A co-worker passed on this well written letter to Apple from UW-Madison to support virtualization, especially in a post Xserve world. Drink Me
Which made me remember a bit of research I did for a potential client in Jul 2009. Below is the email in full:
I got a question about VMWare's enterprise product line on Apple Hardware (as this is a requirement to run OSX). Looks like there was a recent thread started in a few places online talking about this. Here is the thread, excerpts below. http://communities.vmware.com/thread/213146
From a VMWare employee:
vSphere support for xServe requires supporting UEFI. This capability is on VMware's roadmap for a future release. Sorry, I can't give you an ETA but hope that helps.
Thoughts from me:
2011? 2012? I wouldn't think sooner.
From a VMWare customer:
So, though the Parallels Server Virtualization Product IS more Serverish than running Fusion, it is still not Bare Metal, and definately NOT VSphere.
Info from me on this:
http://www.parallels.com/products/server/mac/features/ "Parallels Server for Mac" requires OSX to be installed on the hardware. At one point in the marketing on their site they call it a "bare-metal" solution but it DOES require a base install of OSX to run the APPLICATION "Parallels Server for Mac".
The single biggest thing that precludes us from looking at other hypervisor solutions is memory optimization. ANY other hypervisor solution (HyperV, Xen, xVM, Parallels, etc..) do not have the ability to oversubscribe memory. When the same piece of physical hardware can comfortably host 5 Hyper-V VMs or 20 ESX VMs I'll choose ESX.
For "illegal" use of vSphere on xServe hardware we've got this jem from that thread:
The Xserves DO NOT have BIOS emulation in the EFI firmware like the desktops do (http://community.brighton.ac.uk/ajd9/weblog/15666.html).
Thoughts from me:
So you could get ESX on a laptop or MacPro but not an XServe.
More thoughts from the peanut gallery:
For an enterprise-grade solution I would want to wait for ESX to run on apple hardware or for Apple to allow OSX to run on ESX legally. Anything else would not have the same level of redundancy and support that comes along with an enterprise-grade price tag.
In a post Xserve world, what are Apple enterprise clients left with? Currently nothing.