Solid-state drives no longer offered with with Apple's Xserve

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As Apple prepares to discontinue its Xserve rackmounted servers at the end of January, the company has quietly pulled the option to add a solid-state drive for custom build-to-order purchases.

The speedy, more reliable solid-state drives are no longer an option when selecting among the three bays in the Xserve hardware. Customers can still chose between a 160GB 7200rpm serial ATA hard drive, or 1TB and 2TB options that cost $200 and $450 more, respectively.

One AppleInsider reader noted that the SSD option was apparently available last week, but sales representatives in Apple's business sales department cannot explain the disappearance of the drive. Apple's promotional material on the official Xserve site still mentions a "solid-state drive option."

"Add the 128GB solid-state drive to your Xserve for an ultrafast boot drive that doesn't take up a drive bay," the site reads. "The solid-state drive uses less than 1 watt of power — compared to 12-18 watts for a typical spinning disc — and provides up to 20x faster random-access seek time than a 15,000-rpm SAS drive."

Apple announced in early November that it would no longer sell the Xserve after Jan. 31, 2011. New orders of the rackmounted server will still be covered under the company's standard warranty.

Apple has recommended that customers move on to the Mac Pro with Snow Leopard Server, or Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server. However, some enterprise customers have expressed frustration over Apple's decision to discontinue the systems.

An e-mail claimed to have been sent by Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said that "hardly anyone" was buying the Xserve. And researchers at IDC have estimated that Apple's share of the total server market is less than 4 percent.


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