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Friday, November 05, 2010, 04:25 am PT (07:25 am ET)

Apple to discontinue Xserve after Jan. 31, 2011

Apple this week announced the discontinuation of Xserve, revealing it will support but no longer offer its rackmounted servers after Jan. 31, 2011.

The announcement appeared on Apple's Xserve site Friday, notifying users of the upcoming deadline. It also features a PDF for the "Xserve Transition Guide."

Apple will not be developing a future version of Xserve, leaving customers looking for a Mac-based server option to choose between the Mac Pro with Snow Leopard Server, or the Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server. Both systems will be available for customers looking to upgrade, replace or supplement existing Xserve systems.

Xserve orders will be accepted through Jan. 31, 2011, including the 160GB, 1TB, and 2TB models, and those purchases will be backed by Apple's full one-year warranty.

"Customers can rest assured that Intel-based Xserve systems will continue to provide useful service during and after this transition," Apple's transition guide reads.

The documentation notes that the 12-core Mac Pro with Snow Leopard Server meets or exceeds the performance of the baseline Xserve hardware. The Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server, on the other hand, is significantly outperformed by Xserve, but it has been Apple's most popular server system since its introduction in the fall of 2009.

The Xserve hardware was upgraded to Intel's Nehalem-based Xeon processor in April of 2009. Customers can still buy a 1U rack-optimized system with one quad-core 2.26GHz system starting at $2,999, or a system with two processors starting at $3,599.

In June, Apple updated its Mac mini line, giving the Snow Leopard Server offering a 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor for $999. The new Mac Pro, with up to 12 processing cores, was announced in July and launched in August.