Parallels Sees Opportunities for Cloud Computing

by Sonal Desai    Jul 31, 2009

Virtualization provider - Parallels says companies in India, including biggies like Tata and Reliance Communications, are showing interest in cloud computing.
Parallels had announced its India foray in the last quarter of 2008. It is now establishing its cloud computing expertise in India.

The company established a sales and user support presence in India October 2008. The team will now support the growth of the industry and the demand for cloud bases services in the country, said Jan-Jaap Jager, general manager (APAC) in an exclusive interaction with CXOtoday.  Parallel’s APAC headquarters is in Singapore.

"Given the recent quick turns in the global economy, businesses are increasingly required to incorporate effective and cost-efficient infrastructures; and solutions to these infrastructures are most suitably answered by cloud-models," said Jager.

Parallels’ Operations Automation offers a SaaS solution that has been right-sized for cloud services providers targeting small/medium businesses. As an example, Open-Xchange’s email and collaboration software has been integrated with Parallels’ Operations Automation platform to deliver a cost-effective, business-class option to commercial email and collaboration products.

 "With the SaaS model, end-user customers subscribe to the application instead of purchasing them on a monthly basis. With this pay-as-you go model, customers have access to a valuable and flexible cost-effective service, which frees up clients’ resources.  The application also supports the application packaging standard (APS) allowing customers to instantly launch any APS-certified applications without additional development."

A number of developments have spurred the evolution of cloud computing since the failure of the application service providers that first tried to make the model successful in the late 90s.  At the time, the market was largely driven by start-ups, but over the past few years this has all changed with software giants such as Google and Microsoft investing more than a billion dollars per year into building cloud services.  Other major names are also playing a role in driving take up of cloud services; for example Amazon’s launch of its elastic compute cloud and Salesforce.com’s huge success with SaaS

Another significant development has been in the advancement and proliferation of the technology needed to make the cloud model workable on both the vendor and user sides.  On the vendor side, virtualization and automation technologies enable service providers to create and manage vast data centers of virtual private servers.  If they still had to rely purely on physical hardware, controlled in every aspect by IT administrators, the cost of operations would be crippling to the model.

Automation not only benefits vendors as "control panels" make more complex cloud services far easier to use for the end-customer as well.  In addition, the wide availability of bandwidth has made accessing services in the cloud practical and fast.  "As more consumer services have been offered this way, convenience has engendered trust, as seen with the example of tax returns.  Even though they involve very sensitive personal data, a significant proportion of UK tax returns are now filed online and this growing confidence is a major development in the take up of cloud computing," said Jager.

On the competition, Jager said that the greatest competitors for Parallels are found in silos of technology that typically address one audience or one technology need.   In the cloud services sector the main competition is in-house built solutions to enable the automation of Web services.  In the corporate data center there are both commercial and open source competitors that have point offerings for server consolidation, virtual desktop infrastructure, and internal clouds.

Related links:

Parallels to Grow Presence in APAC  
Parallels Inc. Forays in India