Parallels Launches Bare Metal Hypervisor


Parallels has launched a bare metal hypervisor, aimed at application service providers.

Parallels has launched a bare metal hypervisor, aimed at application service providers, designed to easily support multiple operating systems.

Parallels Server 4 Bare Metal uses the same basic technology as its desktop virtualisation products (read our review of Parallels Desktop 4.0) but, according to company CEO Serguei Beloussov, allows virtual machines containing a wide of operating systems to be installed on top of it.

This contrasts with the company’s existing technology, which uses containers, also called virtual environments rather than virtual machines, which share a copy of the underlying operating system.

Parallels said that the new hypervisor permits up to 12 virtual CPUs, 64GB virtual RAM, 2TB of virtual disk space and 16 virtual NICs per virtual machine. It also makes use of processor-assisted virtualisation features such as Intel Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O, FlexPriority, Extended Page Tables and Virtual Processor Identification.

According to Beloussov, “only Parallels and VMware support a broad set of operating systems – we even support OS/2 [what is OS/2?]. And we have three million virtual machines running on that hypervisor right now.”

As well as the hypervisor, the company has launched Parallels Virtuozzo Containers 4.5 for Windows, which adds support for Windows Server 2008 with or without Hyper-V. Additionally, Parallels announced Virtual Automation 4.5, which it described as “a comprehensive service automation and management tool that centralises management of physical and virtual environments, including containers and virtual machines.”

Deploying the new hypervisor, the automation tool allows administrators to bring new nodes online, provision and de-provision virtual environments, apply templates, monitor resource utilisation, and create workflows for self-service management., as well as download and develop virtual appliances, virtual machines and templates. The company said the benefits include lowering costs and the ability manage the infrastructure anywhere.

“Parallels has developed these products specifically to enable public and private cloud services,” said Beloussov.

Beloussov also pre-announced a version of the hypervisor for small and medium-sized businesses, with “typically a couple of dozen VMs,” said Beloussov. “It has to be simple in packaging and use and pricing. Ours is optimised for small business hardware – you don’t need SANs and large servers. The performance is significantly faster than VMware on smaller servers with simple disk arrays and with a small memory footprint such as 4-8GB.”

Beloussov didn’t say when the new SME product would be available, and prices of either product were also unavailable. SMEs are important to Parallels, as Beloussov told us in an interview that they will dominate the cloud.


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