“As usual, Apple knows something that its competitors don’t, and after three weeks with Apple’s new Xserve and OS X Server Tiger 10.4.8, I know it, too. Apple is taking a road that pundits will likely insist will lead Apple nowhere: It is doing a server appliance play, but not of a flavor that the market’s seen before. While trends, or rather, the analysts who proclaim them, are pointing to the triumph of software as a service, outsourced applications, consulting, node-locked operating systems and other pay-as-you-go approaches, Apple is piloting a rocket-powered sled in the opposite direction,” Tom Yager reports for InfoWorld.
Yager reports, “Apple is going to sell complete server platforms that buyers purchase, operate themselves and actually own. Seriously. The customer pays the advertised price for an Xserve (starting at $2,999) and gets a server loaded and pre-configured with a server software suite (PDF) that alone meets the needs of the majority of Intel x86 rack server buyers. There are no subscriptions, no priority update service fees, and no client, device, mailbox or CPU licenses. None of the services is grayed out pending your purchase of an unlock key. Xserve has no try-and-buy, no time bombs and no trip wires telling you that you need to upgrade from Express this or that to Professional this or that. Xserve never phones home to beg for Apple’s permission to use the server software already loaded on your system. And if Apple played the slick pricing games that its competitors do, Xserve’s advertised price would be $2,000, with a one-item selection menu on the Buy Now page that reads ‘OS X Server, unlimited users (+$999).'”
Yager reports, “Xserve is far better than the commodity server that the Intel x86 market expects. But what really blasts Apple’s competition is OS X Server. The present Tiger (10.4) release is more than a match for much more expensive commercial Linux, and far more capable out of the box than Windows 2003 Server. Early next year, OS X Server Leopard (10.5) will transform Apple’s already industry-leading Xserve, including the model reviewed here, into an unimaginably feature-rich native 64-bit server platform. And guess what? When you buy it, you’re done paying for it, and all of the services you have to buy, build or rent with Windows, Linux or pay-as-you-go service outsourcing, are installed on every Xserve’s boot drive. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer Xserve’s buy once, run forever approach.”
Full article here.
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