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Parallels: Apple Servers Meet Bare Metal Virtualization

Dave Courbanou

February 26, 2010

3 Min Read
Parallels: Apple Servers Meet Bare Metal Virtualization

Parallels, the company you may know for their virtualization muscle, is bolstering their server virtualization by supporting Apple environments.That’s right, they’re introducing a ‘world first’ — the bare metal hypervisor for Apple Xserve. Any takers…?

Parallels Server for Mac Bare Metal Edition is here, which could be great news for applications running on virtualized machines with Xserve. It’s a standardization of the Apple platform and it’s a new opportunity for services in the large Mac OS X ‘niche.’

Okay, but what’s “Bare Metal” anyway? Also known as ‘Type 1’ or ‘Native’, bare metal hypervisors are software systems that run directly on top of the host’s hardware and control the hardware directly, while monitoring guest operating systems.

What spurred this love of Apple hardware suddenly?

“The 33% year-on-year increase in sales of Macintosh computers reported by Apple this quarter indicates a growing interest in Apple hardware. Virtualization solutions can help make this a practical reality for users, giving them the ability to run the Windows and Linux applications they need on the Apple system they want,” said Serguei Beloussov, CEO of Parallels. “Parallels Server for Mac Bare Metal Edition provides a high performance solution that enables IT professionals and developers to capitalize on the power of Mac OS X Server while having the flexibility to run Windows and Linux workloads both on-premise and through the Cloud.”

Ron Okamoto, Apples’ VP of Worldwide Developer Relations agrees, noting that the “Xserve offers unbeatable performance and Mac OS X server is the worlds easiest to use server operating system…” There was, of course, the obligatory comment that there’s “never been a better time….for entire organizations to switch to Mac”

Parallels is building on their Parallels Server for Mac which launched in June 2008. It was the first time that virtualization had come to the Apple Xserve. Now, this new edition builds further on that with a brand new architecture, boosting performance and migrating systems without needing to go completely offline, otherwise known as “hot migration”.

It’s also kind of a big deal because hypervisor server virtualization lets users to create “multiple simultaneously executing, isolated virtual machines on the same physical server.” Each of them run in inside their own operating system, too. With the new Mac Bare Metal version, users can run Windows, Linux and Mac OSX operating systems completely side-by-side. This feature means that you can standardize IT environments using the Apple platform, and that means a potential for the increased adoption of Apple hardware and Mac OS X Server.

Parallels Server for Mac Bare Metal Edition also means cloud opportunities. According to Parallels, the new Bare Metal Edition for Mac integrates painlessly with Parallels’ other techs. Again, potential for increased adoption. Proving that point, Go Daddy has announced plans to offer Mac OS X services based on virtual private servers which — you guessed it — is built on Parallels Server for Mac Bare Metal Edition.

Is this a new era for Xserve? As the Mac grows ever more popular in the market, will Apple’s beefy, but under appreciated server-line finally see the light of day? And will this inspires Apple VARs to come out of the wood-work?

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