An announcement when out last week that Parallels and HP have chosen to collaborate and offer Parallels Virtuozzo Containers to HP Integrity server customers. The goal of this partnership is to help HP's customers make the most efficient use of the power of HP's Integrity line all the way up to the 64-processor HP Integrity Superdome. The approach Parallels and HP are working together to present would be a highly efficient way to run multiple Windows or Linux workloads on a single machine.
Here's what the companies have to say about this announcement.
With Parallels Virtuozzo Containers, users can run simultaneous, isolated workloads in virtual servers or “containers.” These containers scale to the full resources of the underlying hardware, and dynamic workload capabilities enable users to allocate system resources to each container on-the-fly. This means HP Integrity servers can be virtualized for greater utilization, enabling users to get a higher return on investment from their hardware, and making container virtualization a truly valuable approach for consolidating performance-sensitive Windows and Linux workloads in the enterprise.
Parallels Virtuozzo Containers supports both Windows and Linux clustering, enabling customers to deploy multiple passive cluster containers on a single back-up hardware node. By deploying the technology in a cluster consolidation project, customers can achieve higher ROI on their hardware investment.
Snapshot AnalysisOften times, organizations who have embarked on the journey towards a more virtualized environment choose to assign Windows tasks to one or more machines that support only Windows tasks. They do the same thing for Linux and UNIX workloads. This approach can reduce the costs of administration and operations. After all, IT staff members only need to be expert in the use of a single operating system.
Parallels would make the point that selecting virtual machine technology to create virtual Windows or Linux environments on a single machine may not be the best approach. In Parallel's view, it would be far better to utilize operating system virtualization/partitioning software, such as their Parallels Containers.
When operating system virtualization/partition technology is selected, only a single copy of an operating system, such as Windows or Linux, needs to be run on a machine. The resources of this single operating system are then shared among independent, isolated workloads. This is different from the use of virtual machine software. Virtual machine software requires that each workload have its own operating system. Since the host system isn't having to carry the load of multiple operating systems, the systems will run more efficiently and applications are likely to perform better.
This, by the way, is the reason that many hosting companies have selected Virtuozzo Containers rather than a virtual machine technology to support their multi-tenent environments. The hosting companies simply can use more of the processing power they've purchased to support paying customers.
I've long been a proponent of stepping back to create an overall architecture for an organization's dynamic datacenter rather than selecting a single technology and blindly deploying it everywhere. If an organization has chosen to segment their servers by workload operating system, Parallels Virtuozzo Containers is likely to be a better, more efficient tool than using virtual machine software.