Linux AppleApple server fans and open source fanatics are about to engage in a group hug, The VAR Guy has learned. It will soon be easier to run Mac OS X and Linux side-by-side on Apple servers. How will this magic occur? The answer will surface at Macworld Expo January 14 in San Francisco. Here's what to expect.

At the event, Parallels will launch Parallels Server for Mac, Windows and Linux. The VAR Guy broke news about this Linux-friendly version of Parallels way back in March 2007.

The current Parallels software has been a wildly popular option for running Mac OS X and Windows on Apple desktops and laptops. In fact, Parallels for the Mac surpassed 650,000 licenses sold in September.

Now Parallels is setting its sights on the server. Sources close to the company say Parallels Server for Mac, Windows and Linux will initially target departmental systems. That could be particularly good news for universities, which often run open source software on their Mac servers.

Also at Macworld, Parallels will offer a sneak peak at the next version of Parallels Desktop for the Mac, along with a look at "at the never-before-seen, industry-first technology" that will debut at the show. Hmmm. The VAR Guy doesn't know what that clue means. But at least Parallels Server for Mac, Windows and Linux is finally here.

Sure, traditional PC companies like Dell, Hewlett-Packard and IBM continue to dominate the server space. But Parallels could give Apple and its solutions providers a timely lift in the server space.