Xserve: before he put out the light…

At the beginning of April 2009 was published the new Xserve, on the Nehalem processors. This rack Mac was good as ever, while retaining all the best features of the best Macs – only at the Apple actively developing cloud computing, data centers used the Linux-servers of other companies. 2008 Apple started with the renewal of the professional Macs. A week before the opening of the penultimate MacWorld Expo, along with the Mac Prowere updated and Xserve. Harpertown/Penryn processors produced 45 nm technology. the week before the birth of the MacBook Air.

The beginning of the year seemed like a sign of attention from Apple. Disputes about the true background of the incident filled the forums virtuoso obscene vocabulary… But does it matter, whether they did it on purpose?

Mac Pro and Xserve was updated to become more modern and even better. What else do you need? Show?

Talking about the unusual beginning of 2008, I only mentioned the update to the Xserve. It is necessary to say a few words – but about Xserve April 2009 not to tell it is impossible. They were the last.

Apple media sang the scalability of Mac OS X – iPod (iPod touch operating system other iPod had other roots) to cluster supercomputers consisting of hundreds of Xserve. This quality possessed and other systems – Linux for example. System friend and foe to Apple, the Windows – too.

Mac OS X was prized not for it, it was nonsense and rubbish. In 2009 I also wrote about it.

7 April 2009. Apple updated the Xserve. Intel Nehalem, the QPI, HyperThreading, Turbo Boost and other great features…

This is the fourth part of a series about the Xserve, previous parts can be found here:

The first part: the Supercomputer from Apple;
Second part: Xserve G5: the project “the Chrysalis of a butterfly”;
Third part: WWDC 2006: “Where is our Steve?” and Xserve.

Put out the light…

The title of the article, except for a hint at the imminent closure of the project Xserve, I allowed myself a hint of what the press release Apple called “Bonjour®-enabled Lights-Out Management processor and Server Monitor Software”. According to Russian Wikipedia, Russian the term for Lights-Out one-in-one as English.

However, there is an impression that there was only “Integrated Lights-Out (iLO, eng. pronounced “Ayla”)”, which was used only in servers Hewlett Packard, despite the “i” at the beginning of the brand.

In both cases we are talking about system of remote monitoring of processors on the server or cluster member. In Xserve for this purpose we used a specialized co-processor, and powerful software makes monitoring accessible and useful to the common user.

Linked to Lights-Out with the lights off. In my opinion.

Xserve 2008

Xserve, announced on 8 January 2008, the virtual online shop was present in the form of a single initial configuration with one Quad core processor Intel Quad Core Xeon 2.8 GHz (E5462) “Harpertown/Penryn”.

The initial configuration cost 2 999 USD. The list of options in the Configurator was even longer than the Mac Pro in January 2008. One of the options was the choice of processor.

In the list of options, besides the default Intel Quad Core Xeon 2.8 GHz (E5462) “Harpertown/Penryn”, there were two: the coupled version of the same processor for an extra $ 500, and dual Intel Quad Core Xeon 3.0 GHz (E5472) for the extra 1,300 dollars.

Technically, Xserve2,1 and MacPro3,1 (January 2008) were very close.

Xserve support, in addition to SATA II, and even SAS c a rotor speed of 15,000 rpm, and other decisions necessary competitive servers.

Sold Xserve nice pay off and enjoyed a well-deserved respect. Among the clients, accustomed to the peculiarities of the Apple. Xserve was reliable, to keep them in good shape and maintenance required minimal staff. Former customers of Dell, HP and other competitors of Apple in this market required the company to breach almost all of the principles of communication with customers.

To inform customers about the company’s plans, future developments, future developments. To guarantee that the customer purchased products for several years will remain relevant and will be produced.

Steve made the decision: while still live, but if the iPhone and another device (called the iPad) will meet the expectations, the direction of the Xserve will be closed. This decision guide server groups informed not supplied.

Xserve 2009

7 APR 2009 on the virtual shelves of the online Apple store has a new Xserve.

It was built on the same processors that MacPro4,1.

In the online store Xserve3,1 was represented by a single initial configuration, which by default used a single Intel Quad Core Xeon 2.26 GHz (E5520) “Gainestown/Nehalem”. Cost Xserve in this configuration is 2 999 USD.

Instead, the buyer could choose between paired Xeon 2.26 GHz (E5520), paying $ 600, dual Xeon 2.66 GHz (Х5550) for $ 2,000 or paired Xeon 2.93 GHz (Х5570) for a fee of 3,200 dollars.

4 Dec 2009 the price for choosing Xeon 2.66 GHz (Х5550) and Xeon 2.93 GHz (Х5570) was reduced to 1 400 and 2 600 dollars.

Nehalem is a new architecture of processors, QPI, HyperThreading, and so on. Team Xserve have added a special service processor for Lights-Out, Mac OS X Server has included a utility to work with him.

Prices, at first glance, beyond, in this segment of the market did not play much importance, especially as Mac OS 10.5.6 Server unlimited users included the same licenses for software that would cost tens of thousands for servers competitors.
The verdict…

In late 2010, Apple made an important statement. No one expected that it would happen so fast and so hard:
a new model Xserve will not;

sales of the current model will cease after 31 January 2011;
all obligations (guarantee, etc.) assumed Apple will be fulfilled.

Apple honestly fulfilled all his promises. Some of the developers Xserve moved to the group Mac Pro Server and Mac mini Server, but most just walked away from Apple, received from the company increased the severance pay.

Apple tried to become a company iPhone and iPad and in December 2010 it was obvious that this attempt was successful. But about the Mac Pro Server, Mac mini Server, and the iPad will talk another time.

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