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Parallels to line up with Linux containers

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Parallels is working to bring its automation, security and management wares to the burgeoning world of Linux containerisation.

The junior virtualiser finds itself in an interesting position vis a vis Linux containers and Docker, because it has long described its own Virtuozzo product as offering containers. But Virtuozzo is closer to conventional virtualisation than containerisation, because it wraps an operating system rather than just an application.

With Docker popularising the idea that one operating system serving lots of apps in containers, and the likes of Google saying they use this trick dozens of times every minute, containers have become So Hot Right Now.

But as many are pointing out, most recently Cisco and Red Hat, Linux containers currently lack many of the niceties that makes it possible to use them in an enterprise environment

Parallels thinks the automation and management products it offers service providers, and the occasional CIO, could usefully be brought to bear making containers behave.

There's no firm news on just what it will offer, or when, but the company's senior director for global product marketing Elliot Curtis today told The Reg we should expect something more concrete before Christmas.

Also in the pipeline is the OpenStack support the company has been contemplating for some time. Parallels has surveyed its service provider customers and found just-about-all are keen on OpenStack for their future infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) needs. Curtis said Parallels will make sure it can provide those customers the automation layers needed to make OpenStack behave in an IaaS role, again by bringing the automation, billing and security things it already does well to the open source stack.

Parallels has partnered with Mirantis and the pair will work on the latter's OpenStack distribution to ready it for service providers. Again, expect more detailed news by year's end.

Another collaboration that is paying off for Parallels is with WordPress. The recently-released version 12 of Parallels' Plesk web management tool added features capable of patching multiple WordPress instances – and any add-ins they run – at once. For WordPress hosts that's a big deal because few automation tools are available for the blogging and content management platform.

Curtis said customers are responding well, as automated WordPress management gives them the chance to offer a managed service on rather better margins than are available for WordPress hosting alone. ®

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