Parallels integrates Macs with Microsoft SCCM, auto-installs VMs

Today, Parallels announced Parallels Management Suite for Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), new software that enables Microsoft SCCM to manage Macs along with Windows PCs. Parallels Management Suite also enables Microsoft SCCM to deploy and manage Parallels virtual machines on Mac clients.

The software consists of three parts, an “agent” that runs on each Mac, a “proxy” installed in Microsoft SCCM 2007 and 2012, and an SCCM console extension. With Parallels Management Suite installed, administrators can use SCCM to discover and list the Macs on the network as well as the hardware in each Mac. The Parallels suite also enables Mac software discovery within Microsoft SCCM, listing the version of OS X running as well as the installed applications.

Parallels Management Suite also enables administrators to use Microsoft SCCM to distribute Mac software to clients, execute remote scripts, and distribute OS X configuration profiles for arranging settings on the client Macs. Administrators can provide remote assistance to Mac users via SSH or VNC. The Parallels Management Suite enables SCCM administrators to perform these functions in the same way that they do on Windows PCs.

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Another major feature of the Parallels Management Suite is that it integrates the management of Windows virtual machines running on Macs with the management of Windows PCs. Administrators can install Parallels Desktop and Windows virtual machines on Macs on the network. Microsoft SCCM administrators can create a “configuration item” to define policies for Parallels virtual machine settings, which can then be sent out to client Macs. Administrators can create multiple base configurations for different departments within their organization. The virtual machine management features requires the Parallels Desktop Enterprise version of Parallels Desktop.

The company will begin selling Parallels Management Suite for Microsoft SCCM on January 31 for $30 per Mac per year, with volume discounts available, in the US. Parallels will introduce Canada with French, German and Japanese versions shortly afterward. Parallels Desktop Enterprise Edition is available now for $100 per Mac.

A company spokesperson said that Parallels also plans to release plugins that enable Microsoft SCCM to manage iOS and Android devices.

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