Parallels Summit 2011

I'm back in Orlando to attend Parallels' Summit 2011. So far, the biggest challenge was finding the unlocked entrance at the Gaylord Palms resort.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor

I'm back in Orlando to attend Parallels' Summit 2011. So far, the biggest challenge was finding the unlocked entrance at the Gaylord Palms resort. On my way from the guest parking lot, I found three doors marked entrance. All but one of them was locked.

5:30 AM

I hope to hear from the following folks:

  • Peter Bauert, Parallels COO and CFO
  • Craig Bartholomew, VP of Parallels' Plesk Panel group
  • Amir Sharif, VP of Parallels virtualization group
  • Oleg Melinikov, VP of Parallels automation group
  • John Zanni, VP of Parallels' partnerships and alliances group
  • Sergue Beloussov, Parallels Chairman and CEO

I'm looking forward to learning a bit about Parallel's plans for the coming year.

Initial thoughts
Parallels is a player in a number of different areas including virtual machine technology, management of virtualized environments and tools for hosting and cloud services suppliers. It will be interesting to hear how they intend to find synergies across consumer virtualization products, enterprise virtualization and management products, and hosting/cloud computing supplier products.

7:50 AM

The Gaylord Palms reminds me of the original Adventure game (also known as the Colossal Cave Game) I played on PDP-10s, PDP-11s and early VAX computers. I keep thinking:

  • Little maze of twisting passages
  • Little maze of twisty passages
  • Little twisty maze of passages
  • Maze of little twisting passages
  • Maze of little twisty passages
  • Maze of twisting little passages
  • Maze of twisty little passages
  • Twisting little maze of passages
  • Twisting maze of little passages
  • Twisty little maze of passages
  • Twisty maze of little passages

The hotel complex is composed of a number of buildings that often interconnect in strange ways. While trying to find the analyst room, I walked through three different buildings, rode up and down escalators only to find that the room was deserted. I then searched for the registration desk that was supposed to be open at 8 AM. I found a person there that said that registration wasn't set up yet and to come back at 10 AM.

After I found the right elevator in the right building, I was able to go up to the room where Parallels' analyst day was scheduled to occur. It was also empty.

Eventually John Eng, VP Marketing and Business development for Parallels, happened by and told me that Analyst day had been moved. I haven't spoken with him for a number of years. It was good to finally see a familar face.  He told me that analyst day had been moved - it was to be in the first room I visited on the lower level of the building I was now in.

I'll trudge back in that direction and only hope that the cleaning crew hasn't picked up the trail of business cards I left while coming up to the fourth floor!

8:15 AM

It appears that I'm in the right room now.  I was informed that a message had gone out on Friday telling of the room change. I didn't get it.

10:15 AM

Birger Steen and Jack Zubarev discussed where Parallels is today and where they're planning to go. It is clear that the company's areas of focus are desktop virtualization and "cloud enablement for SMBs." The company will continue to focus strongly on traditional hosting companies. It will increase its focus on communications services providers and VARs, ISVs and Distributors.

Jack also quickly reviewed Parallels current products:

  • Control Panels - Parallels Panel for customers and channels
  • Provisioning - Parallels Operation Automation
  • Billing - Parallels Business Automation
  • Virtualization - Parallels Containers and Parallels Server Bare Metal

He suggested that Parallels enables Web presence and Web applications, messaging and collaboration, infrastructure and software as a service offerings.  All-in-all, the company is trying to provide channel-ready tools making cloud computing easy for small to medium businesses.

11:00 AM

Craig Martholomew, Parallels VP of Panel Products, reviewed the features of Plesk Panel 10.  This appears to be a useful update for hosters.  The new product will be easier to use, support denser environments and will, generally, be more flexible.

Plesk supports Windows, Ubuntu, Debian, OpenSuSE, Fedora and a few others.

It was amazing to watch Craig flew through an hour presentation in 30 minutes (he was tasked with bringing us back to the schedule) and was still able to make it interesting and clear.

11:30 AM

Amir Sharif, Parallels VP of Virtualization Products, spoke about the company's plans for virtualization and cloud infrastructure. He stressed that the company is hypervisor agnostic. He also pointed out that the future is really containers rather than virtual machines.  If everything is running under a single operating system, an operating system virtualization/partioning (container) approach is far more efficient. It also would be a more profitable approach for Parallels target customer.

It is clear that this part of Parallels is also tightly focused on "cloud enablement" and intends to build and offer tools to allow their channel partners to offer  "click and buy" cloud infrastructure products to their customers.

More later.

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