SWSoft Launches Server Virtualization Beta for Mac OS

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The Renton, Wash.-based company, which is renaming itself Parallels, said the software is the first virtualization solution designed to run on Apple hardware, including the newly revamped Mac Pro and Xserve server, and it can run multiple copies of Apple's Leopard Mac OS X Server. Parallels Server runs on x86 or 64-bit Windows or Linux servers as well.

"In addition to being a tool that we think SMBs and departmental enterprises will use, it's really a part of our whole strategy -- optimized computing," said Benjamin Rudolph, director of communications for SWSoft.

When combined with Parallels desktop software, the company will be able to offer SMBs and enterprises looking to virtualize their IT environments a full suite of products. "We're able to provide a top-to-bottom solution," Rudolph said.

Optimized computing is where Parallels is putting its faith, he said. "We think that's where the industry is going as well. This is the first product able to be run Mac OS X Server in a virtual machine. This is really a key part of where the company is going, where Parallels is going to be years down the road."

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In addition to Mac OS X Server, Parallels Server supports more than 50 guest operating systems including Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Red Hat Linux, SUSE Enterprise Linux and Sun Solaris in virtual machines. Virtual machines can be installed using the Parallels lightweight hypervisor to run simultaneously on a base operating system or can run independently of a host operating system. Systems can be run remotely through the Parallels Management Console. Parallels Server also offers experimental support for Intel Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O.

Parallels Server will be making its debut next week at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco along with SWSoft's Virtuozzo 4.0 software and users will also get a glimpse of what the company will be doing with its desktop product in future releases.

"We're primarily showing off server because it's the brand new product, something we've been looking forward to for a long time," said Rudolph.