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Virtualizer SWsoft To Unveil Free Microsoft Support

More Moves On VMware

  • February 19, 2007
  • By Jacqueline Emigh

On Tuesday, SWsoft will fortify current efforts to challenge virtualization software leader VMware by announcing 24-by-7 support in which customers will contact SWsoft for support for Windows applications running on SWsoft's Virtuozzo software and SWsoft will work with Microsoft support to resolve any issues on the customer's behalf.

Geared to enterprise and hosting customers operating Virtuozzo for Windows Server, the support from Microsoft will come with all levels of Virtuozzo support from SWsoft, at no extra charge to customers. But in a drive to make a bigger dent in the virtualization market, SWSoft also has other plans in place for both Virtuozzo and it Parallels desktop virtualization software.

"Our ultimate vision is aggressive," conceded Kurt O. Daniel, SWsoft's VP of marketing and alliances, during a meeting with LinuxPlanet at last week's LinuxWorld OpenSolutions show in New York.

"We want to create a 'one-stop shop' for virtualization, from the consumer to the enterprise," Daniel said. This environment will span Linux, Windows, and MacOS--an operating system already supported by Parallels--in addition to other platforms.

As a key plank of the roadmap, he said, SWsoft will produce tools for centralized management of Virtuozzo's operating system virtualization, Parallels' desktop virtual machine (VM) technology, and other virtualization software, such as Xen and virtualization software from VMware and Microsoft, for instance.

It was only in early January of this year that SWsoft acknowledged majority ownership of Parallels, although the deal for that start-up was actually forged three years ago. But now, SWsoft is also readying a server edition of Parallels, according to Daniel.

Meanwhile, the Virtuozzo support from Microsoft to be rolled out on Tuesday is part of a new three-year deal between SWsoft and Microsoft. "Right now, [the agreement] is for support," he told LinuxPlanet.

"First and foremost, SWsoft wants to provide its customers with a seamless point of contact for support, [for] a better overall customer experience. We think this will help to accelerate Virtuozzo's customer momentum," he contended.

SWsoft's management tools are slated for release this summer. The server edition of Parallels is also targeted for later this year, although a more specific time frame hasn't yet been set.

Why does SWsoft plan a server edition of Parallels, when its Virtuozzo software already runs on servers, anyway? According to Daniel, it's a matter of choice.

Essentially, he said, Parallels tackles virtualization with technology somewhat along the lines of VMware, Xen, and Microsoft's hyperviser, "carving up" a server into multiple VMs capable of running multiple OS.

Virtuozzo, on the other hand, slices the PCs above the OS layer, so that multiple virtual servers can be produced from just a single instance of an OS. Daniel equated Virtuozzo's technology somewhat to Sun's container strategy for virtualization.

"But Sun's [container] technology is less mature, and nobody's using it on x86es," he charged.

Virtuozzo also incorporates technology advancements such as Linux kernel updates provided to SWsoft by OpenVZ, an open source server virtualization project sponsored by SWsoft.

Also during the meeting at OpenSolutions, Kir Kolyshin, OpenVZ's project manager, told LinuxPlanet that OpenVZ operates independently of SWsoft, making its own decisions.

Daniel told LinuxPlanet that he hasn't noticed competition at the moment for SWsoft's virtualization management agenda, with the exception of IBM's Virtualization Director and possibly software from "fledgling little companies" such as Cassatt and Opsware.

But Daniel also made it clear that SWsoft would like to achieve a stronger relationship with Microsoft in the future.

"We think [that the support deal with Microsoft] further validates the OS virtualization approach, and that [we will] increase our collaboration with Microsoft beyond support," Daniel maintained.

"Microsoft is SWsoft's best partner, and we see a lot of cooperation in the future with them, since the Virtuozzo architecture is something which works well with Microsoft."

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