SWsoft has released a second beta version of Virtuozzo 4.0, the next revision of its virtualisation server software.

The company also revealed it is about to rename itself, and has bought a Web automation company.

The Virtuozzo beta, which retains its OS-level virtualisation architecture, was first announced in September and since then, said SWsoft, more than 500 beta testers have contributed to the improvements found in this 'release candidate'.

SWsoft said the 4.0 release focuses on fitting into today's data centres. Enhancements includes more usability, and new features, according to SWsoft, include:

  • Re-designed management tools that allow for data centre planning and provisioning flexibility.

  • Full support for Windows and Red Hat Linux clustering services.

  • Enhanced backup including an automated, customisable scheduler.

  • Additional high availability and incremental processing capabilities with support for Microsoft Network Load Balancing.

  • Centralised resource management, allowing all Virtuozzo instances to access and deploy resources across the network.

"We are pleased with the progress of the beta program and are on track for general availability of the commercial version of Virtuozzo 4.0 early in 2008," said CEO Serguei Beloussov.

"Feedback from our more than 500 enterprise testers tells us that version 4.0 delivers a solution that will further reduce hardware and OS sprawl, increase uptime and enhance manageability. Along with our rich suite of management and automation tools, Virtuozzo 4.0 is a major upgrade for IT professionals seeking to optimise their computing environments."

Virtuozzo 4.0 is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2008.

Buying and renaming

The company also launched its "Optimised Computing" vision, the cornerstone of which is the Parallels Open Platform. The company described it as "an overlay platform which brings together desktop and server virtualisation plus system and business automation assets for use in on-premise, hosted and software-as-a-service (SaaS) usage models."

As part of that strategy, SWsoft has acquired Bristol-based company WebHost Automation, maker of the Helm control panel and billing software for Windows. The company claimed it had nearly 1.5 million end users worldwide.

SWsoft said it would maintain existing Helm development resources, support Helm products and incorporate Helm's features into SWsoft products.

"By integrating Helm into the SWsoft family of automation and virtualisation solutions and partners through our Open Fusion initiative, Helm customers will be able to take advantage of a wider array of solutions and new business opportunities such as software as a service (SaaS)," said Beloussov.

SWsoft said the acquisition adds a significant worldwide customer base, especially in the UK and South America.

SWsoft also announced that it wants to be called Parallels, following the success of its Parallels subsidiary and its eponymous desktop virtualisation product in the Mac market. The new name will take effect early in 2008.