Cisco courts Parallels and “desktop virtualisation” in the cloud

Parallels is a global firm reputed in offering cloud service enablement, hosting and desktop visualisation. The company was founded in 1999 and currently boasts of over 900 employees spanning across the globe- North America, Asia and Europe.


To capitalise on Parallels' success story, Cisco, the global networking giant, of recent has made an equity investment of $11 million to the desktop virtualisation firm. The investment was done through Almaz Capital Partners.

According to Hilton Romanski, V.P., Corporate Business Development Cisco, "Cisco is continuing its commitment to technology development and innovation through strategic investments. " The collaboration with Parallels is geared to deliver easier to use and efficient cloud services.

In addition, Cisco is hoping to leverage on Parallels' global presence - especially in Russia - to fuel innovation worldwide. The investment is a viable acquisition for Cisco, especially if the cloud infrastructure giant intends to incorporate virtualisation in its Cisco Unified Computing System.

Though Parallels is a leading firm in cloud service products and hosting, it's widely reputed for its virtualisation software.

The software, developed to cater for both consumers and businesses, competes in the market with VMware, Citrix and Microsoft virtualisation products, to enable end-users to run various OS and applications on their networks without rebooting. Most consumers relate to the firm as it allows them run Windows applications on Mac machines in "coherence "mode.

During the announcement CEO of Parallels, Birger Steen said, "by strengthening our collaboration with Cisco, the firm is focused on accelerating growth and offering end to end solution for cloud service providers." As part of the investment agreement, the two firms agreed to expand joint industry, development, and marketing initiatives.

Industry pundits view Cisco cash injection as intended to fast-track the symbiotic relationship between Parallel's cloud service and virtualisation products with Cisco's data center and cloud infrastructure solutions. In addition, Cisco is taunted to have invested in Parallels in order to capitalise on the latter's virtualisation expertise to incorporate virtualisation, automation and management capabilities into its Cisco Unified Computing System.

All in all, the investment is bound to shape virtualisation especially in the cloud computing realm.

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