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November 05, 2007

Apple Allows Virtualization on 'Leopard' Server

By Raju Shanbhag, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Making way for Mac-based virtualization, Apple (News - Alert) is allowing users of its server operating system to run multiple versions of the software on a single machine. The license agreement for the server version of its new Leopard OS states that users can install on Apple computers "other copies of Mac OS X Server software" in addition to the original copy, provided that all the additional copies are fully licensed.

Until now, the company did not allow users to run multiple copies of the OS on a single machine. But as the competition from Microsoft (News - Alert) increases, Apple is getting ready to change its technologies and policies toward business users to compete better with Microsoft. The client version of Leopard, released on October 26, contains numerous enhancements aimed at corporate users.

This means that the users can use software from vendors like Parallels and others to partition their Apple servers into multiple, virtual machines. This will provide the users the ability to run multiple instances of an OS on a single machine. The obvious advantage of this ability is that the better utilization of capacity of a computer. Other advantage is that it improves the security of the machine by separating workloads that require different levels of protection.

Since Leopard is Unix-based, the OS offers many features that could attract the business users and the IT managers. For example, Leopard is compliant with POSIX (Portable Operating System Interface), a standard designed to ensure that code authored for one POSIX system will work on another. Also users can access the operating system's underlying Unix interface with a Terminal application provided by the OS. The software will also natively run 64-bit or 32-bit applications.

Another interesting feature of Leopard is its Bootcamp. This feature allows the Leopard to be loaded from PC, allowing users to install the Linux based OS even on PCs. Apple will need this features badly to boost its business in the computing market as the current market share of the company stands at a negligible 5% to 6%. Also, the business use of the Apple OS is largely confined to the art and graphics department.


Raju Shanbhag is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

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