updated 11:10 pm EST, Wed January 26, 2011
Units must still be ordered before Jan. 31st
A MacNN reader has noticed that Apple's listed ship dates for XServes ordered now -- just days before the hardware is discontinued -- is posted as "April," meaning up to a four-month delay between paying for the units and actually receiving them. Orders for XServes must be finalized by February 1st, but the unusually long delay before fulfillment leaves questions as to whether the company experienced a "run" on their remaining inventory and must now gear up to make another lot in order to fulfill outstanding orders.
Despite its low sales, the XServe enjoyed a good reputation among Mac-centric IT personnel, and news of the product's cancellation was greeted with surprise and dismay. To date, the company has not yet allowed software virtualization of Mac OS X Server despite growing pressure.
Virtualization would allow non-Apple hardware to run the software that previously worked in tandem with XServes. While OS X Server versions of the Mac Pro and Mac mini are available, the form factor of the XServe allowed it to infiltrate enterprise and corporate environments where other Apple hardware would neither fit nor be welcome.
Recent surveys have indicated that many administrators plan to deal with the loss of the XServe by not dealing with it -- ordering units before the deadline, hanging on to the ones they have as long as possible and hoping that Apple will at some stage introduce some form of replacement or alternative such as virtualization.
At present, Apple is suggesting either the Mac Pro and Mac mini options and a third-party RAID server for enterprise hardware.