Macs have long been known for their prowess at creating videos, editing photos, developing games and generally being more intuitive than the average PC. Of course, Macs have also been on the short end of the stick when it comes to just about every IT or software development milestone, as PCs still outsell them and many users have a fear of the way Macs operate, and this is certainly true in the virtualized world. As of January 30, 2011, Apple decided to discontinue its Xserve servers, and move away from being in the dedicated server business to focus on their product line instead, leaving Mac users with a server virtualization solution that was actually optimized for their hardware.
Now, Parallels has launched a new version of their server virtualization software, this time designed to work specifically with the Mac Mini, and giving Parallels the distinction of being the only company that is providing a server environment that is dedicated to Mac users. This new server is a Type-2 hypervisor, allowing it to install directly onto Mac hardware and the host operating system, greatly streamlining the process of getting up and running, and at a far cheaper cost than some Xserve options – $299 for the Parallels version as compared to almost $2,000 for the Xserve.
While the Mac Mini isn’t exactly a robust server environment, Parallels is making an effort to cram features into their Mac server platform in order to give it maximum flexibility and volume. A large business would still find this unsuitable for their needs, but there is a possibility that small or medium-sized businesses would find good use not only in the Mac Mini, but in the dedicated server platform that Parallels has created.