Recently it was announced that with the upcoming release of OS X, Lion, Apple will finally allow virtualization of the desktop version of OS X. At first, this seems like great news for the desktop virtualization community, since it adds one more use case to the VDI and client-side virtualization spaces.
Unfortunately, though, there are limitations that pull this newfound awesomeness away from us in desktop virtualization community. Check out the EULA as posted on MacRumors:
(iii) to install, use and run up to two (2) additional copies or instances of the Apple Software within virtual operating system environments on each Mac Computer you own or control that is already running the Apple Software.
This paragraph is laced with disappointments. To start, you can only run two additional copies, which is fine for client-side virtualization, but not for VDI. Imagine virtualizing Mac OS on your servers by the dozen, then deploying OS X to the users that need it. It's not a revolutionary thing, but it is an additional use case for VDI. I guess we'll have to hold our collective breath for "Snow Lion" or something.
Next, it limits those two additional copies to "Mac Computers," which pretty much seals the VDI door shut. Still, though, the client-side virtualization door is cracked. I can still see situations where this can be useful. Maybe we'll finally see XenClient for the Mac, or some other product that…
"…is already running Apple Software." Ugh.
You know what that means? To me, it says that you have to run OS X Lion as the host. Then, and only then, can you use Fusion or Parallels to virtualize the other two instances. That also rules out running Lion on any client hypervisor (XenClient, MokaFive Bare Metal, Virtual Computer NxTop, etc…) because the guest VM's would not be running on "Apple Software."
So way to go, Apple. It's like you had three tools, and you had to use them all:
Nobody really expects Apple to jump into the corporate space and embrace virtualization the way we want them to (it would just be nice). They seem to be content adding a few things with each release that keep the Mac usable in corporate environments, but not so usable that the Mac becomes "corporatized" and uncool. It is the opposite of "motel art," perhaps to a fault. Still, it doesn't appear to be hurting Apple any as I write this from my MacBook Pro, read it on my iPad, and check my email on my iPhone. Man, I must be so cool!
Does your organization have any use cases that go beyond "blogger wants to run one Windows app without needing Fusion?"