This article is more than 1 year old

Odin (formerly Parallels) bets big on Docker and OpenStack

Virtuozzo to get native support for Docker

Junior virtualiser Parallels has split into two companies.

One company retains the Parallels name and will continue to sell desktop hypervisors for the Mac.

The other is called Odin, a reflection of CEO Berger Steen's Norwegian heritage but a brand he says was chosen because it represents wisdom and longevity. Odin gets the Virtuozzo virtualisation products, Plesk management tools and the job of working with service providers to help them offer services to their customers.

Steen's CEO of both companies and they share a back office, but staff have nearly all been put into one camp or the other.

The Parallels business will keep on doing what it does best, namely giving Mac owners a fine way to run Windows in a virtual machine. Steen reckons the company understands the nuances of doing this very well, so sees the imminent advent of VirtualBox 5.0 as a good thing because it will increase interest in desktop virtualisation. About 500,000 of Parallels customers are developers or technically-adept types, Steen estimates, and they may be interested in VirtualBox or BootCamp. The remainder appreciate the company's user-experience-centric approach to things and should stick around.

The desktop virtualisation business is pretty secure: there aren't a lot of players. But Odin's business working with service providers is another matter because its main offering is a platform that lets service providers create cloud services or software-as-a-service offerings they can sell to their clients.

Odin's Virtuozzo is a key part of that offering as it allows service providers to create several virtual servers that rely on a single instance of an operating system rather than having to run a hypervisor. Steen's plan is to introduce native Docker support to Virtuozzo so that service providers can use Odin's, or Docker's, method of containerising applications Steen thinks this will play well because Docker on Virtuozzo won't have the overhead of a hypervisor, a jab at Microsoft and VMware's plans to embrace docker within their own environments.

Steen also sees opportunities in OpenStack, which Odin this week joined as a Gold Member. The company's already hooked its billing layer into the open source cloud and has integrated Virtuozzo with Mirantis, Helion and Cisco's Intercloud. Work with IBM is under way, too.

Long story short, if a service provider wants to work with OpenStack, Steen plans to make sure Odin's kit integrates with it.

Odin also has a few enterprise server virtualisation clients and Steen said they should find it is business as usual in the newly-arranged company.

So is Odin a vendor of a vertical application, or an infrastructure vendor? Steen thinks it has to be both, because service providers need business functionality like billing and a server operations and management platform to get into the SaaS game.

As CEO, Steen of course thinks he's positioned the company to do just fine. Refreshingly, he's not boastful or contemplating unleashing a revolution.

Instead, he thinks that cloud giants like AWS and Azure will increase awareness of cloud but that smaller and specialist businesses will want to work with a local, targeted provider of cloud services rather than go down the route of working with a cloud that assumes one hires engages developers.

Let's not forget, dear readers, that Odin may be the all-father, but he struggles to control his unruly brood of children and fellow deities, then has rather a nasty time of it when Ragnarok rolls around. ®

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like