Parallels is preparing to release the 4.0 version of its Desktop for Mac virtualization software, which will add several new features to its existing virtualization software for Apple's Macintosh, including the ability to handle four-way SMP along with support for 16 NICs per virtual machine. Parallels, which is competing against VMware's Fusion product for the Mac, has also added more security features plus enhanced ways to take snapshots of virtual machines and rollback features.
is looking to make running Microsoft Windows and other operating systems on the
Apple Mac easier with the release of the latest version of its Desktop for Mac
The release of the 4.0 version of Parallels' Desktop for Mac on Nov. 11
comes a few months after VMware
released the latest version of its Fusion software
, which allows
Windows and Linux operating systems to run along side the Mac OS X. The
Parallels Desktop for Mac software, which is now available, retails for $79.99.
While virtualization technology traditionally has been used by consumers for
their Macs, the
technology is increasingly important in the enterprise as more and more Macs
are finding their way into boardrooms and corner offices
In this release, Parallels has included new features specifically designed
for IT managers. For example, the new release of Parallels' software allows as
many as 16 NICs (network interface cards) to work with each virtual machine.
The software also allows an IT manager to boot a guest OS off the company's
In addition, Parallels has included support for Mac OS X Server 10.5 Leopard
and experimental support for the upcoming Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard as guest
operating systems in virtual machines. Parallels is also offering Windows
Server 2008 and 2003 support.
In this latest version of virtualization software for the Mac, Parallels has
expanded the virtualization software's ability to handle 64-bit guest operating
systems. In addition, Parallels has added the ability to support four-way SMP
(symmetric multiprocessing) within each virtual machine, which allows the
hardware to handle heavier workloads even in a virtual environment.
Parallels can support experimental eight-way SMP
in the 4.0 release.
The new Desktop for Mac release also supports 8GB of RAM
within each virtual machine.
One area where Parallels has tried to make significant strides is reducing
the CPU resources needed when running virtual machines on the Mac. With the new
release, Parallels reduces CPU resource use between 15 and 30 percent,
depending on how many virtual machines a Mac is running at any given time.
For graphics, Parallels now supports Microsoft's DirectX 9 as well as OpenGL
2.0. On the security side, Parallels is partnering with Kaspersky to provide
different tools and a feature called SmartGuard, which can take snapshots of
virtual machines every hour.
In the 4.0 version, Parallels has also made a number of improvements to the
ability to move back and forth between the Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows.
These include a clip function, Clips, where users can share screen shots across
Windows and the Mac without having to save them to the desktop first. The
company also included a feature called Smart Connect, which keeps a user's USB
device connection preferences intact. Plus, there is a modality feature that
allows a user to view different virtual machines in a single monitor.