Sunday, March 25, 2007

Virtualization on a Mac

Although virtualization on Intel macs is still in its infancy, there are atleast two decent alternatives for virutalization on Intel Macs today. These applications allow running Windows and other Intel based operating systems on a mac.

  1. Parallels Desktop
  2. Vmware Fusion (still in beta)

As for why one would want to use virtualization, there are a number of reasons:
  • Compatibility Issues where a certain application is only availible on one platform.
  • Testing purposes to simulate different operating systems or configurations which cant easily be simulated using physical machines.
  • Roll back changes during various changes of procuct development and testing various builds on a fresh image.
  • Simulations to demonstrate bugs, where all debugging information including memory contents can be sent back to a developer as an indepth bug report.
  • Running an application within a virtual machine adds a layer of security by isolating that machine away from the host machine.
  • Helpdesk or technical support situation where it is useful to simulate the same operating system a client is using.

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