SWsoft goes shopping for SaaS and virtualisation assets

Software vendor SWsoft, best known for its spin-off Parallels virtualisation software for Apple's Mac OS, has announced three acquisitions along with a partnership with Intel to further develop its hosted and virtualisation software ambitions.

SWsoft chief executive, Serguei Beloussov told IT PRO that the company's recent acquisitive and partnering activities would build converging hosted and virtualisation strategies.

Late last week the company bought Sphera to help bolster its software-as-a-service (SaaS) hosting business with independent software vendors (ISVs).

Sphera provides automation, provisioning, virtualisation and management software for hosting companies, telecoms and enterprises that reduces the need for additional development to turn traditional applications into SaaS offerings.

SWsoft will merge Sphera's products with its automation software business in order to tap the $10.7 billion (5.4 billion) SaaS software market revenues predicted in the next two years by analyst IDC.

The vendor also purchased the assets of the Positive Software (PSOFT) automation division of Comodo, including its H-Sphere control panel software. As part of the agreement, SWsoft will resell Comodo security products, including SSL certificates, with its automation solutions.

This deal supports SWsoft's 'Open Fusion' technology initiative to improve heterogeneous integration and optimised delivery of traditional and SaaS, ISV software delivery by expanding the number of customers who benefit from ISV applications that are integrated through a common hosting platform and extending its automation capabilities and support resources to PSOFT customers.

The PSOFT product portfolio includes the H-Sphere control panel, H-Sphere Single Server Edition, CP+ dedicated server management, SiteStudio website builder, NOC Monkey remote server provisioning and the Linux-based free virtual private server (VPS) solution.

The PSOFT portfolio will be merged with SWsoft's set of automation solutions that includes Plesk server and PEM data centre automation tools. They will also complement the Ensim Pro server automation software that makes up part of third and final SWsoft buy.

The vendor has purchased the Ensim Pro software automation business from the California-based Ensim Corporation, which will remain an independent entity, separate from the virtualisation vendor.

Beloussov said this acquisition would also assist SWsoft in extending its Open Fusion and Application Packaging Standard (APS) initiatives as part of its efforts to snag more ISVs and service providers looking for SaaS and hosted application market share.

In a busy few days for the vendor, it also announced that it is collaborating with Intel to deliver new workstation and client use models to accelerate adoption of virtualisation in production desktop environments.

The companies will work together at an engineering level to develop and implement workstation and desktop technologies, including Intel Virtualisation Technology for Directed I/O (Intel VT-d) and Intel Trusted Execution Technology (Intel TXT). They will also work together with major original equipment hardware manufacturers (OEMs) and ISVs to develop virtualisation-powered workstation and client-based offerings.

To demonstrate the partnership's early success the companies also unveiled early results of their engineering collaboration by demonstrating SWsoft's Parallels virtualisation technologies running on both Intel VT-d and Intel TXT at the Intel Developer Forum, held this week in San Francisco.

Beloussov said SWsoft intends to become the industry's first virtualisation software vendor to provide support for VT-d and TXT in clients and workstations.

Financial details of the acquisitions were not disclosed.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.