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SWsoft tries to virtualize China before VMware speaks the language

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Virtualization player SWsoft hopes to continue its Chinese invasion via a new deal with local hardware heavyweight Inspur.

While the likes of IBM, HP and Dell sell more servers in China, Inspur ranks as the top homegrown seller of corporate hardware. The company has now agreed to add a virtualization software component to its arsenal by pre-installing and/or reselling SWsoft's Virtuozzo package. Such a deal could be a win for SWsoft as it looks to gain ground in a market where VMware has yet to establish a dominant presence.

SWsoft first started hawking its unique, non-hypervisor based virtualization software in China back in late 2005. It has seen 300 per cent growth in the past two years with software localized (simplified and traditional Chinese) for the Chinese market, according to SWsoft CEO Serguei Beloussov.

Beloussov sees the deal with Inspur and focus on China as a continuation of SWsoft's 'do what VMware isn't' strategy.

"If you think about it, we always try to compete with VMware by going places VMware is not," Beloussov told us. "We did software for the Mac, service providers, specific workloads and specific geographies."

Virtuozzo differs from products such as ESX Server from VMware, Xen and Microsoft's upcoming "Viridian" software in that it does not rely on a hypervisor layer. Instead, the product takes a single copy of the operating system and carves that up into multiple containers that run applications in an isolated fashion. This approach has a number of merits since it requires fewer operating system licenses and is relatively easy on system resources.

Sun Microsystems offers very similar software through its Solaris containers.

Moving forward, however, SWsoft will introduce a hypervisor-based platform as well. It plans to ship a production version of Parallels Server early next year.

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