In March 2015, Parallels divided its company more explicitly into two distinct brands and business divisions — Parallels for the cross-platform solutions (focused on end-user support and application delivery) and Odin (focused on service providers, for hosting and cloud automation, Web management, and cloud infrastructure). While still a part of Parallels, Odin will function as a separate, wholly owned business. Within Odin, the Parallels Cloud Server offering was rebranded to Virtuozzo — in many ways, re-embracing the company’s virtualization and container foundation. Odin targets service providers that serve small or midsize business customers — a loyal, viable and expanding community for the company. Additionally, Odin is the major driving force behind OpenVZ and has been working closely with Docker and Google on container standards. Given Parallel’s track record with containers, more than one million container instances deployed and new compatibility with Docker, Odin has the potential to expand its service provider value and market reach.
Virtuozzo allows applications to run in lightweight, separate containers, offering processor affinity and memory protection and isolation. Compared with hypervisor-based solutions, the Virtuozzo containers offering enables much higher server densities and can reduce OS software and administration costs. Virtuozzo containers also offer portability and live workload migration. The whole architecture of containers enables a workload and container to spin up faster and with less performance overhead than VM solutions. For those customers who prefer to manage their own OS, Virtuozzo hypervisor enables service providers to offer traditional VMs on the same physical node as containers. Virtuozzo storage enables a complete high-availability solution on commodity hardware by creating a cloud storage pool from existing server hard drives.
Odin is positioned well for service providers that are competing with very large service providers for midmarket enterprise customers. Virtuozzo is used on-premises by only a handful of large enterprises; Odin is very focused on the service provider market. However, it sees potential to expand its adoption by enterprises through service providers due to its robust support of containers.
Odin offers the best solution for service providers building high-density and isolated solutions around common workloads, such as Web services. As the Docker and container phenomenon grows, Odin has a head start on competitors, but as every major cloud provider begins to offer container support, and as every major hypervisor vendor adds container support to its portfolio, Odin will be challenged to maintain its lead.
- Odin has deep and proven experience in robust container and container management technology.
- Odin has a large and committed service provider installed base.
- The strong mix of containers, a hypervisor, storage virtualization and cloud management leads providers to a low-cost, high-performance alternative.
- The re-emergence of the container market will also create competitive challenges as providers and virtualization vendors invest heavily in alternate container technologies.
- Odin’s focus on service providers limits its hybrid cloud adoption by enterprises (except through Docker interoperability).
- Odin relies on a service provider market that is under extreme price pressure from very large cloud providers.