Why is Apple not winning the Server Market?
This has been a lingering question for some time. The MacBooks, the Airs, iMacs and Mac Pros are all gaining market share but why is Apple’s solid OS+hardware combo not doing well in the enterprise and hosting industry?
Just look at the Apple XServe — it’s a monster of a server.
- Quad-Core Intel Xeon â€œHarpertownâ€ 5400 3.0GHz
- 32GB of 800MHz DDR2 ECC FB-DIMM (fully buffered DIMM) memory
- Mac OSX Server v10.5 Leopard 64bit
- Up to 3 Terabytes SATA HDD storage
In my 6 years doing business in the hosting industry, I haven’t really bumped into a data center which offers Apple XServe.
My curiosity was answered when I visited the Apple website and tried to order a server. Here are some evidence I gathered just by browsing thru their store:
- An entry-level Apple XServe starts at $2,999 (Xeon 2.8GHZ, 2GB RAM, 80GB HDD)
- The Xserve I pointed out above costs $14,549 (Quad Xeon, 32GB RAM, 3TB HDD)
- $999 for AppleCare Service Parts Kit
- $999 for Mac OSX Server Maintenance Program
- Mac OS X Server Software Support: $5,995 – $19,995
- AppleCare Premium Service and Support Plan: $950
Now that’s the killer — you need to pay Apple thousands of dollars more to get support for their hardware and software.
Imagine paying $999 just to have spare parts ready when you can just replace busted RAM chips or HDD for a fraction of a cost.
Imagine paying up to $19,995 just to get consultative telephone and email support for network configuration and administration of Mac OSX Server.
How about $999 just to get regular OS updates? It’s just too darn expensive. Then there’s that discussion on the latest TWiT 158 podcast:
Leo Laporte: “You’d be crazy to run an Apple server. It’s overpriced… what makes it better? I don’t know why you would run an Apple server.”
Jim Louderback (CEO of Revision3, producer of Diggnation): “Don’t get me started on that. We bought an Apple SAN and it’s the worst product ever. And there’s no support, the support is terrible.”
I guess you can’t fool enterprise people into buying your products with witty “Mac Server vs. PC Server” commercials. This is where the Dell, IBM and Microsoft take points off of Apple.