Parallels Software sent word recently that Parallels Desktop 4.0 (PD4) for the Macintosh has been released. According to Parallels, this new release introduces a number of speed, power-saving, backup, and interface improvements over its predecessor. The new version is also bundled with a number of other applications at no additional charge, including Acronis True Image Home backup and restore, Acronis Disk Director Suite disk management, and security software by Kaspersky. For IT pros, Desktop 4.0 introduces Mac OS X Leopard Server and Windows Server OS support, as well as improved CLI and Scripting support, remote control feature via the iPhone and other enterprise improvements.

Just before deadline for this issue of Virtualization UPDATE, Chris Mellor over at The Register and Keith Ward over at Virtualization Review both reported that some PD4 users are experiencing problems after upgrading, ranging from slow VMs to system crashes. Parallels has issued a hotfix, and you can read comments describing PD4 problems in the Parallels forums.

Problems with PD4 aside, I've written a bit before about how products like Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion are helping drive Mac adoption in the enterprise as well as in the consumer market. According to a statement in the Parallels release by IDC research analyst Michael Rose, sales results prove that virtualization is helping move Mac hardware.

“The growth, in both performance and ease of use, of desktop virtualization software is making it easier for Windows users to adopt Macintosh computers. The availability of this technology is one of many factors driving growth in the adoption of Mac desktops and notebooks, for which shipments have grown 46.6% between the first half of 2007 and the first half of 2008, according to our data,” said Rose. "Those users leveraging virtualization software on their Macintosh hardware will find that many of the new capabilities in Parallels Desktop 4.0 represent another step forward."

Parallels Desktop 4.0 retails for $79.99; existing Parallels Desktop users can upgrade for only $39.99 until November 30, 2008. If you bought a copy of Desktop 3.0 after September 1, 2008, Parallels has promised to give you a free upgrade to the latest version.

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Virtualization Tips and Tricks
by John Savill

Q: Should I install a System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) 2007 agent on my guest OS virtual server?

A: It depends on what you want to protect. If you install a DPM agent on the virtual server’s main DPM 2007 administrator console, you can protect only virtual machines (VMs)—you can’t protect any applications run by the VMs. If you deploy the agent in the guest OS, you can protect everything the VM runs. For example, if the VM runs Microsoft SQL Server, you can protect the databases and capture the transaction log data.

Read more about installing a System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) 2007 agent on a guest OS virtual server.

In the next issue of Virtualization UPDATE (12/10/08)

  • Commentary: Virtualization and Cloud Computing
  • New virtualization product announcements
  • …and more virtualization commentary, news, tips, and tricks

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