Parallels gets down to bare metal with new server software

Parallels has announced a new version of Parallels Server for Mac called the Mac Bare Metal Edition. It's optimized to provide better performance for virtual machines running on an Xserve, and allows multiple, isolated virtual machines to run simultaneously on the same server. Using "hypervisor" server virtualization, system administrators can run, say, Snow Leopard Server, Windows 7 and Linux all at once.

In case you're curious, a hypervisor is a virtual machine monitor which directly controls the hardware ("bare metal") of the host machine without using device drivers from another operating system. At least, that's how I understand it.

A new utility, Parallels Virtual Automation, also provides an extended set of tools for managing, monitoring and maintaining virtual machines.

This is the first "bare metal" hypervisor for Intel-powered Apple machines, and it sounds pretty cool. I'm not in a position to try this out, but I'd welcome feedback from readers who get their hands on a copy and put it to the test. Single licenses of Parallels Server for Mac Bare Metal Edition are priced at US$1,248.75, and there's a trial download available.