This week my company where I’m CTO, Absolute Performance, made a couple of announcements. First, we are attending the Parallels Summit 2008 conference in Washington D.C. where Absolute CEO Jerry Champlin had a talk today about exploiting the explosion of opportunities in the SaaS market. At the show we announced Absolute is adding support for Parallels Virtuozzo Containers, which is how Parallels virtualizes applications above the operating system level, sometimes referred to as OS virtualization. Containers abstract the OS from the application, rather than just the hardware as hypervisors do, allowing you to use the OS as a service to applications in multiple containers. Absolute has already announced support for instrumenting VMware ESX and with the addition of Virtuozzo Containers we’ll begin to provide deep instrumentation of virtualized Parallels environments.
How do you rapidly deploy applications, when they all install, have various requirements, and are managed differently? The effort to install applications can be complex and time consuming. The Application Packaging Standard is a standard, created by Parallels which they are now turning into an industry supported standard, which allows you to package an application once. Control panels, provisioning information, etc., are all standardized through APS. There are also useful services within APS, such as the APS Catalog (lists applications in one place with all their associated updates), APS Identity Service for single sign on for APS apps, and APS licensing (under development) for centralizing and standardizing licensing. There are about 150 applications within the APS catalog today. Absolute Performance announced our support for the APS standard, and also that we will have templates for instrumenting some APS right out the box. After some more research into which are the most widely utilized, we’ll start releasing templates for APS apps in the APS Catalog. Lastly, we announced we are deepening our partnership with Parallels and will work together on future initiatives to help managed services and hosting partners effectively thrive in the world of SaaS.
We also announced our partnership with FORTRUST, a Colorado data center services and collocation facilities provider, who brought out their FORTRUST Managed Services. We’re exciting about partnering with them because they clearly recognize the move towards providing high value services to customers. And not just the typical basic monitoring either, but the full suite of monitoring, management, pre-production load testing, end user experience validation and reporting functions of its managed services offering. FORTRUST has some of the highest quality facilities you’ll see and I think you’ll find the same true of their managed services offerings. All my best to the team there and the new managed services offerings.
As I’ve talked about previously in my NWW blog, SaaS is all about partnering and without effective partnering strategies, it’s a tough go to be a one-vendor show. Partnerships, like those we announced this week, show why it’s the case.