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By Odin, Parallels thinks cloud service providers should buy Odin

Virty vendor's automation biz ascends to Valhalla

Parallels is changing its branding again – partly – this time to help customers better distinguish between its virtualization software and service provider businesses.

The desktop virtualization and management side of the company will be keeping the Parallels brand. But the service provider side – which offers automation, management, and infrastructure services for cloud hosting providers – will henceforth be known as Odin.

"While the name Parallels suited our team when our primary products featured desktop and server virtualization software, we have since grown to provide a wider range of products to different target audiences," the company explained in a blog post on Wednesday.

This isn't the first time the company has switched around its branding. It began life in 1997 under the name SWsoft, but changed its name in 2008 to Parallels, the same name as its popular desktop virtualization software.

Desktop virtualization isn't really the company's bag these days, though. Increasingly it has focused on marketing automation software to help cloud providers deploy virtual machines and other online services and bill customers for them.

So while Parallels isn't splitting into two companies – not yet, anyway – the Parallels brand will now only apply to the desktop virtualization software, while the service provider tools will be marketed as Odin.

The change means we'll also see the return of another name we haven't heard in a while: Virtuozzo. Parallels has been marketing the virtualization software – which was doing containers long before current container darling Docker – under the name Parallels Cloud Server lately, but it will revert to its original branding following the Odin switcheroo.

Likewise, Parallels Plesk Panel will become Plesk and Parallels Plesk Automation will be known simply as Plesk Automation. Parallels Automation, Business Automation Standard, and Automation for Cloud Infrastructure will just swap the Parallels name for Odin.

So why Odin? Quoth the company:

In Norse mythology, Odin is a god known for being a seeker and giver of wisdom. He's a complex guy, with many different characteristics along with a strong association with magic. Like Odin's multiple personality aspects, we can't be defined by a single trait or one product. Instead, we offer a variety of software and tools that allow our partners to succeed at any scale.

Parallels says it will update its products' user interfaces and documentation to reflect the branding overhaul over the coming months and future product releases. ®

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