Holy Grail of Consolidation

One of the things that most interests me about the Mac/Intel switch, apart from the promise of new shiny toys, is that I may finally tame some of the mass of cables and cpus in my office and consolidate the quantity of machines I’m running. Currently, I’m running windows for some client development, linux for server development, and the mac for my normal day to day desktop. Right now, due to historical and other details, that manifests itself in a loud, seldom used windows box, a rather quiet headless linux box, and a nearly silent mac mini with a nice display. Oddly enough, the only one that’s truly indespensible is probably the windows box.

Until last week, there was one piece of the puzzle missing, and that was the ability to actually run the other operating systems on Intel macs. Apple released Boot Camp, a way to dual boot their systems, and Parallels released a (beta) of their virtualization software using OSX as the host operating system. There are rumors of VMWare entering the fray as well, and I see no reason why they wouldn’t be able to do it as well.

Boot Camp is important, since it’s Apple’s affirmation that they’re serious avout having Windows run on their systems. Parallels’ system is at the very least a Holy Grail Shaped Beacon, since it enables simultaneous usage of linux, osx and windows on one cpu, without such 20th century drawbacks as rebooting. While it’s nice that Windows can run on bare metal macs, I just don’t see myself rebooting for it.

Personally, I’d expect to remove 2 mini towers at about 200 watts each, one CRT monitor, and a keyboard and mouse from my desk, not to mention the cables.

There are only a few technical questions left for my usage, what’s the performance like under load, what do I need for memory in the host system, and how do usb and serial connections appear to the hosted virtual machines. That woudl then leave thae all important funding question, but I’m hoping that I can swing that. But I’m guessing that I’d want to take two, a mini and a laptop, so that one could go on the road with me.

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