more complex software) without using external help (when provided) or recompiling the whole PHP environment.
A lot of XServe that I’ve used for many customers were heavily modified using external resources taken from Debian project, various BSD projects and MacPorts. Sometimes my changes were disrupted if someone decided to do the security updates or opened up the graphic tools to do a small change…
In Italy Apple hardware support about XServe is nonexistent. Yes, there are always repair centers in many major cities, but you have to queue with people taking their iMac or iPod to be fixed… Calling their customer care and waiting for help on-site it never worked for me: I’ve tried it two times and had to wait for 1 month each for the problem to be solved!
Now that the XServe is going to die I have the task to migrate those left alive to something different but not the Mini or MacPro like Apple is instructing. That’s absolutely ridiculous!!!
So Apple exits server market but it’s hard to believe that it ever entered it! Maybe the next thing to die will be the OS X Server since their priority will be the iOS and its integration with OS X clients… In the end my opinion is that the world will not miss the XServe and its OS.

This entry was posted on Monday, November 29th, 2010 at 7:59 PM and is filed under apple.

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