The deal allows Hewlett-Packard to sell and support Parallels' container virtualization technology with its Integrity servers.
Hewlett-Packard is bringing container virtualization to its Integrity server
On July 2, HP will begin selling and supporting Parallels' Virtuozzo virtualization
software within its Integrity line of servers that are built around Intel's
and include the company's massive Superdome systems.
While the HP Integrity line is mainly known to support the company's Unix
operating system, HP-UX, these servers also support Microsoft Windows Server
2008 and several variations of Linux. The Parallels Virtuozzo containers are
designed to work with both Windows and Linux.
In just the past few months,
HP has shown a willingness to incorporate a range of virtualization options
with its ProLiant line of x86-based servers, including embedded versions of
VMware's ESX Server and Citrix's XeServer hypervisor, which are embedded at the
factory level. HP's deal with Parallels gives the company a way to offer
customers more options with its high-end line of Integrity systems beyond the
virtualization capabilities found within the HP-UX operating system.
The deal also gives HP a way to counter the type of container virtualization
Sun Microsystems offers with its Solaris operating system that runs on the
company's SPARC and UltraSPARC processors. Along with Sun, HP and IBM
are fighting for market share within the Unix market, which IDC
estimated was worth about $4 billion in revenues
during the first quarter
Parallels, formerly SWsoft,
the deal with HP is a chance to have its
virtualization technology associated with one of the world's largest vendors as
it looks to distinguish itself in an increasingly crowded field that includes
VMware, Citrix and several others.
What makes Parallels' approach to virtualization different from what VMware
does with its hypervisor is the container technology. Unlike a hypervisor,
which divides a physical server into different virtual machines, the containers
partition the underlying operating system into different environments.
This approach can make it easier for IT departments to create virtual
environments within a physical server, since there is only one operating system
and one software stack instead of having different operating systems and
applications in various virtual machines.
Bryan Goode, director of Business Development for Parallels, said the
company had mainly focused on making Virtuozzo work with x86-base hardware. But
in 2007 the company decided to create an almost new version of the containers
that would work with Intel's Itanium chips.
The result of that development helped Parallels approach HP in January with
the technology and its ability to support the types of applications that are
used with Integrity, including financial transaction applications and databases.
"From a product point of view, it functions the same way as our x86
version," said Goode. "It [the Itanium version] has the same functionality as
our x86 version. The experience is the same, and a container is still a
container. I think what makes this unique is it's really the first
virtualization offering for people that have Windows or Linux and want to run
it on an Integrity platform."
The Parallels Virtuozzo containers will cost $4,500 per two processors, and
the Parallels Infrastructure Manager bundle costs $5,000. The Virtuozzo suite
does not currently integrate with HP's management software for Integrity.