Apple's decision to withdraw its Xserve line of servers was met with mild consternation from some quarters, but it seems that the majority of admins aren't really bothered - at least for now.
A survey carried out by the Enterprise Desktop Alliance of 1,200 Xserve users from different market segments showed that 65 per cent intended to keep using the servers for at least two years. Of those, more than half said that they would hold onto the systems for "as long as the fans keep turning". The remainder planned to replace the systems within the year.
Interestingly, around a third of respondents indicated that they would turn to an alternative OS X-based system to replace an Xserve, despite the lack of enterprise-level features on the Mac Pro and Mac Mini. However, this could be due to the fact that 90 per cent indicated they used the system primarily as a file-server. The majority of the other top-ten uses involved the administration of Macs in the admins's organisation, meaning that the robust and mission-critical features found in the Xserve systems may not be that important.
Of those planning to migrate to other platforms, the majority indicated that file-serving duties would be moved to Windows servers once the Xserves finally called it a day, while Linux would largely be used to replace any web-servers.
A large majority also indicated that Apple's decision wouldn't impact on their organisations plans to purchase Mac desktops or laptops in the future.
Despite the initial upset, it seems that Apple's decision to discontinue the Xserve family will only have a limited impact on its bottom line, especially when it comes to the sales of laptop and desktop systems to businesses.