• 10.6.8 Causing Issues For Xserve Users

    The Apple Support Communities have been lit-up by Xserve users who have seen buggy performance in their now-obsolete server systems that they are tracing back to Apple’s most recent stable release of OS X Snow Leopard, 10.6.8. A particular server process (titled ‘hwmond’) is causing nearly 100% of the server-grade CPU, much to the chagrin of network administrators who still rely on Apple’s rack-mountable machines.

    The report seems widespread, and has been replicated by readers of AppleInsider, who initially uncovered the story. It does not seem to matter whether Xserve users install via the 10.6.8 Combo Update, or simply the 10.6.8 delta update from 10.6.7. Interestingly, users of other machines running Mac OS X Server (such as the Mac Mini Server or Mac Pro Server) are not experiencing the issue, only Xserve seems to be affected.

    10.6.8 was supposed to be a relatively minor update to Mac OS X. It was released mostly to prepare machines for widespread upgrades to Apple’s next-generation Mac OS, Lion, which is set to be released some time in July. It was also reported that 10.6.8 adds TRIM support for SSDs, but other than that, there is no significant change to the Snow Leopard experience in 10.6.8, which is why these issues appear to have come out of nowhere.

    Apple has not released any statement on how to remedy the issue, which looks like it has to do with Xserve specific hardware. Apple has stated that they are committed to continuing to support Xserve, but this bug may be indicative of Xserve’s descent into obsolescence.
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