The evolution of the virtualization industry in the last five years clarified how the market prefers hardware virtualization over any other kind of approach.
Application virtualization certainly is the next big step towards a “liquid” data center, but so far it’s still far away from the mainstream adoption.
The third platform virtualization technique that we track at virtualization.info, something we called for a long time OS partitioning, is the OS virtualization.
As our Virtualization Industry Radar highlights the only commercial players in this segment are Sun and Parallels (formerly SWsoft).
But the Sun presence in this space is very limited: its Solaris Containers (aka Zones) are available only for Solaris 10 and while the product became very flexible in the last two years, it’s clear that the company is moving its investments on hardware virtualization.
This makes Parallels the uncontested leader in this market.
The company, not worried by competition, had the opportunity to grow in the profitable niche of web hosting where hardware virtualization was not the best option.
Why no other vendor ever tried to develop and sell OS virtualization?
Even Microsoft publicly disclosed its interest for this technology in 2006 but never translated it into a real action.
Whatever the reason is, things may be changing as a new player emerges from the stealth mode: iCore Software.
The company was co-founded in 2007 by by a group of students from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technologies (MIPT), which is ironic considering that SWsoft/Parallels founder, Sergei Beloussov, is Russian as well.
It’s CEO and co-founder is Artem Prokopenko.
No other information about the company is available at the moment.
iCore brings OS virtualization to the clients, selling its containers, called Virtual Accounts, as different user personalities for working, gaming, browsing, etc.
At the moment the company offers its product for free on Windows XP only and claims just 1-2% overhead.
We’ll see if this young company as the numbers to compete against the monopolist Parallels.
iCore Software has been included in the virtualization.info Virtualization Industry Radar.