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Virtualization: Article

SWsoft Gussies Up To Take on VMware Virtualization

SWsoft also brags that Parallels Server is the first virtualization solution to run on Apple workstations and servers

SWsoft, soon to be renamed Parallels after the high-profile widgetry that lets Macs run Windows, has traded the containers it uses in its Virtuozzo product for a lightweight hypervisor made conventional by VMware, Xen and Microsoft's Hyper-V in the first private beta release of its new Parallels Server.

Presumably the switch will make it more competitive since the hypervisor approach has gotten popular.

SWsoft also brags that Parallels Server is the first virtualization solution to run on Apple workstations and servers - including the new boxes just introduced - or run Mac OS X Server in a virtual machine and run multiple copies of Leopard on a single Apple box. The Apple marketplace is however relatively small.

Of course it also runs on any x86 and 64-bit Windows or Linux server and supports any of 50 different guest operating systems but users can't legally run Mac OS on non-Apple hardware because of Apple's restrictions.

Anyway, with the hypervisor, virtual machines run either in tandem with the primary operating system or on so-called bare metal, which means they're independent of the host operating system.

The choice of bare metal or hypervisor mode is made at installation, something that's supposed to be unique to Parallels Server.

SWsoft says it's also first with experimental support for Intel's second-generation virtualization technology, Intel Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d) so it will be able to directly assign hardware resources like networks cards and graphics to a virtual machine.

The beta supports two-way SMP in virtual machines. The final release is supposed to support four-way SMP.

SWsoft is targeting SMBs and departments in large organizations.

It says it will extend its management tools to handle both Virtuozzo containers and Parallels VMs in one solution.

By the way, Sage Research recently came up with some casual numbers on what was being virtualized and they ran 96% Windows, 52% Linux, 30% Unix, 29% Solaris and 6% NetWare. The 12% who said they are virtualizing Mac are believed to be running Windows programs

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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