Sju frågor till Parallels


Macpro tog kontakt med Benjamin Rudolph på Parallels och skickade över sju frågor om hur det är att utveckla på mac-plattformen, virtualisering av OS X Server, framtiden inom virtualisering på Mac-plattformen, med mera.

Här är svaren!

Macpro: Whom do you consider to be Parallels greatest competitors?

Benjamin: Of course, we have to consider VMware a top competitor due to their position in the overall virtualization market. However, our approaches are very different, and I think that our focus on real user productivity via important features like Coherence, SmartSelect and now Mirrored Folders, as well as our core experience in the consumer market and our enthusiasm for Apple, will keep us the front runner. For example, we just crossed the 650,000 copy mark, and have users in more than 125 countries!

Macpro: How do Parallels view the future of virtualization on the Mac platform?

Benjamin: I think that it can only continue to grow. Computer users are increasingly realizing that they no longer have to choose between having a Mac and PC, and that’s making more people look at a Mac as a viable option for their next computer. We’ll do out part to make that choice even easier by continuing to innovate, not just on raw performance and hardware support, but also on usability and integration. We want to produce a product that doesn’t jus allow people to run any application from any OS on their Mac, but to do it in a way that is completely intuitive and productive. That’s the goal behind Parallels-first technologies like Coherence, which integrates the OSes on a GUI level, SmartSelect, which integrates them on an application level, and Mirrored Folders, whichintegrates them on a file & accessibility level. Expect more tools and features like that in the future as we respond to the changing needs of our users.

Macpro: Any plans to virtualize the Mac OS X Server? Also if possible explain how a solution could/would look like. And if it’s not possible today, why?

Benjamin: Unfortunately not. Apple licensing forbids the running of OS X client or server in a virtual machine, stating that the OS can only be run on a real, genuine Mac or Xserve. This includes virtualizing OS X on OS X…that’s not allowed either. Certainly, it would be technically possible to do this, but Apple is a great partner, and we’re committed to abide by their licensing terms. We don’t want to end up enemies when we’re made such great progress in our friendship. Also, we don’t want to encourage our users to do anything that might get them into legal or financial hot water! So, until Apple changes its mind, we won’t enable this to happen in any Parallels product.

Macpro: Any support to run Parallels on a Xserver? In theory it would be possible to run a OS X server, side by side with a Windows Server 2003 or Linux…

Benjamin: Yes! You’ve always been able to run Parallels Desktop on an XServe, but what is really exciting
is the soon-to-be-released beta of Parallels Server. This is an enterprise grade server virtualization tool that will work on any Windows, Linux and of course OS X powered server, and allow users to run multiple servers running multiple operating systems all at the same time. The product will feature x64 support, SMP, and a completely open API for easy custom development. And, Server will include all of the great usability that Desktop does. Beta is expected in the next month or two, and we’re hoping to get this product out and ready for sale a few months after that.

This product is a key too for SMEs and enterprise departments as it will enable them to bring the power of Apple’s XServes into their server room, without having to give up the core critical functionality of enterprise server OSes like Linux and Windows 2003.

Macpro: Describe the development process for Parallels on Mac. What kind of development environment and tools do you work with?

Benjamin: Fun and fast paced. Our team includes nearly 200 people and we pride ourselves on an open
work environment where everyone’s free to share ideas. We also pride ourselves on our relationship with our users and with the Apple community as a whole. I think our development team has done a great job listening to our users and creating innovative solutions to meet their needs. I say this all the time, but our development team is the best in the industry, and our users are the best in the world. The loyalty that they show to Parallels, and the active role they take in making the product better, is really something to behold. We couldn’t do it without them!

We have a fairly standard set of development and QA tools, and more than 150 people working in both departments. Of course I can’t go into specifics as our engineers would be very disappointed if I gave away their secrets. 🙂

Macpro: What benefits or downsides are there to work on the Mac plattform?

Benjamin: For us, it was getting comfortable with the “Mac way of life”. OS X is an easy platform to develop on, but since many of our developers came from Windows, Linux and UNIX backgrounds, we experienced some challenges
making our products look and feel the right way. This is one area in particular that our users were very helpful; they showed us the tips and tricks we needed to make Parallels Desktop feel the way an OS X application should.

Macpro: Any support from Apple in your development process?

Benjamin: Apple has been a great partner for us. They work closely with our engineers, and we work closely with them on both sales and marketing. Apple has been and continues to be one of our most important partners.

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