Daniel Eran Dilger
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Parallels aims to virtualize Leopard Server and help Apple sell Xserves

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Daniel Eran Dilger
Parallels, maker of the popular Parallels Workstation software that enables Intel Mac users to run Windows or Linux within a virtualized environment, introduced its new Parallels Server at Macworld. The new product, intended to enter beta in the next couple months, is designed to virtualize and manage multiple server operating systems on any Intel-compatible hardware.

When running on Apple’s Xserve or other Intel-based Macs, Parallels Server also allows users to virtualize Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Server. That feature required a change to Apple’s license agreement for Server, which formerly required that the software could only be run on a single system and only on Mac hardware. Apple relaxed the limitations to enable Parallels to develop the new server virtualization software. Leopard Server still requires that users acquire a license for each instance of Leopard Server running, and further requires that Leopard Server run only on Apple branded hardware.

Why Virtualize?
While most desktop users are familiar with the benefits of running Windows software on the Mac desktop, the Parallels Server product addresses an entirely different market. Virtualization in a server environment is typically used to test multiple instances of the same setup with a single changed variable. For example, a IT department could run multiple virtualized copies of Leopard Server, each with a different selection of System Updates, patches, or alternative configurations, in order to test for compatibility problems or conflicts. This can already be done by simply throwing hardware at the problem, but virtualization allows all of the different systems to run in parallel on the same hardware, dramatically saving the amount of hardware required to test different configurations.

The other obvious benefit offered by Parallels Server is the capacity to run multiple, different Server operating systems on the same hardware. This is of particular interest to Apple, which is clearly excited by the prospect of selling its Xserve hardware to IT shops that need to run a combination of Windows, Linux, Mac OS X Server, and other server operating systems.

Continues: AppleInsider | Parallels aims to virtualize Leopard Server and help sell Xserves

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  • http://bscenefilms.blogspot.com bscenefilms

    Server virtualization is primarily used to leverage hardware for multiple server platforms. Typically, an 8 processor Xeon server will be partitioned into 7 servers, each performing a different task (AD, Mail, DB, Web et. al.). This is the primary use of server virtualization.

    VMWare produces a server virtualization product that supplants a host operating system and provides multiple virtual sessions using processor affinity for each virtual server.

    This allows a business to provide shared resources with a minimum of hardware platforms.

  • kent

    Excellent article, Daniel. Good keeping an eye on the forest and not getting lost in the trees. The market is so irrational in its response to Apple’s earnings that it almost has to be manipulation or mass insanity. Best quarter ever and projected future growth and the stock goes through the floor. I am thinking Apple should consider eliminating the guidance. Why bother when those who receive are incompetent to use it properly. You give a good high level view of where the various products are headed and what they can expect in competition. This analysis points to only more growth and possibly a faster rate of growth as the Microsoft decline gains momentum. Keep up the great work.