Licensing change opens Leopard Server to virtualization

By Deni Connor, Network World |  Storage

A change to the licensing agreement for Apple's OS
X Leopard Server
will allow users to run virtual machines on Apple
hardware for the first time, industry players say.

Virtualization vendors Parallels
and VMware are reporting that the revised license agreement for Apple's Leopard
Server permits users to virtualize Leopard environments.

Before Mac OS X Leopard shipped, the license agreement for Apple's server software
read: "This License allows you to install and use one copy of the Mac OS
X Server software (the "Mac OS X Server Software") on a single Apple-labeled
computer at a time."

Since Mac OS X Leopard shipped, Apple amended the license agreement to read:

"This License allows you to install and use one copy of the Mac OS X Server
software (the "Mac OS X Server Software") on a single Apple-labeled
computer. You may also install and use other copies of Mac OS X Server Software
on the same Apple-labeled computer, provided that you acquire an individual
and valid license from Apple for each of these other copies of Mac OS X Server
Software."

This change to the software license agreement was discovered by David Schroeder,
a systems engineer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Schroeder posted
his finding to the MacEnterprise.org mailing list.

The licensing change applies only to the Server version of Mac OS X.

Parallels and VMware -- which provide software for virtualizing physical Macintosh
machines -- are each expected to take advantage of the new virtualization capabilities
of Mac OS X Leopard Server and are working with Apple to do so.

"We've already begun the steps necessary to technically enable this new
policy and Leopard Server is an important part of our Parallels Server road
map," says Bill Baker, director of corporate communications for Parallels.
"We know from many of you that the 'Holy Grail' of X Servers is to run
multiple, isolated, near-native instances of OS X Server on the same box, at
the same time."

Parallels expects to offer the capabilities in the next several months, according
to a blog
posted by Baker
.

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