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.