According to unnamed sources, the discontinuation of the Xserve by Apple would be only the beginning of an overhaul, which would lead to the disappearance of some professional oriented activities, according to a “Hardmac” report (

Noting that the info is “unverified,” the article says that Xsan and Final Cut Server could be among the programs being discontinued. “Hardmac” goes so far as to say that the Lion version of Mac OS X Server could be the last server version of the operating system.

In November, Apple announced it would discontinue its Xserve rack-mount server in January. Why? “Since its introduction in the fall of 2009, Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server has become Apple’s most popular server system,” the company says.

Apple will continue to sell its rack-mount server product through Jan. 31, 2011, and will continue to honor warranties and support contracts. Apple has posted a Xserve Transition Guide (

Every Xserve ships with an unlimited client edition of Leopard Server, offering support for Mac, Linux and Windows clients without the added cost of client-access licenses. Leopard Server sports Server Assistant and Server Preferences, which allow even nontechnical users to quickly manage users and groups on the server and easily set up key services, according to David Moody, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Mac Product Marketing.

The Xsan is a high-performance enterprise-class Storage Area Network (SAN) file system priced at US$999. It’s a scalable solution for storage consolidation, enabling businesses to reduce data duplication and more efficiently use and share data in demanding IT data centers, video post-production, and television broadcast workflows.

Final Cut Server — with pricing starting at $999 — offers a way to streamline film and video production. Among other things, it automatically catalogs your assets — along with a wide range of standard metadata — and creates proxies, thumbnails, and poster frames at the same time.

The server edition of Mac OS X ($499) is architecturally identical to its desktop counterpart, except that it includes work group management and administration software tools. It’s the operating system of Xserve computers, rack mounted server computers designed by Apple. You can also have it optionally preinstalled on the Mac mini and Mac Pro and is sold separately for use on any Mac meeting its minimum requirements.

— Dennis Sellers