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Privately held company
Industry Computer software
Genre Virtualization
Founded 1997
Headquarters Herndon, Virginia, USA
Key people

Serguei Beloussov, Chairman

Birger Steen, CEO
Products Virtuozzo
Parallels, Inc.
Number of employees
900 (2007)
Website www.swsoft.com

SWsoft was a privately held server automation and virtualization software company and the parent company of Parallels, Inc. SWsoft developed software for running data centers, particularly for web-hosting services companies, application service providers, and managed service providers. SWsoft products included applications for operating system-level virtualization, which enables users to run multiple operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and Solaris, on a single computer.

The company was founded in 1997 and maintained its headquarters in Herndon, Virginia with additional offices throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Its research and development offices were located in Moscow, Russia and it had sales offices in Germany and Singapore.[1]

In December 2007, SWsoft announced its plans to change its name to Parallels in 2008 and ship its products under the Parallels brand name.[2]

Company history[edit]

  • 1997 - SWsoft founded
  • 2001
  • 2003
    • SWsoft acquires automation firms Yippi-Yeah! E-Business GmbH (makers of Confixx) and Plesk Inc[4] (makers of Confixx and Plesk)
    • PEM datacenter released
    • Open Fusion launched[5]
  • 2004
  • 2007 - December 12: SWsoft announces that it will change its name to "Parallels" in 2008.[2]
  • 2007 - December: SWsoft acquires WebHostAutomation Ltd developers of HELM Control Panel.[10]
  • January 2008 - SWsoft officially becomes Parallels, Inc.


SWsoft’s virtualization software is predominantly used to automate data center and server management and to consolidate multiple servers onto one Windows- or Linux-based physical server. The company’s products are developed predominantly for web hosting companies, service providers, and corporations.

Although the company’s software reportedly uses fewer system resources because it does not require each virtualized server to have an independent operating system, its overall flexibility is limited. For example, each virtualized Virtuozzo server must have the same version of the same operating system, and when running Linux, the operating systems' kernel must be modified from the standard version.[11]

Open Fusion[edit]

Announced July 23, 2003, Open Fusion is an enterprise server consolidation program based on SWsoft's Virtuozzo virtualization and resource management software aimed at small- and medium-sized businesses.



Virtuozzo is an operating system-level server virtualization solution designed to centralize server management and consolidate workloads, which reduces overhead by reducing the number of physical servers required. Organizations use Virtuozzo for server consolidation, disaster recovery, and server workload agility. Virtuozzo does not generate a virtual machine that resides on a host OS so that users can run multiple operating systems. Instead it creates isolated virtual private servers (VPSs) on a single physical server. For instance, the software can run multiple Linux VPSs, but not Linux and Windows at the same time on the same server.[12] Each VPS performs exactly like a stand-alone server and can be rebooted independently.[13]

Virtuozzo for Linux became available in 2001 while a version that supports 32- and 64-bit microprocessors became available in 2005.[14] Linux architectures that support Virtuozzo for Linux are x86, ia64, AMD64, EM64T, and Itanium. Virtuozzo for Linux enables multiple Linux distributions to exist simultaneously on one server.[15] It is based on OpenVZ, a Linux-based OS-level virtualization technology, which allows a physical server to run multiple isolated operating system instances. In 2005, the company updated Virtuozzo to support 64-bit x86 processors.[16] Virtuozzo requires at least a Pentium III server with at least 1 GB of memory and 4 GB available hard drive.[17] Virtuozzo’s management tools will be compatible with Microsoft’s Viridian and Virtual Server software.[18]

Virtuozzo competes with EMC's VMware, Microsoft's Virtual Server, and the open-source Xen.

Operating system-level virtualization[edit]

OS-level virtualization virtualizes servers on the host OS system. Virtualizating multiple server systems on a single physical server lowers overhead costs by reducing the amount of hardware and space to house it. Each instance running on a virtual OS must be isolated to maintain security, and host system resources must be managed carefully to maintain the required balance between the host and each of the virtualized server systems.

Parallels, Inc.[edit]

Parallels, Inc. is a privately held company based near Seattle, Washington that develops desktop and server virtualization software. SWsoft’s acquisition of Parallels was more or less kept under wraps until January 2004, two years before Parallels became mainstream.[9] Parallels software enables users to run multiple operating systems on a single PC or Intel-powered Mac computer by using a hypervisor, which enables a guest operating system to directly access the host computer’s hardware. The company provides two primary products, Parallels Desktop for Mac and Parallels Workstation with a server software for the Mac, which is currently in the works.

  • Parallels Desktop for Mac - Enables Mac users to run Windows, Linux, Solaris, etc. with their Mac OS X on any Intel-powered iMac, Mac mini, MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacPro Towers. Newest features include 3D support, SmartSelect, and Parallels Explorer (Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac).[19] This software requires Mac OS X "Tiger" 10.4.6 or higher running on an Intel-powered Mac
  • Parallels Workstation - Enables users to create multiple, independent virtual machines on a PC. Consists of a virtual machine suite for Intel x86-compatible computers (running Microsoft Windows or Linux), which allows the simultaneous creation and execution of multiple x86 computers. This software supports hardware virtualization technologies such as Intel Virtualization Technology (VT) and AMD SVM (Secure Virtual Machine).

At Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2007 in San Francisco, California, Parallels announced and demonstrated its upcoming Parallels Server for Mac.[20] Parallels Server for Mac will reportedly allow IT managers to run multiple server operating systems on a single Mac Xserve.[21] Parallels Server for Mac is now available.[22]


Plesk is commercial web hosting data center automation software developed for Linux- and Windows-based commercial hosting service providers. Plesk was designed to install and manage web hosting systems and applications on a single server. The control panel is designed to simplify the management and administration of the web sites by automating various tasks on a single server.


HSPcomplete allows service providers to offer customers a range of services, from shared Web hosting for small and medium-sized businesses to cluster configurations for large enterprises.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]