Long, long before Docker made containers the cool server application virtualization tool, Parallels was making container technology work for enterprises with the commercial Virtiozzo and the open-source OpenVZ project. Now Parallels will be adding native support for Docker as well to the next version of its Parallels Cloud Server.
With this, the company claims:
Service providers can deliver container-based virtual private servers to the growing number of developers building Docker applications. Parallels Cloud Server will offer a secure and high-density virtual server environment that equips service providers to compete with large public cloud providers on price and performance in this rapidly emerging market.
Given Parallels' proven track record, there's every reason to believe that they'll deliver on this promise.
"Service providers want to meet the needs of customers and customers want to run Docker applications,""said James Bottomley, Parallels' CTO of virtualization, in a statement.
A challenge customers face today is running Docker images in a virtualized environment based on a hypervisor. This takes a core benefit of Docker - that the applications run in containers at higher density and performance - and reduces that benefit considerably. With Parallels solution, the service provider can offer the customer an environment where Docker is running on top of Parallels Cloud Server containers-based virtual machines for optimal performance and at high-density.
If this sounds familiar, it should. This is a variation of the path that CoreOS, Canonical with Ubuntu Core and Red Hat with Project Atomic are also taking. One key difference is that Parallels has been running containers on top of Linux for years.
Parallels claims that:
Service providers have made Parallels containers the most deployed in the world with over one million instances, establishing Parallels container-based products as proven alternatives to hypervisor-based virtual machines. These service providers can now quickly launch offers supporting Docker developers while maintaining the management tools and expertise they have developed on their Parallels platform. For service providers and others new to containers-based virtualization, the new Docker support makes Parallels Cloud Server a compelling solution as a scalable and proven platform for expanded offerings from virtual private server (VPS) to managed Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud.
With Docker added to the Parallels recipe, I can see Parallels taking a lead in the new data center and cloud market segment of thin-server operating system stacks plus containers. This Parallels Cloud Server update will be available in the first quarter of 2015.