VMware Fusion for Mac: Virtual Nirvana: Page 3

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Virtualizing Servers

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However, there's the elephant in the room. Virtualizing Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server. There is no way to doubt this is both desired and useful, however there are issues. First, unlike some, I don't have a great need to run Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware. For my world, there's no cost savings. By the time we get done spec'ing out a Dell or HP 1U rackmount server, the price advantage over an Intel Xserve is negligible to non-existent. Others will disagree, but I don't see Apple ever changing their EULA or their OS to allow it to run on non-Apple hardware. Apple is primarily a hardware company. This would be a silly move for them.

But there is real, immediate value in being able to run, on Apple hardware, an ESX implementation, so I could have multiple Mac OS X or Mac OS X Server VMs running, with or without other OS VMs. Being able to up my hardware utilization to that degree would be a huge win for me, or any other Mac administrator.

Sure, I'd have to replace my PPC Xserves, but so what? That's an instant ROI win. When you look at the overall feature set for ESX, such as redundancy, high-availability, remote live backup ESX servers, and all the rest, ESX running on Apple hardware would do wonders to help Apple in some areas where they're weak, and may be weak for some time to come. Of the two companies, I think VMware will be able to do this first. They have the maturity and experience at the technical and business level to work with Apple's understandable hesitancy in this area. And I don't see them having a particular problem with making sure Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server VMs only run on Apple hardware. It may not be their desired goal, but it's still a business win for them.

In conclusion, while Fusion is still clearly a beta product, it's much improved from the initial release, and shows great promise.

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