Parallels targets SMEs with IaaS automation offering


Virtualisation firm Parallels has announced the availability of Parallels Automation for Cloud Infrastructure (PACI).

PACI is the new cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) module of Parallels Automation, its cloud service provider offering.

It packages up operational and business support systems with integrated provisioning, billing, and self-service management features to enable service providers to offer easy-to-use cloud services to small and medium businesses (SMBs).

"Parallels Automation for Cloud Infrastructure enables service providers to deliver a wide range cloud infrastructure services for the diverse needs of SMBs," said Birger Steen, Parallels chief executive at a launch event in Singapore.

He added that he was pleased with the feedback from early adopters.

Parallels Automation for Cloud Infrastructure includes an integrated management panel for IT professionals to create, scale, and manage cloud-hosted infrastructure, virtual data centres and software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications.

The PACI module extends the IaaS service provider package with use-based pricing capabilities, access to application programming interfaces (APIs), a simplified end user interface and self-service provisioning and administration functionality.

It also provides access to complementary infrastructure services, such as CloudFlare for managed content delivery network (CDN) capabilities, and Scality for cloud storage management.

Roy Illsley, principal analyst at Ovum, told IT Pro's sister title Cloud Pro that the devil of this launch would be in the detail, but that according to the launch announcement seemed designed to cement its position with service providers and make it easy for them to deploy cloud-based SME services.

"If you look at the stats, public cloud is primarily used by SMEs in North America, who like to dip into it on an ad hoc basis, and Parallels has a good reputation among SMB service providers," he said.

"But, reading between the lines of the launch announcement, I wonder whether the desire for some Asia-Pacific countries, like Thailand and Malaysia, to technologically leapfrog their neighbours by encouraging homegrown SME cloud services, could be why it announced this in Singapore, the regional data centre hub," he added.

Illsley also said there seemed to be very little new technology basing it on an existing Parallel offering: "It seems more about the packaging and presumably the price point." Parallels had not replied to a request for more detail on pricing at the time of publication.

He concluded: "You have to remember that pricing is important in this market because margins are everything to the service providers. They need to be able to offer SMBs cost-effective solutions that will flex and grow to serve a variety of both technical and non-technical end users in an easier to consume format than say Amazon Web Services, for instance."

Parallels Automation for Cloud Infrastructure can be deployed on the new Parallels Server Bare Metal (PSBM), combining Parallels Virtuozzo Containers together with Parallels' own hypervisor technology, or any third-party virtualisation technology. PSBM also includes the latest release of Parallels Virtuozzo Containers for Linux (PVCfL v4.7), which is based on the latest Red Hat Linux 6 kernel, and features a new memory management scheme and IPv6 support.

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.