Parallels Virtualisation

In the past I’ve mentioned Virtualisation and the power of being able to create a self contained virtual machine for testing, consolidation, disaster recovery or other purposes. Parallels platform is unique in the Windows and Mac variants it provides (run windows Xp on your mac for fun) – I’ve successfully created bsd, vista, solaris and just for the hell of it windows 98 virtual machines without incident and would definitely recommend giving it a whirl.

From the suppliers readme …

Parallels (R) Workstation is the most powerful, easy-to-use, cost-effective desktop virtualization solution available today. It empowers any user, from experienced professional developers to home users, with the ability to create completely networked, totally secure independent Virtual Machines on a single physical machine.

Parallels Workstation sophisticated virtualization engine enables each virtual machine to operate identically to a stand-alone computer. Each virtual machine works with its own processor, RAM, floppy and CD drives, I/O devices, and hard disk – everything a physical computer contains.

Parallels Workstation is powered by a lightweight hypervisor, a thin layer of software that is between part of the host computer’s hardware and the primary operating system. The lightweight hypervisor controls some of the host computer’s hardware resources, resulting in dramatically more stable, more secure, and higher-performing virtual machines.

Intel hardware virtualization technology (VT-x) is fully supported by Parallels Workstation. Intel Virtualization Technology is specially designed for improving performance and stability on platforms running multiple operating systems. If VT-enabled CPU is detected by Parallels Workstation, the support is automatically turned on.