Cisco invests in virtualization firm Parallels in cloud delivery boost

Cisco and Parallels will work closer together to bring jointly developed "go-to-market" products, after the networking giant injected an undisclosed cash investment into the virtualization and cloud provider's coffers.

Screen Shot 2013-01-17 at 10.11.02
Parallels 7 running Windows-based applications on OS X hardware. Credit: Parallels

Networking giant Cisco said today it has made an equity investment of 1 percent in virtualization firm Parallels for an undisclosed sum.

The investment is intended to improve collaboration between the two companies, in a bid to speed up Parallels' cloud service delivery products with Cisco's cloud and data center infrastructure solutions.

Parallels said that the stake sale does not rule out a possible initial public offering in the future.

Cisco's cash injection will support a number of jointly developed "go-to-market" products to deliver what the companies say are "industry-leading cloud service delivery capabilities."

As part of the deal, both companies have agreed to expand joint marketing, development and industry initiatives, the company said in a press release

Cisco vice-president of corporate business development Hilton Romanski said in prepared remarks:

Cisco is continuing its commitment to technology development and innovation through strategic investments. In collaboration with Parallels, we are focused on offering a more efficient and easier-to-use cloud services delivery model for service providers. We are particularly excited about Parallels global presence -- including its operations in Russia -- which affords Cisco a continued opportunity to fuel innovation there and around the world.

Parallels is a leading firm in hosting and cloud service products, but is more widely known for its desktop virtualization software. The software, designed for both businesses and consumers in mind, competes with Citrix, VMware, and Microsoft virtualization products, among others, to allow end-users to run various different operating systems and applications on their machines, including Windows and Macs, without the need for rebooting.

Most consumers will be more aware that it can allow the Windows applications to run on the Mac desktop in "Coherence" mode -- similar to Windows XP Mode on Windows 7.

Parallels chief executive Birger Steen added to Romanski's prepared remarks:

Parallels is committed to enabling our service provider customers to offer the most comprehensive, seamless and flexible set of cloud services for their SMB end-users. By strengthening our collaboration with Cisco, Parallels is focused on accelerating its growth and offering an end-to-end solution for cloud service providers.