Mailbag: Mac Servers and Virtualization
for a show of hands to determine who uses Mac servers for virtual
Vista and XP desktops. Here are your responses:
We don't use Mac servers, and I don't know anyone that uses Mac servers
in an enterprise environment. And using them to drive VM Vista or XP desktops
is even more out there. I'm sure there are a few people out there, but I very
much doubt that it is close to 23 percent, or even 3 percent. They may be
counting non-Windows as a whole as Mac servers (Unix, Linux, BSD, Mac).
I have not seen a single Mac server in an enterprise IT computer room.
Who are these virtual people?
Well, we sort of use Mac servers. Being that we are a large university,
there is not much control over what the faculty or even tech workers for individual
departments do. I'm guessing that there are about 10 or so, but none in the
datacenter. I don't know of any that are being used to run virtual Windows
Yes, I use Macs for Hyper-V. I run Win 2003 images on a Dell with Win
2008. However, I have some Win XP and Win NT images that were virtualized
on MS VS 2005. When I migrated them over to the Hyper-V on Win 2008, I discovered
that Hyper-V only supports Vista, Win 2003, and Win 2008 and above. I also
saw that Hyper-V will only support two cores per image on Win 2003 images,
and I can only assign cores in multiples of two.
On my Mac Pro, I run Parallels Hyper-V server for Mac. It runs my Win
XP images just fine. Also, I can assign up to eight cores to any image including
Win 2003 and in multiples of 1. I have a Win 2003 Enterprise image as a TS
assigned with three cores, not possible with Hyper-V. Performance seems to
by equitable between images running on the Mac and the Dell. However, I have
not been able to add Win 2003 images running on Mac to a server farm that
has images running on the Dell.
Is it always true that downgrading to XP costs more than it does
to just keep Vista? A few readers don't think so:
I don't know if I agree with that statement. If businesses have to upgrade
a large amount of their desktop apps due to Vista incompatibility, the costs
can add up quickly. In an economic downturn, businesses aren't willing to
pay to upgrade their expensive, slightly aged, mission-critical desktop apps
(that still get the job done) just to be able to run a not-so-stellar OS.
This is so not true if you are a large corp. Large corps spend tens of
millions on testing their in-house apps with new OSes, so why would they want
to spend all of that additional money to test their apps with Vista if XP
is working for them?
On the topic of Vista, Scott shares his thoughts on where
the OS is falling short:
Just wanted to give my two cents on Vista: I just bought my wife a new
computer with Vista installed and we both love it! I think a majority of the
problems Vista is experiencing is due to familiarity; people like what they
know and don't embrace change just for the sake of change. I'm guilty of that
at times, too.
I think it's also due to hubris (and a little ignorance) on the part
of Microsoft and its OEM partners. Vista does require some good hardware to
run and selling Vista Ready vs. Vista Capable PCs was a mistake when all it
was going to do was confuse customers. Vista on a Celeron with 1GB RAM and
a 128MB video card -- c'mon, they should know better; a dual core 2GHz CPU
with 2GB RAM and a 256MB video card should be MINIMUM specs for installing
Vista (that and good drivers). After all, you want your customers to enjoy
their experience, not ponder why it's so slow and unresponsive compared to
their XP machine.
Speaking of Vista's appeal (or lack thereof), Jeremy has one suggestion to
Someone in recent Mailbag section mentioned the nerdy Mac guy from the
Apple spots. Does he have a non-compete clause or could Microsoft throw an
obscene amount of money at him to switch? Maybe have PC guy kidnap him from
a brainwashing cult to realize Vista is good.
And finally, Dean shares his thoughts on the recent
passing of longtime InfoWorld writer Ed Foster:
I have been a fan and avid reader of Ed's work for many years. It was
a real shock to get the e-mail from Jeff Foster saying that his father had
passed away. Ed was a very vocal advocate for those that did not have the
media platform to bring issues to a wide audience. He was not shy about taking
on the "big guys," whether it be for one person or a whole class
of people, and that won him the admiration of us all. We all lost a friend
and leader at his passing.
Tell us what you think! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Doug Barney on 08/28/2008 at 1:15 PM