Apple has announced that it will discontinue sales of its Xserve rack-mountable server as of January 31 and it has no plans to develop a future version of the enterprise offering. The company will continue to ship the server's hard drive modules through the end of 2011 and it will provide full support for machines already sold, honoring all warranties and extended service programs. For businesses intent on sticking with OS X-powered machines, Apple has published an Xserve Transition Guide (PDF) with information on deploying Mac Pro or Mac mini machines with Snow Leopard Server.

In conjunction with that news, Apple has added a server configuration to its Mac Pro. Pricing starts at $2,999 with a 2.8GHz Nehalem-based quad-core Intel Xeon processor, 8GB of RAM, a 1GB Radeon HD 5770, two 1TB 7200RPM hard drives, and an 18x optical drive. More expensive options include dual six-core Westmere Xeon processors, up to 32GB of memory, as many as four 2TB HDDs or 512GB SSDs, two optical drives, a Mac Pro RAID Card, and a dual or quad-channel fibre channel PCIe card. Fully equipped, the Mac Pro Server breaks $16k easy. Orders ship in two to four weeks.