SWsoft renames itself Parallels

Virtualization company will name its server virtualization and management products after its Parallels software to run Windows on Apple machines.

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Correction, 3:40 p.m. PST Wednesday: This posting misstated Parallels' beta testing plans. Virtuozzo 4.0's first release candidate just entered testing.

SWsoft, a start-up selling the Virtuozzo server virtualization software, has renamed itself Parallels after a product line better known among consumers that lets Windows run on Intel-based Macs.

"When we talk to partners, media, analysts, the channel, and customers, we need to deliver a simple and unified vision. We need to look like a company which has products that fit together well," said Chief Executive Serguei Beloussov. SWsoft didn't initially disclose that its two main product lines, Virtuozzo and Parallels, were run by the same company.

In addition, the company is branding its virtualization and management products under the umbrella term Optimized Computing.

Virtuozzo uses a technology generally called containers that splits a single instance of an operating system into different compartments for higher-level software, isolating different applications to an extent. For Linux, it's based on the open-source OpenVZ technology, but Virtuozzo also is available for Windows.

One popular application is among Web hosting firms that want to run multiple clients' Web sites from the same server. The Virtuozzo name gradually will be replaced with a Parallels-based name, likely Parallels Container, Beloussov said, and the management software products will follow suit.

Parallels, in contrast, uses lower-level partitioning software that lets an entirely separate operating system run as a guest atop another operating system. And the company is working on another product, to be called Parallels Server, "hypervisor" software that runs as a foundation to multiple operating systems.

Parallels Server is due to enter beta testing in the next month, with general availability in the spring, the company said. Meanwhile, the company began beta testing the first release candidate of Virtuozzo 4.0 on Monday; the final version is due in January.

Also coming next year will be the Parallels Workstation products for Linux and Windows, he said.

SWsoft's main competitor is market leader VMware, though open-source Xen and KVM projects also are on the list. More specifically, the Parallels line got some new competition this year when VMware introduced its own Windows-on-Mac product called Fusion.

The Fusion debut "decreased our growth," Beloussov said. "Definitely, VMware has taken some of the market. The price is officially the same (as Parallels), but they spend a lot of money on marketing. Their effective retail price is half our price."

SWsoft annual revenue has more than doubled in the last year, Beloussov said. The company has 900 people worldwide, a 50 percent increase over the last year.