Release: Parallels Server 4.5 Bare Metal

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After an endless saga started in 2005, Parallels is finally ready to ship its bare-metal hypervisor: Parallels Server 4.5 Bare Metal.

Compared to the hosted version of Parallels Server, launched in June 2008, this edition (which jumps from version 1.0 to 4.5) actually installs on bare metal like competing hypervisors VMware ESX, Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V and Oracle VM Server.

The hypervisor architecture is interesting and created a lot of confusion so far, to us and to other people that compare it to others type-1 VMM platforms:


The diagram above doesn’t really clarify if the product installs Virtuozzo (indicated with the label Container) inside the hypervisor’s primary partition, or if it simply creates a separate logical volume in the hard drive where it installs a Linux flavor with Virtuozzo on top. 

Anyway Parallels Server 4.5 Bare Metal supports:

  • virtual machines with up to 12 vCPUs / up to 64GB vRAM / up to 2TB vHDDs  / up to 16 vNICs
  • Intel VT and VT-d, FlexPriority and EPT
  • AMD-V and Rapid Virtualization Indexing (RVI)
  • 32 and 64 bit guest OSes (including all flavors of Windows, Red Hat, SUSE, Debian and Ubuntu Linux, and even FreeBSD)
  • USB 2.0
  • virtual machines templates and snapshots
  • virtual machines live backups (just Windows and Linux guests)
  • cold Virtual-to-Virtual (V2V) migration between Parallels Servers Bare Metal hosts (VM to VM, or even VM-to-container / container-to-VM) and hot V2V migration (only for containers)
  • cold Physical-to-Virtual (P2V) migration from physical servers to virtual machines or containers
  • a local management console and a Command Line Interface (CLI) for most tasks within a single host
  • support for Parallels Virtual Automation (formerly Parallels Infrastructure Manager) for enterprise management

The price Parallels announced for this product seems to completely ignore that VMware, Citrix, Microsoft and Oracle are all offering competing and well-known platforms completely for free:


The Advanced Edition may be interesting despite even at $1,500 per CPU because it bundles Virtuozzo, but Parallels decided to only offer the Linux version of it (and this may have something to do with the architecture described above).

We’ll see how well the market will receive this 5th hypervisor.