Parallels, VMWare Show Off Mac OS X Server Virtualization

Virtualization competitors Parallels and VMWare were taking opposite sides of the South Hall at Macworld to show off Mac OS X Server running in a virtualized environment on Apple hardware (made possible by changes to Mac OS 10.5's EULA for Leopard Server).

For its part, Parallels showed off a new product, currently in beta, called Parallels Server (previously announced). Parallels is targeting Parallels Server for users of server hardware, as the software contains hooks that allow more in-depth monitoring of the hardware that the desktop edition does not allow. In beta, the software currently supports up to 2-way SMP for virtual machines, although they state that the shipping version will support 4-way SMP. This SMP support will eventually find its way into their Desktop product. Parallels received a Best of Show award for Parallels Server from Macworld.


Parallels Server Display, running on a previous generation Xserve

VMWare has also been busy working to support Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Server in a virtualized environment. At Macworld, they demoed a technology preview which showed VMWare running multiple server operating systems with the usual hardware support. Sound and accelerated video were not working, however, and VMWare could not commit whether such support would be included in the final shipping version. As a technology preview, no product was announced and no ship date yet available.


VMWare booth

VMWare also pointed out that VMWare Importer Beta 2 was released late last week which includes support for VirtualPC virtual machines and improves support for importing Parallels virtual machines.

Both companies offer free trial versions of their standard virtualization software which allows Intel Mac owners to run Windows or Linux: Parallels Desktop 3.0 and VMWare Fusion 1.1