Parallels launches Mac server virtualisation product

Parallels announced today that Parallels Server for Mac, the first server virtualisation product for Intel-powered Apple operating systems (OS).

Parallels Server for Mac aims to bring the benefits of virtualisation to those organisation seeking to standardise on a Mac platform or optimise their mixed IT infrastructures.

It can run on any Intel-powered Apple hardware, including the Xserve and Mac Pro, running OS X Leopard Server and has been brought to market after a worldwide beta testing program involving Mac, Windows and Linux server professionals.

"Leopard Server is easy to set up and includes innovative features such as Podcast Producer and iCal Server that you can't find in other major operating systems," said Ron Okamoto, Apple's vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations. "Now, Parallels Server makes the combination of Leopard Server and Xserve even more appealing to IT departments considering a switch to the Mac."

But Roy Illsley, senior research analyst at Butler Group told IT PRO he wasn't sure how many enterprises would make the switch. He said it was more likely to be of interest to enterprises experimenting with virtualisation, whose organisations provided for traditional Mac users, like graphics and design teams.

"You're always going to find a niche of people that like Macs who this might appeal to," said Illsley. "But I'd be interested to see how Parallels Server for Mac deals with I/O intensive applications, like ones that query databases or use heavy graphics capabilities, like CAD [computer-assisted design] programs."

Parallels Server for Mac include virtual support for two and four-way symmetric multi-processing (SMP), up to 32GB of physical RAM and support for Intel Virtualisation Technology (Intel VT-x) technologies. It also offers the ability to run any combination of more than 50 different x86 (32-bit) and x64 (64-bit) guest operating systems, including Windows Server 2008.

A multi-client Parallels Management Console, with open application programming interfaces (APIs) that are scriptable with Python, allows users to manage virtual and physical servers locally and remotely and automate common server tasks from the command line. Utilities include Parallels Transporter, a built-in, assistant driven physical to virtual (P2V) and virtual to virtual (V2V) migration tool; and the Parallels Image Tool, which lets users modify settings of their virtual hard disk.

Illsley added: "I'm looking forward to seeing the Parallels Server launch, which is coming out soon, but expect it will capitalise on this Mac launch by playing on its interoperability with Windows, Linux and its containers technology."

Parallels Server for Mac is available now at a standard UK retail price of 620 per system, running on an unlimited number of cores.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.