Parallels and Quest - a different approach to desktop virtualization

Parallels and Quest Software have teamed up to offer a different approach to desktop virtualization, one based upon operating system virtualization and partitioning rather than virtual machine software.  What was announced Here's what Parallels and Quest said about their joint announcement:Quest Software and Parallels Inc.

Parallels and Quest Software have teamed up to offer a different approach to desktop virtualization, one based upon operating system virtualization and partitioning rather than virtual machine software.

 What was announced

Here's what Parallels and Quest said about their joint announcement:
Quest Software and Parallels Inc. to Deliver a Unique Bundled Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Solution
  • Combines Parallels Virtuozzo and Quest's Provision Networks Virtual Access Suite
  • Delivers the centralized benefits of desktop virtualization, such as security, isolation, rapid provisioning and high availability
  • Provides unique benefits of higher scalability and consolidation versus hardware virtualization platforms
  • Provides for dramatically simpler image management with one image per server
  • Delivers lower TCO and higher ROI
  • New co-marketed bundle brings greenest desktop computing architecture to market
  • Priced at $140 per concurrent desktop connection, making it economically appealing
  • Available immediately through both companies' sales and distribution channels

Snapshot Analysis

Nearly all of competitive virtual desktop solutions are based upon the use of virtual machine software and virtual access software. This, of course, means that every virtual desktop image has its own operating system, application software and storage. This approach can be quite wasteful if all of the applications are supported by the same operating system.

Parallel's Virtuozzo uses a different approach, an approach that is very similar to the operating system virtualization partitoning approach offered by the midrange UNIX operating systems. A single operating system's resources are partitioned and each virtual desktop uses the resources of that single operating system. This approach, when it can be applied, offers a number of benefits including:

  • More efficient use of system memory and storage
  • Reduced costs of installation, operations and updates (after all, there's only a single operating system per physical system to manage)
  • Physcial systems can often support more virtual desktops
  • Cost per desktop can be significantly reduced
Organizations needing a high performance, simple approach to desktop virtualization ought to be aware of this solution.

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