Apple and the Enterprise

So I’ve had this thought for some time now, and have shared it with a few people here and there. Before I start getting deep into speculation, I want to lay down some facts:

  • Oct 2010 – Apple outsources Enterprise sales and support to Unisys.
  • Nov 2010 – Apple announces the discontinuation of the XServe. At the same time, they release a laughable white paper, referring to the Mac Pro and Mac Mini Server as reasonable replacements. The Mac enterprise community is shocked, not so much at the discontinuation of the XServe, but at the options left behind.
  • February 2011 – Apple releases Light Peak (rebranded as ThunderBolt) enabled Macbook Pros. ThunderBolt represents a huge increase in external interface bandwidth for consumer-level equipment, allowing them over three times the bandwidth of the fastest interface- eSATA.
  • April 2011 – Promise announces SANLink ThunderBolt to Fiber Channel interface, with assistance from Apple in the design.

Macs in the data center.

Many Mac Administrators have begun to believe that Apple is just giving up in the enterprise market, relegating the server space to Windows and Linux machines running on VMWare virtualization clusters of IBM/Dell/HP blade servers.

My thought is the opposite. Apple can make a compelling case to replace the blade servers from other manufacturers with Apple kit.

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Upcoming Case Study: Backups

I’m working with a new client right now that has had hard drive failure. This is never a good thing, but this particular client was silent when I asked where their backups were. My only thought:

“Uh Oh”

Silence is never a good thing when asked about backups. An immediate “here are our backups” is better. The best answer is “here are our backups, and they were spot checked last Friday.”

The cost of not having this third statement is expensive. My time and the cost of a hard drive recovery service such as DriveSavers can end up costing thousands of dollars, and there isn’t any guarantee that you’ll recover your data at all (although DriveSavers does not charge for failed attempts.)

You could be spending time and money with the only thing to look forward to is spending more time and money manually rebuilding the lost data.

Mac OS X 10.6’s Time Machine is a great start for backups. Plug in an external hard drive, click one button, and it does it for you.

Can you afford not to?

Update:

The hard drives are off to DriveSavers, which means that the price tag for recovery just got quite a bit higher. Assuming that the data is recoverable.

Photo courtesy of kelsey_lovefusionphoto