“Apple Computer has announced plans to ship its new XServe G5s to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Although the machines — which will replace the 1,100 PowerMac G5s currently assembled into one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers — are a feather in Apple’s cap, they may not help to sell many XServers [sic],” Jason Lopez writes for NewsFactor Network.
“Virginia Tech surprised the high-tech world by configuring over a thousand Apple G5 personal computers, using InfiniBand connection technology, to create the world’s third-fastestsupercomputer. Dubbed ‘System X’ (that’s ‘System Ten’ in true Mac-speak), it ranks as a high achievement, regardless of how mundane the details are,” Lopez writes.
[MDN Note: “System X?” But, we digress…]
“‘Was there anything in particular that Apple added to this?’ Forrester analyst Frank Gillet pondered. ‘Fundamentally — no, the heart of the processing power here comes from IBM, and at some level, IBM could have done something similar to this,’ he told NewsFactor. One thing seems certain, Apple’s server strategy will not be successful based on selling supercomputer hardware. What about overall sales? Will the Virginia Tech experiment payoff in the enterprise? Probably not. Apple’s goal is to be recognized as a bona fide supplier to the enterprise, but Gillet says the firm can only be a niche player. ‘Apple does a good job of making products that you turn on, and they work,’ he said,” Lopez writes.
[MDN Note: Frank, as an “analyst,” shouldn’t you know that the G5 is the result of Apple’s collaboration with IBM, not IBM alone. Apple makes “products that you turn on and they work.” Gee, thanks for the insight, you must be a Super Duper Analyst there, Frank. Here at MDN, we prefer products that work when you turn them on, but we’re part of the fringe. Again, we digress…]
“But that marketing strategy, which attracts consumers, rings hollow to many I.T. professionals who are focused on two dominant systems: Linux and Windows. Forrester says the handwriting is on the wall for Unix,” Lopez reports. “The problem with Apple’s Unix-based OS X Server software is, ‘it ain’t Linux,’ says Gillet. I.T. departments probably will not pay much attention to Xserve G5 technology, because enterprises want more than physical pieces of hardware. ‘Doing a spec comparison of a Dell server with a G5 is not sufficient; you’re buying into a whole value proposition,’ Gillet asserted,” Lopez reports.
[MDN Note: Forrester’s Gillet says the “writing is on the wall for Unix and Mac OS X Server isn’t Linux and an Xserve running Mac OS X Server isn’t “more than physical pieces of hardware,” so buying into the Dell “value proposition” is what I.T departments will probably want to do. Makes about as much sense as anything Frank’s said so far. What more? Here you go, gluttons…]
Lopez reports, “‘Apple is acquiring the raw materials in terms of product technology, initial product positioning, and the talent they’re hiring to begin to make a serious effort,’ Gillet remarked. ‘But I would argue they have not yet made that effort other than delivering the product.'”
[MDN Note: Yes, Frank. Apple’s done nothing except “deliver the product.” You know, the product that makes up the world’s third fastest super computing cluster for a fraction of the price of competitors. Any I.T. person who can’t see that and won’t investigate further should be fired. As should you, Frank, for gross incompetence.]
Full mess, laced with FUD for your enjoyment, here.
MacDailyNews Take: Now that Virgina Tech will have 2/3rds of their racks empty with the upgrade to Xserve, shouldn’t Steve Jobs toss them $10 million worth of extra Xserve’s to fill them up? We’d like to see “Big Mac’s” numbers then, though it probably still wouldn’t matter to Frank Gillet, star analyst of Forrester Research.