On the eve of Apple’s cancellation of the Xserve, Active Storage, makers of the ActiveRAID storage system, announced the ActiveSAN appliance to provide an upgrade path for Xsan users. The ActiveSAN appliance uses Intel Nehalem hardware and utilizes Linux and the Quantum StorNext SAN file system.
Outside the diminutive circles of Mac enterprise IT, the end of the Xserve will hardly be noticed, but perhaps it should. Up until today, there were four categories of Mac desktop, and now there are three. How long before there are none?
As Liam argued yesterday, Apple is aiming for the consumer market these days, which is why it should come as no surprise that it would discontinue its Xserve enterprise server. The rack-mountable Xserve will no longer be available as of Jan. 31.
January 2010 will mark the four-year anniversary of Apple’s (s aapl) first Intel-based (s intc) Mac, the MacBook Pro. With Snow Leopard officially dropping support for PowerPC Macs and the next version of iLife and iWork likely to do the same, a perfect storm is brewing where Apple can begin to really push OS X to maximize the potential of the Intel hardware it supports. 2010 looks to be a big year in terms of hardware updates from Apple; here’s our roundup of predictions on what’s to come.
Just like where it started four years ago with the first Intel Mac, the biggest and most exciting updates will happen to the MacBook Pro. The good news? With the classic MacBook seeing updates recently that peg its specs a little too close for comfort with its older brother, the new MacBook Pro update should arrive sooner rather than later. Read More about Predicting 2010: Mac Lineup
Apple (s aapl) sometimes provides updates to its products stealthily, in the dead of night, if said updates don’t merit a dedicated press event. That happened yesterday to both the Mac Pro desktop computer and the Xserve rack-mountable server. Both are minor updates, but will be of great interest to those looking to buy either type of machine.
The Mac Pro got a new option in the processor customization department, a 3.33GHz quad-core Intel Xeon processor for an additional $1,200. As of yet, there’s no option to double up the 3.33GHz version of the quad-core to create a more powerful 8-core machine on the more expensive configuration of the Mac Pro. Read More about Apple Delivers Minor Updates Mac Pro and Xserve
Is it possible that the Mac is making inroads with Enterprise IT? Intel Capital announced at CEO Summit that it is leading a Series A investment round in Active Storage of Torrance, CA, which builds high-performance storage solutions for the Mac platform. Other investors in this round include Mission Ventures and Valhalla Partners. Intel Capital invests in companies that drive demand for Intel (s intc) products, but it also looks to make money and apparently it sees money in enterprise-class solutions for the Mac.
Active Storage was born out of Apple’s decision to discontinue the Xserve RAID. Alex Grossman, CEO of Active Storage, and the other founders were previously executives in the Servers and Storage products group at Apple, Inc. They left to form their own company that would produce storage solutions of the same quality. While Apple has been pitching the Promise VTrack RAID as a replacement solution, Active Storage has developed its XRAID product line to be a lot more Mac-like with brilliant Mac-native management software. This is high-end gear for serious business — fibre-channel, redundant controllers, redundant power supplies, redundant cooling, etc — with an emphasis on performance. The XRAID comes in two flavors, the original XRAID with 16TB capacity expandable to 32TB and the XRAID ES with 4TB, expandable to 16TB. Read More about Intel Capital Invests in Mac-focused Active Storage
It’s a Tuesday, and that means that if Apple (s aapl) is updating anything this week, it’ll happen today. And it has happened today. Apple announced early this morning that they’ve upgraded their Xserve-brand server hardware. The update includes new Intel Xeon “Nehalem” processors, which, when paired with a completely redesigned system architecture, are supposed to provide up to twice the performance of the previous Xserve generation. The upgrade was leaked earlier via Apple’s own Hong Kong store web site.
There are two base models of Xserve available. The lower-priced server at $2,999 comes with a single 2.26 GHz Quad-core processor, 3 GB of RAM, one 160GB 7200-rpm SATA drive, and Mac OS X Server 10.5 Unlimited Client edition. The second model, priced at $3,599, gives you eight cores of processor power with two 2.26 GHz Quad-core “Nehalem” chips. Upgrade options include 2.66 and 2.93 GHz versions of the processor, up to 24 GB of RAM, and up to 3 hard drives with a max capacity of 1 terabyte. You can also optionally add-on a 128 GB SSD that won’t occupy any of your drive bays and will be configured as the Xserve’s boot disk, which is quite the handy (though somewhat expensive) option.
Apple is also hoping to improve their green image with the latest Xserve, which it claims is 89 percent more energy efficient measured by performance per watt compared to the model it replaces. They also tout the PVC-free construction of the Xserve body. And thanks to a new feature that puts processor cores into low-power mode when not in use, the Xserve also boasts a 19 percent reduction in power consumption when idle.
Wednesday at Macworld Expo marked a distinct change from the hectic activity around the keynote and the open of the show floor. The big news today was the announcement of the Best of Show awards from Macworld. The products recognized this year are…
Best of Macworld 2009
- iPhoto ’09
- Cisco WebEx Meeting Center
- Ecamm Network BT-1 Bluetooth Web Cam
- Filemaker Pro 10
- HP MediaSmart Server
- Livescribe Pulse Smartpen
- Daylite Touch
- Sling Media SlingPlayer for iPhone
With more and more web applications being built by Mac-addicted developers, I thought I’d have a chat with Stephen Caudill over at FatJam. Stephen not only codes his creations on Apple hardware but also relies on it to serve up the applications to the public.
Travis Vocino for The Apple Blog: Hey there Stephen! To me, it feels like the Mac, and specifically the MacBook Pro, is the web developer’s absolute choice when it comes to deploying an environment suited to the work. It definitely hasn’t always been that way though, as you know. What about you? What’s your history with developing for the web on Apple hardware?
Stephen Caudill for FatJam: In August of 2004, I started looking at the programming language Ruby, in response to the philosophy of “developer joy” that Ruby on Rails’ creator, David Heinemeier Hansson was extolling. At the time I was working in Big Java and really just hated it… the job, the tools, the verbosity of the language were all a millstone around my neck and I wanted this golden path that David was describing.
In and amongst the various doctrines of Ruby on Rails was this devout love of the Mac computer that I kept being inundated with. Around the same time Paul Graham penned an essay in which he observed that all the smart hackers he knew were migrating to OSX… That was apparently all the coercion I needed, as I soon found myself exploring a first gen Mac Mini. In retrospect, I guess I was drinking the Koolaid, but it was good Koolaid after the sour taste Windows left in my mouth.
Read More about Interview with Stephen Caudill – FatJam
Psystar, you know, those crazy people that brought us the Open Computer Mac clone (and still have not been shut down by Apple) announced today that they are releasing OpenServ Rack-Mount Servers and OpenGamer Gaming Systems, which will run Windows Server (2003 and 2008) and Leopard Server, and your various varieties of Linux server distros.
The servers have Intel Xeon Harpertown processors, can have up to 16 GB of RAM, and 6 TB of storage.
The really crazy thing is that Apple still has not done anything. Psystar even released an update for the 10.5.3 update to Leopard. What is Apple saying by not saying anything about this? It seems that silence is permission.