10.6.8 preps for Lion upgrade
Apple has posted Mac OS X 10.6.8, what may be the final major update of Snow Leopard. One of the key features of the code is in fact preparation of the Mac App Store for Mac OS X Lion, which will launch sometime in July. The update is also designed to close several security holes, scrub "known variants" of Mac Defender, and improve VPN reliability as well as support for IPv6 networking.
AFP server problems
Problems with Mac OS X Server are causing some corporate networks to come to a crawl, complaints from network administrators indicate. The problem is believed to stem specifically from Apple File Protocol, as used by Mac OS X Leopard Server; whereas Leopard typically consumes only a portion of the CPU power on an Xserve, some administrators have noticed quad- and eight-core Xserves becoming non-functional due to AFP activity. CPU burden can become as bad as 800 percent, according to one complaint.
VMware ships Fusion 2.0
VMware has officially released Fusion 2.0, the latest version of its Mac virtualization software. The software adds a host of new features, such as multiple and/or automatic "snapshots" of virtual machines, which let users regress to earlier states as needed. Others include automatic detection and use of multiple displays, and the ability to open Mac files and URLs in a virtual machine, or vice versa.
Apple enterprise share
Apple has managed to almost quadruple its share of the corporate OS market within a short space of time, says Ben Gray of Forrester Research. The analyst notes that while in January 2007, just 1.2 percent of operating systems recorded in an online client survey were Mac OS X, current figures suggest an adoption rate of 4.5 percent. The figure is more remarkable, says Gray, because Apple does not generally market to the enterprise world and offers little software for it.
VMware Fusion 2.0b2 posted
VMWare on Wednesday released VMware Fusion 2.0 Beta 2, a new free public beta of its software for running Windows (and other operating systems) within Mac OS X. The update brings better utilities and performance, support for multiple screenshots, better gaming, full 1080p HD video acceleration at near-native speeds (with less CPU utilization), and support for Mac OS X Leopard Server. Adding more Windows-integration features, users can now share applications between Windows and Mac, launch Mac files with Windows applications (as well as Windows files with Mac applications) and also set web, email, and other links for to default to either Windows or Mac. In addition, VMware's new Mirrored Folders map the contents of the Desktop, Documents, Music, and Pictures folders to the Windows Desktop, My Documents, My Music, and My Pictures folders users can now use the Mac keyboard to send custom keystroke combinations to the virtual machine. The free beta is available online along with a key.
Psystar, known mainly for its controversial Mac clone, says it has begun shipping two new servers, both of which have the option of pre-installing Mac OS X Leopard Server. Apple's licensing terms require Leopard to be installed on official hardware; Psystar's OpenServs, however, are unsanctioned and also compatible with server software such as Window Server and Ubuntu.
Following only a day after the release of Parallels Server for Mac, Media Temple has begun a private beta of (xv) (Xserve-Virtual), a new hosting service. The company takes Parallels Server, and combines it with Apple's Xserve hardware to run virtualized copies of Mac OS X Leopard Server. The primary advantage of this is said to be lower price overhead than a dedicated Leopard server, while still retaining access to flexible resources.
Fusion & Leopard Server
VMware has announced that the next beta version of Fusion 2.0, its Mac virtualization software, will officially introduce support for virtualizing Mac OS X Leopard Server. The company has been working on the project since January, following modifications to Apple licensing which allowed Leopard Server to be run in a virtual machine on a Mac. For end users, this should mainly permit running multiple servers for different networking tasks.
Parallels Server Beta 4
Parallels has released the fourth beta of its Server for Mac software. The program provides hypervisor-based server virtualization, which helps save costs by supporting multiple platforms through the same hardware. Beta 4 is notable for reintroducing Leopard Server virtualization, which had been temporarily removed. The upgraded beta means that Leopard Server can once again be run under a virtual machine on XServe systems, or any other compatible Apple hardware.
Apple releases Xsan 2
Apple has formally launched Xsan 2, a major revision of its storage area network (SAN) file system. Among the changes is a new set of administration tools, easing the burden of setup and management. Users can for instance pre-set volume workloads for various file types, ranging in size from raw HD video down to small pieces of data center information. Accompanying this is MultiSAN, a component which lets users access multiple Xsan volumes from a single workstation or server.
Leopard Server & VMware
VMware has announced that as a part of its presentation at the Macworld Expo, it is demonstrating a completely unmodified version of Mac OS X Leopard Server running within a virtual machine. This is due to a change in Apple licensing policy, which recently allowed Mac OS X Server to be installed multiple times on the same computer so long as each copy has its own valid license. VMware further notes that all of the device drivers being used are stock, including those for USB peripherals, hard drive controllers, and a Gigabit Ethernet adapter.