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Parallels goes open source, wants OpenStack’s help to penetrate enterprise

Jodi Smith - April 03, 2015

parallels open source containers
Thanks to Docker’s success evangelizing the use of containers, Parallels has decided to open source its container product suite, stop developing its proprietary hypervisor and adopt KVM, and focus its development resources on driving containers forward to both service providers and enterprises, with OpenStack’s help.

Parallels has deep roots in containers—the firm has been working on proprietary Linux container technology since 1999, and though the open source community hasn’t been a big fan of its approach, companies have been using Parallels products in real ways for a long time.

"We are transitioning to a fully open source business model for our entire containers product suite, called Virtuozzo,” said James Bottomley, CTO of Server Virtualization for Parallels. “We’re going to make money like Red Hat does on the up-sell of support and added services."

Bottomley made these comments in an OpenStack Foundation board meeting today. Parallels is applying for gold membership in the organization—again. The board rejected its first attempt, and Parallels joined as a corporate supporter instead.

“For us, the turning point was really Docker,”  Bottomley said. “To service providers, containers are fairly essential technology. Now, thanks to Docker, the enterprise is seeing containers as essential technology. I’m happy to say we are abandoning our proprietary hypervisor, and moving an open source one ... it will be KVM, and we will concentrate all our development resources on driving containers forward, and what we aim to do is drive a wedge between containers and hypervisors, so containers become a technology that can stand up on their own right in the virtualization space with a lot of use cases that expand beyond Docker."

Parallels recently spun out its service provider business and has named it Odin. Today, Bottomley kept referring to the company as Parallels, hence the reference to Parallels.

What do you think about the change in strategy for Parallels Virtuozzo? Will the community support it? Do you have questions for James Bottomley about this change? We’re interviewing him next week and will pass on the best of your questions. Submit them in the comments below, tweet them to us at @MirantisIT, or email

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