Parallels Integrates Macs with Microsoft System Center

Michael Vizard

One of the more time-consuming tasks within any IT organization is managing Apple Macintosh systems, especially in environments where the dominant system in use is Microsoft Windows.

In a move that should make Apple Macintosh systems more palatable to the IT department, Parallels today released Parallels Management, a plug-in for Microsoft System Center Configuration Management (SCCM), which extends the management framework for managing Windows systems out to the Apple Macintosh. The Parallels Management plug-in supports both Microsoft System Center 2007 and 2012 editions.

In an era where IT organizations either are required to support both Windows and Apple Macintosh systems or are simply seeing more of them because of the BYOD phenomenon, the preferred path of least resistance for many IT organizations is to extend their existing IT management frameworks out to support multiple devices.

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Unfortunately, that’s been a bit difficult with the Apple Macintosh, resulting in a lot of manual support processes. In fact, a recent Parallels survey of more than 500 IT and knowledge workers found that less than 30 percent of workers get automatic software updates distributed to their Macintosh, and that more than 42 percent of large companies have no system or tools in place for Macintosh security and management.

Kim Johnston, vice president of marketing for Parallels, says the Parallels Management plug-in, which includes support for Parallels Desktop for Mac Enterprise Edition virtual machine software, makes it a lot simpler to support Macintoshes within enterprise IT environments.

Fresh off an equity investment from Cisco, Parallels is trying to move beyond being a tool deployed by end users to run Windows as a guest operating system on a Macintosh to one that enables IT organizations to centrally manage the Macintosh as a peer to any Windows system in the enterprise. In theory, that should lead to less resistance to the Macintosh in the enterprise because from an IT management perspective, Windows and Macintosh systems are finally equal.



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