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Parallels fondles Steve Jobs' bare metal

VMs gets cozy with Apple Xserve

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Parallels has introduced a bare-metal hypervisor for servers built by the Jobsian cult.

The Apple-happy virtualization outfit unveiled Parallels Server for Mac Bare Metal Edition, which lets you run virtual machines on Jobsian servers without a host OS - i.e. on the server's "bare metal." The company's existing Xserve product - Parallels Server for Mac, launched in 2008 - lets Mac, Windows, and Linux virtual machines run atop the Xserve's native Mac operating system.

Now, you can run virtual machines on the Xserve with nothing but Parallels loaded, which improves performance - at least in theory. Like the existing Xserve product, the new bare metal product supports Mac, Windows, and Linus VMs.

The company calls this the first bare-metal hypervisor for Intel-based Apple machines. Theoretically, you could install it on the Mac Pro or any other Intel-based Mac with the right system requirements, but it's intended for Xserves. In the fall, the company introduced a bare metal hypervisor for x64 machines, and this did not run Mac VMs.

Naturally, the company is pitching this as an option for so-called cloud providers serving up compute resources to world+dog. “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,” reads a canned statement from chief executive Serguei Beloussov.

Parallels is best known for its virtualization tools for the Mac desktop. In November, the company added Windows 7 and Mac OS X Snow Leopard VMs to its Parallels Desktop for Mac offering.

With its new bare-metal hypervisor, the company promises greater performance than its previous server offering and the ability to "hot migrate" - i.e. move the VMs between physical machines without going offline. Prices for a license start at $2,000 with a year of support. ®

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