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IT@Intel Brief
Intel Information Technology
Client Virtualization
December 2009

Using Virtualization to Integrate Mac ...
IT@Intel Brief

Apple Macintosh*                                  Enterprise Applications           ...   IT@Intel Brief

inside the VM environment, which provides                     application in much the s...
Conclusion                                                                   As the use of Mac OS X grows at Intel, we
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Using Virtualization to Integrate Mac OS X* into PC-centric ...


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Using Virtualization to Integrate Mac OS X* into PC-centric ...

  1. 1. IT@Intel Brief Intel Information Technology Client Virtualization December 2009 Using Virtualization to Integrate Mac OS X* into PC-centric Environments Virtualization makes it possible to: Intel IT has successfully integrated Apple Macintosh* computers into Intel’s predominantly Microsoft Windows*-based enterprise computing environment • Run multiple OSs on one computer simultaneously. using client virtualization. Employees working on Macs can run Microsoft Windows applications from their Mac OS X* desktop. Accessing both Mac and Windows • Share files between the host and applications simultaneously allows users to do their primary work on the Mac while guest OSs. also working with important enterprise applications that only run in a Microsoft • Support the VM running the guest Windows environment. OS in the same way we support a physical machine. We used virtualization software on Intel®-based Macs to create a virtual machine (VM) running Microsoft Windows. Intel® Virtualization Technology (Intel® VT), built into Intel® processors, works with third-party hypervisor technology to partition the system and allow both Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows to run on the same hardware simultaneously (Figure 1). We anticipate a growing number of Mac, Linux*, and UNIX* users at Intel in the future, and using virtualization allows us to support the needs of this diverse user base while improving productivity for all Intel employees. Virtual Machine Guest OS Applications Third-party Hypervisor Technology Multi-Core Intel® Processor with Intel® Virtualization Technology Apple Macintosh* Computer Figure 1. Intel® Virtualization Technology (Intel® VT) and third-party hypervisor technology enable two OSs to run on the same hardware simultaneously.
  2. 2. IT@Intel Brief Apple Macintosh* Enterprise Applications In 2005, Apple started incorporating Intel® Computers at Intel Previously, Microsoft Windows was the most architecture into their systems. Within six Intel has always had a small base of employees robust option for our enterprise business months, a software company developed a who use Macs, mostly for video creation and and productivity applications, and there virtualization solution using Intel VT that would editing within Intel’s video production group. was no need for us to design enterprise allow Microsoft Windows to run on Macs. This We also began deploying Macs to a small set applications to support multi-supplier client event paved the way for us to provide a much of employees who work directly with Apple. platforms. Over time, client application better solution for Mac users at Intel. To investigate the impact of using Macs in a platforms such as Linux and Mac OS X have INTEL® VIRTUALIZATION TECHNOLOGY variety of job roles and physical locations, in achieved a robustness that makes them 2006 we began a pilot deployment to 500 viable and productive options for enterprise To help ease the challenges associated with users across the enterprise. use. Additionally, the enterprise client base is supporting client diversity and to maximize rapidly diversifying—from the introduction of employee productivity, Intel VT and third- Over time, employees who experienced new handheld devices such as smartphones, party virtualization software are providing a productivity gains working on Macs continued personal digital assistants (PDAs), and useful and cost-effective bridge between the to use them, while those for whom it was netbooks to Linux- and Mac OS X-based homogeneous Microsoft Windows-centric not a good fit returned them. Employees who PCs. Moving forward, it is imperative that we enterprise application base and the growing see the most benefit from using a Mac in the evolve our application base to support this multi-supplier client OS and platform base that Intel environment include: increased client diversity. employees want to use. Using virtualization • Those who are more productive using Mac technologies, we have been able to more OS X. This can include people with specific Supporting Mac Users rapidly adapt to the needs of enterprise users physical limitations, new employees with Historically, supporting Mac users in an by allowing them to have a broader choice of no Microsoft Windows experience, and enterprise environment based on Microsoft client platforms. those who are primarily Mac users. Windows has been problematic. Two • Engineers using UNIX*, upon which Mac imperfect solutions arose: Implementing Virtualization OS X is based, in their daily work. Intel IT currently deploys Macs with multi- • Use a dual-boot configuration to core Intel® processors enabled with Intel VT. • Content developers working with graphics, switch between OSs. Since this required Intel VT allows Macs to run multiple OSs video creation, or video editing. a hard restart to access either OS, it was simultaneously: Typically, we use Mac OS X as • Those working directly or indirectly with an inefficient and inelegant answer to the host OS and a guest VM running an OS Apple, or involved in work that Apple heavily user needs. such as Linux, UNIX, or Microsoft Windows. influences—primarily in sales, marketing, and • Carry two notebooks—one a Mac, the As was seen in Figure 1, the Intel VT software development roles. other a PC. This meant twice the weight architecture inside the Mac host machine For these employees, using Macs greatly to carry for employees—and twice the enables third-party hypervisor technology to enhances their levels of productivity. However, expense to deploy and manage for Intel. map the client platform hardware resources they still need access to the enterprise tools Because there were no software applications directly to the VM. The result is a VM that and applications that help them to function on the Mac side to solve the issue, we could operates almost like a standalone computer. every day at Intel that only run in a Microsoft only offer these two options to Mac users— We performed minor updates to our standard Windows-based environment. other than providing no Microsoft Windows Microsoft Windows build so that it works access at all.
  3. 3. IT@Intel Brief inside the VM environment, which provides application in much the same way as any • Enhances business engagements. Using a seamless experience for users and Intel’s other native Mac application. virtualization to deploy Macs and other Service Desk agents: OSs provides the flexibility Intel needs to Because the virtualization software is loaded conduct business seamlessly—regardless of • Users have the same logon password, directly onto the client, unlike server-based which OS other companies may use. drivers, and security checks. desktop virtualization solutions, it does not require a network connection. This allows • Prepares us for other deployment • The user experience is the same as a Mac users to access Microsoft Windows while models. We expect that this experience physical PC so no training is required. offline or traveling. PC performance levels will shorten the development cycles for the • When OS or application problems arise with while working within the VM are far greater use of virtualization in the other aspects the VM, we use remote management and than users anticipated, nearly matching that of client platform management, including security patching—the same support we of standard-issue laptops with Microsoft situations in which employees receive a provide to physical PCs. Windows OS. stipend to buy their own computer for use Users see a window on their Mac desktop, as a corporate tool. much like any application window; it displays Benefits of Virtualization • Establishes methods for faster OS the Microsoft Windows desktop and provides The benefits of using virtualization to integrate migrations. One factor that slows OS access to any software loaded onto the VM. diverse client platforms into the enterprise, migrations in the enterprise is the need to Many of Intel’s Mac users enlarge this window summarized in Table 1, have been multifold. modify internal applications to work with to full screen and place it on a second We have also seen additional positive results: the new OS version. Client virtualization monitor. Unlike the prior dual-boot solution, provides a way to migrate the user base both OSs can run simultaneously and are • Simplifies support. As we began to to a new OS rapidly, and applications can equally accessible. There are also advanced investigate supporting Macs in our be revised on a more methodical schedule, usage modes that can make the Microsoft environment, we were not constrained thereby reducing costs. Windows desktop completely invisible while by legacy support models; this allowed us to develop a simplified model for Macs There is no noticeable impact to performance the Microsoft Windows-base application is tailored specifically to Mac OS X. if the host computer has sufficient memory— still visible within a Mac application window. more than 2 GB of RAM. Users interact with the Microsoft Windows Table 1. Benefits of Virtualization Benefit How was this helpful? Increased productivity New employees who are more familiar with Apple Macintosh* computers can ramp up immediately at Intel. One machine to access multiple OSs Mac users can access Microsoft Windows* without changing laptops or performing a hard reboot. Intel IT does not have to provide training Users only need to understand the concept of using a virtual machine (VM). Data protection If the guest OS crashes, the host OS is not affected. Multiple VMs More than one VM can be operated simultaneously if the host hardware is sufficiently robust. Support for many OS combinations Virtualization solutions can also be used for running Linux* or UNIX*.
  4. 4. Conclusion As the use of Mac OS X grows at Intel, we Integrating Apple Macintosh computers will continue to explore ways to support a AUTHORS into Intel’s computing environment has diverse client platform mix, providing more Jim Ferguson been a great success, enabled by Intel VT ways to enhance employee productivity Program Manager, Intel IT on Intel architecture. Each subsequent and satisfaction. To this end, Intel software developers are redesigning existing tools Patrick Salo generation of Intel® processor improves and applications to meet the challenge of Client Engineer, Intel IT the user experience and increases overall virtualization performance. deploying tools that are independent of OS and browser type. ACRONYMS Intel® VT Intel® Virtualization Technology PDA personal digital assistants VM virtual machine This paper is for informational purposes only. THIS DOCUMENT IS Intel and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the PROVIDED “AS IS” WITH NO WARRANTIES WHATSOEVER, INCLUDING U.S. and other countries. ANY WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY, NONINFRINGEMENT, FITNESS * Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others. FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR ANY WARRANTY OTHERWISE Copyright © 2009 Intel Corporation. All rights reserved. ARISING OUT OF ANY PROPOSAL, SPECIFICATION OR SAMPLE. Intel disclaims all liability, including liability for infringement of any proprietary Printed in USA Please Recycle rights, relating to use of information in this specification. No license, express 1209/JLG/KC/PDF 322689-001US or implied, by estoppel or otherwise, to any intellectual property rights is granted herein.