SMBs Will Be The Dominant Market In The Cloud, Says Parallels

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Head of automation and virtualisation software company, Parallels is betting big on the cloud. But Serguei Beloussov says operating system consolidation and standards will be key.

Virtualisation company Parallels may still be best known for its Mac desktop product, but the company’s main focus is on cloud computing, says its outspoken chairman and chief executive, Serguei Beloussov – and in particular, serving cloud providers that deal with smaller companies.

“If you look at our company, we’ve become more and more clear about what we do,” he told eWEEK Europe. “The main thing we do primarily is provide technologies for cloud computing infrastructures for providers to SMBs [small-to-medium businesses], like 1and1 and Pipex across Europe.

“But we also have two other interests, the first is server virtualisation and the other is desktop virtualisation. Server virtualisation is the more historical side of our business, but desktop virtualisation is really beginning to gain some traction,” he continued, hinting at a key alliance in the pipeline. “With Ubuntu, we can do two things,” he explained.

“If you look at cloud computing and you look at my partners, who probably have about $8-10 billion (£4.8-£6.1 billion) in revenue, only 20 percent of that is Windows-enabled and 80 percent is Linux. But there’s not just one kind of commercial Linux – Red Hat is totally focused on the large enterprise market; Novell is not executing particularly well – they have $1 billion in software revenue and don’t make any profit. The point is that we have to find a well-founded vendor that can provide Linux consolidation in the cloud,” Beloussov said.

Finding an infrastructure management niche

He went further: “We don’t want to provide Linux for the cloud ourselves – we are not a platform company – we’re an infrastructure management company. And so, we hope that we can do something with Ubuntu, which is a very active player and has a good team. Ubuntu is interested, they are already a partner and resell our products, but it’s never been strategic.

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“In addition to that, we have a new product that’s been getting a lot of traction called Parallels Workstation 4.0 Extreme, which is aimed at high-end workstations. And Ubuntu is known for desktop Linux, making them also potentially good partners in that space. Both of those spaces are non-strategic for Red Hat. In fact, it’s funny, if you look at both spaces, they are mostly Linux-based. But if you look for a single OS [operating system], you find largely Windows, where Windows has one OS and Linux has, like 40. So there’s massive potential for consolidation there and hopefully Ubuntu can be the one.”

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