Browsing Posts published by Reid

Today Apple announced the end of life for the Xserve family of rack mount server hardware.  What does this mean for you, the Xserve customer?

Apple recommends that you upgrade your Xserve hardware to Mac Pro or Mac Mini hardware. These systems support nearly all of the software functions of Xserve, but neither provides the data center ready form factor and remote LOM management functionality of Xserve.  Given those limitations, you may decide to migrate to another server platform such as Windows or Linux.

If you decide to migrate to Windows, Group Logic can help as we provide a range of software tools to support Macs connecting to Windows servers and support those tools with a strong technical support team well versed in multi-platform solutions. In response to customer feedback, we’ve also modified our pricing to provide flexible licensing options for a range of enterprise requirements and launched a new education pricing program for campus-wide deployments.

The Windows ecosystem has a wide range of tools that support your Xserve transition and supports nearly all of the critical functions that you need to replace.  Group Logic and our partners in the Enterprise Desktop Alliance are just part of the extended ecosystem for integrating Macs into the infrastructure.

For more details on this announcement and your alternatives to Xserve, see our Xserve End of Life – Frequently Asked Questions page.

If you have questions or suggestions about your migration, please call us at +1.703.528.155 or email info@grouplogic.com.

Earlier this week, Group Logic announced a new version of our popular ExtremeZ-IP software.  This falls hot on the heels of one of our best quarters ever – in part due to growing revenue generated by ExtremeZ-IP.  So, why the big fuss over ExtremeZ-IP?  Why is this humble, unassuming Windows-based AFP (Apple Filing Protocol) server continuing to grow in popularity even after having been on the market for over ten years?

The answer, it turns out, is simple. It’s because the number of Macs used in today’s enterprise environment has grown – quite a bit.  In fact, Gartner recently reported that the number of Macs in the enterprise is on its way to doubling between 2009 and 2013 (see footnote 1).  And Gartner’s not alone in its findings… Forrester Research echoes Gartner’s data and reports that Mac penetration into the enterprise grew to 3.6% in March of 2009.  And when you project out the Forrester data, Macs will comprise almost 5% of the average enterprise by the end of this year (see footnote 2).

And of course, as the number of Macs grow in the enterprise, so do their user’s demands for transparent access to enterprise services and assets – including content on Windows file servers – an area where ExtremeZ-IP excels.

So, it’s not surprising, that IT administrators now find themselves in the interesting position of having to respond to Mac users who expect the same level of security, performance, reliability, and overall service as has been afforded their Windows counterparts.  And why not?  Mac users are no less deserving of IT attention – are they?  Well, perhaps that’s the subject of another blog… on another day.

But wait, there’s encouraging news for Mac users who were not always welcomed by IT.  According to ITIC, 73% of global IT administrators are saying they will likely allow Macs in the enterprise in the coming year (see footnote 3).

And if the growth in ExtremeZ-IP is any indication of this, it’s clear that IT administrators are on the bandwagon.

(1) “Gartner Predicts 2010: PC End-User Issues”, Gartner Research, December 2009
(2) “Corporate Desktop Operating System Trends, Q3 2008 to Q2 2009”, Forrester Research, July 2009
(3) “The Year in Apple”, MarketWatch, December 2009

Apple iPad sales hit 2 million last week – a milestone few companies or products have ever achieved… let alone in their first two months of sales.  And while iPads have yet to significantly impact the enterprise, it has become apparent to most global enterprises that the Mac has grown in both presence and relevance.  In fact, more and more companies today are offering their employees Mac and Windows options for their personal desktop environment.  This not only makes for happier users, it also helps to ensure that already productive Mac users remain that way.

Further, this trend has spread to include, not only the traditional media, broadcasting, and advertising verticals that one might expect, but also unfamiliar territories such as financial services and technology as well. News from Google this week reveals that, due to security concerns, they are moving away from Windows PCs enterprise-wide, in favor of Mac and Linux clients.

And yet, with today’s growing base of Mac users accessing a primarily Windows-based enterprise, fundamental differences between the Mac and Windows operating systems can make the integration between Macs and Windows a significant challenge.  Most fundamentally, Mac performance and file integrity can be compromised because of incompatibilities between Windows and Mac OS X operating systems – largely caused by the differences in the file sharing protocols they are designed to use.  In the Windows case, file sharing is conducted using the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol, which lacks many of the capabilities included in the Mac’s default Apple Filing Protocol (AFP).

And, as Mac users encounter data integrity issues or become dissatisfied with system performance, they naturally turn to the Help Desk, which has seen a significant increase in inbound calls from Mac users who simply need a way to share data with Windows-based systems.

What’s needed is a solution that ensures transparency between Mac and Windows, in what is becoming less and less a Windows-centric world.