by Adam Bogobowicz, Sr. Director of Product Marketing, Parallels
Hypervisors were the right solution for the enterprise. Triple gains in efficiency over standard servers with added bonus of simplified manageability made it a king of the IT hill. When ROI calculation can be done on the back of a napkin and IT can show the CEO millions in cost savings, problems are overlooked, careers are made, software vendors grow to multi-billion valuations and technology adoption jets to supersonic speeds. But a perfect solution for a cost center is not enough for a profit driven business.
The hosting business model depends on the ability to satisfy needs of customers not bound to annual budgets or locked to a single IT provider. Customers who have a choice. A choice of provider, cost, and performance for the solution they need. To profitably satisfy these needs, hosters use an alternative virtualization solution, container virtualization. The reason for that is that containers have a 3x efficiency advantage over hypervisors. Unlike the IT cost center, hosting providers need a high-density virtualization solution to compete in the market. Container virtualization had no equal in hosting scenarios where efficiency matters.
In the pre-cloud enterprise, container usage was limited to specialized high density and performance scenarios like technical computing. Now cloud puts a new demand on virtualization in both enterprise IT and hosting worlds and for the first time brings these two separate worlds closer together. No matter where applied the cloud requires high density, instant provisioning, elasticity, and portability.
These requirements are now met by a new breed of container technology. Already, containers are powering Google search, Facebook sites, and internet banking in addition to hosting businesses. These new containers come equipped with optimized memory, rebootless updates and not only maintain the 3x performance advantage over hypervisors but further extend it.
The latest and most impactful cloud containers innovation comes in the form of a container in a file enabling simple backup, migrations, geo replication, and as demonstrated with Parallels Cloud Storage, High Availability solutions. The new generation of containers show advantage over hypervisors in most cloud scenarios and for most user types, solidifying the container position in the hosting space and opening a new opportunity for container powered clouds and the enterprise.