Unless you’re pretty knowledgeable, when you think of powerful server hardware for your business or other enterprise level needs the first manufacturer that pops into your mind probably isn’t Apple. It’s more likely Dell, HP or even IBM that comes to mind.
To most consumers, Apple is the company that makes the iPhone, iPad and the Mac and not a line of server hardware designed for businesses. It seems Apple sees themselves that way too as the company has announced it will discontinue sales of their Xserver server hardware as of January 31, 2011.
The company made the announcement via a post on its Xserve splash page. Apple does indicate it will continue to support the Xserve but you just won’t be able to buy a new one after that date. Apple has also made a PDF “transition guide” for Xserve users (Or potential users) which explains the alternatives to Xserve for users wishing to deploy Apple hardware and OSX Server software.
With this announcement it begs the question what Apple has planned for its server software. For the moment, the Mac Pro and Mac Mini server support OSX Server and based on the “transition guide” it sems they will continue to do so, at least for now. Perhaps this means Apple is going to license its server software for use on other Intel based platforms?
Maybe Apple is just going to concentrate on developing more products that they obviously do much better: iPhones, iPads and such. Or, going a step further, maybe the company is going to start offering a “cloud based” approach for individuals and businesses just like Google does?
After all, Apple does have that gigantic new data center in North Carolina said to be one of the largest in the country. I wonder what that could be for?