on Thursday demoed an alpha build of a new product called Parallels Server for Mac. The server version will allow IT managers to run multiple server operating systems on one Macintosh Xserve.
“For the first time people will be able to bring Xserves into their environment and still utilize all kinds of different operating systems, all in one box,” said Ben Rudolph, Director of Corporate Communications at Parallels. “This is all about maximizing resources and every dollar you put into your IT infrastructure.”
Parallels demoed the product running on an Xserve running SuSe Enterprise, Windows 2003, Windows XP, Solaris 10 and FreeBSD 5 virtual machines. One of the questions that came up during the demo was why they didn’t show Mac OS X Server running as a virtual machine.
“Would it be technically possible? Yes,” said Rudolph. “Will Apple permit it right now, no. Apple requires you to run the operating system on physical Apple hardware. Apple has been a great partner to us and we don’t want to jeopardize that relationship. We are not going to take that good will and immediately turn around and spit in their eye.”
In the demo the Parallels team said that things like Directory Services and Groups set up in Mac OS X Server would be respected by the virtual machines running on that Xserve, making it easier for IT managers to configure multiple operating systems.
Parallels is also going to release an SDK allowing anyone to build server tools for Parallels Server for Mac. The SDK, according to Rudolph, is the same version that Parallels used to build its own tools.
Parallels Server for Mac is still in alpha and will be several months before it even reaches beta, so a final release is still quite a ways off.