Synthetic Monitoring

Simulate visitor interaction with your site to monitor the end user experience.

View Product Info


Simulate visitor interaction

Identify bottlenecks and speed up your website.

Learn More

Real User Monitoring

Enhance your site performance with data from actual site visitors

View Product Info


Real user insights in real time

Know how your site or web app is performing with real user insights

Learn More

Infrastructure Monitoring Powered by SolarWinds AppOptics

Instant visibility into servers, virtual hosts, and containerized environments

View Infrastructure Monitoring Info
Comprehensive set of turnkey infrastructure integrations

Including dozens of AWS and Azure services, container orchestrations like Docker and Kubernetes, and more 

Learn More

Application Performance Monitoring Powered by SolarWinds AppOptics

Comprehensive, full-stack visibility, and troubleshooting

View Application Performance Monitoring Info
Complete visibility into application issues

Pinpoint the root cause down to a poor-performing line of code

Learn More

Log Management and Analytics Powered by SolarWinds Loggly

Integrated, cost-effective, hosted, and scalable full-stack, multi-source log management

 View Log Management and Analytics Info
Collect, search, and analyze log data

Quickly jump into the relevant logs to accelerate troubleshooting

Learn More

Is Apple abandoning the server market forever, or…?

Apple Xserve

Xserve, Apple’s rather elegant server hardware (seen here above), was introduced back in 2002. Less than a week ago, Apple announced that it will be discontinued after January 31, 2011. Apparently, Xserve wasn’t selling enough.

Apple isn’t killing its server OS, though. It will continue to deliver Mac OS X Server, but on Mac Pro and Mac Mini instead.

This means that Apple is backing out of the server hardware business, completely. Mac Pro, although powerful, is a workstation computer, with everything that means in terms of form factor and other hardware design decisions. Mac Mini, although small, can’t be considered a decent Xserve replacement either. Simply put, none of the two are servers.

How far will Apple take this? Some people are now fearing that Mac OS X Server might eventually be discontinued as well. And what will happen with Xsan, Apple’s networked storage solution? Is that also living dangerously now? Apple has already killed off its Xserve RAID hardware.

Will Apple ever return to server hardware?

Perhaps dealing with servers, and the service and support deals that many enterprise customers want, is just too much of a headache for Apple. Why return to the server market if it’s so much less profitable than the rest of Apple’s business.

But if Apple does return, it wouldn’t surprise us if they try to rewrite the rules a bit. Xserve was never a radically different product compared to other server hardware. Perhaps in a year or two Apple will surprise everyone with a completely new server product, much less traditional than Xserve.

A third option, virtualization

An interesting question now is if Apple is going to open up Mac OS X Server for virtualized environments on third-party hardware, something its current license forbids. Currently they seem to recommend users to run it on Mac Pro or Mac Mini, which is clearly less than ideal.

If Apple’s Mac OS X Server license allowed it, companies with for example VMware or Xen clusters could seamlessly add Mac OS X Server instances as needed, providing a simple way for them to keep running Mac servers without the need for Apple-specific server hardware.

After all, Apple still sells its Mac OS X Server for $499. They may want to capitalize on that income, and allowing enterprise customers to use it in their existing virtualized infrastructure might appease those who have been turned off by Xserve’s demise.

Is Apple up to something again?

Apple loves springing surprises on the world. The company has done so over an over again through the years. For now it looks like it’s abandoning the server side, but who knows?

Think about this: Apple has been busy building a huge data center in North Carolina. It’s not impossible that Apple has been able to learn from this experience what they could do in terms of new server hardware. This company is great at thinking outside the box, so imagine if, just like the iPhone revolutionized the smartphone, Apple would be able to create an equally revolutionary product for the server market. It’s a tough nut to crack, but it’s not like Apple doesn’t have the resources.

On the other hand, cutting the Xserve could simply be a case of Apple trimming away the fat. Apple loves a simplified product line, and perhaps Xserve just didn’t fit in too well with Apple’s increasingly consumer-friendly lineup of hardware.

P.S. If you want to dive into the history of Xserve and Apple’s changed focus during the last decade, have a look at this article over at Apple Insider.

SolarWinds Observability now offers synthetic transaction monitoring

Powerful transaction monitoring now complements the availability and real user [...]

Exit Rate vs Bounce Rate – Which One You Should Improve and Why

Tracking your website’s exit and bounce rates will give you insight into how [...]

Introduction to Observability

These days, systems and applications evolve at a rapid pace. This makes analyzi [...]

Webpages Are Getting Larger Every Year, and Here’s Why it Matters

Last updated: February 29, 2024 Average size of a webpage matters because it [...]

A Beginner’s Guide to Using CDNs

Last updated: February 28, 2024 Websites have become larger and more complex [...]

Monitor your website’s uptime and performance

With Pingdom's website monitoring you are always the first to know when your site is in trouble, and as a result you are making the Internet faster and more reliable. Nice, huh?



Gain availability and performance insights with Pingdom – a comprehensive web application performance and digital experience monitoring tool.

Start monitoring for free