updated 11:55 pm EST, Fri January 28, 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."
Apple has already started recommending third-party replacements for its discontinued server products, for example featuring Promise Technology's VTRAC RAID servers to complement its own XSan storage software. It would not be inconceivable that Apple would formally endorse an offering from another company -- particularly one run by former Apple engineers -- to fill the gap created by the discontinuation of the XServe. Active Storage makes a point of marketing its expertise in serving the "professional Apple user."
The mystery server will likely run a webmin variant with Darwin, the report says, and claims that Apple itself is using the servers in some of its enterprise datacenters. If Apple could also be persuaded to allow virtualization of Mac OS X Server on non-Apple hardware -- such as this mystery server or products from other companies -- the loss of the XServe would be a much more minor event and could even revitalize Apple's reputation within the Mac IT community. [via 9to5Mac]