From being an isolated product to becoming an independent company, Virtuozzo has carved a niche for itself in the industry by delivering a powerful and flexible virtualization platform based on container technology. Today, the company enables service providers, independent software vendors, and enterprises to launch applications and cloud services using secure, robust, and hyper-converged virtualized platforms. "Virtuozzo’s technology-agnostic ecosystem empowers enterprises to work with multiple operating systems, containers, virtual machines, and application containers through a single management console,” says Lovell. With over 500 worldwide partners, Virtuozzo supports five million virtual environments running mission-critical workloads.
Security Wrapper around Application Containers, such as Docker
How does Virtuozzo tie into application containers, such as Docker? First of all, application containers and systems containers are two different things, and it’s important to understand the differences. Application containers are designed to manage the application lifecycle, run a single application, have a short lifetime, and make development more efficient. For instance, Docker and Rocket. On the other hand, system containers are designed to run a full Linux OS, deliver stateful operations, allocate resources dynamically, and be secure by default. For example, Virtuozzo.
Since the concept of isolation is not very well developed in application containers such as Docker, enterprises are concerned about security. “One user or one application can potentially take down an entire server because they are not really isolated that well,” explains Lovell. “Application containers are fantastic for development and testing environments, but are not yet designed for production environments. The main benefit of deploying an application container within a system container, like Virtuozzo, is the ability to provide real isolation and security, so customers and individual projects are protected—even on the public cloud.”
One thing many enterprises today have learned to value from the past is the security capabilities of legacy systems. Virtuozzo delivers security to an enterprise’s doorstep: they bring fencing infrastructures with impenetrable security features while at the same time providing the flexibility and efficiency previously thought impossible. The Virtuozzo platform provides a wrapper around application containers, making them agile enough to work within system containers. “There is no overhead cost and no performance degradation from running Virtuozzo on top of hardware,” says Lovell, “and Virtuozzo can handle simple as well as heavy workloads.”
Enterprises can migrate a container from one physical location to another in real time, without having to use any inter-connectivity or fiber, because Virtuozzo provides greater flexibility. Enterprises can also pool their resources across their data centers. “If an organization has run out of storage in one location, Virtuozzo can pick a container or VM and drop it into another data center. This happens seamlessly, with zero downtime–even if the alternate data center is 10,000 miles away,” adds Lovell.
Vituozzo’s technology agnostic ecosystem powers enterprises to work with multiple operating systems, containers, virtual machines, and application containers through a single management console
For the customers who run Docker and application containers inside the Virtuozzo platform, the company offers important security features. “We don’t compete with Docker. We complement it by securing, automating and running it with other containers,” says Lovell.
For data center firms running on public clouds, Virtuozzo also provides the opportunity to use the same tools that they have used to deploy system containers with Docker inside. “Along with the same tools, customers can use their same skill set and team members to deploy Docker containers without risking security and isolation issues,” assures Lovell.
In Lovell’s words, “Many customers wish to gain flexibility and portability for their legacy workloads and applications. Our system container platform delivers both. With Virtuozzo, customers can spin up containers and virtual machines, develop applications quickly, and easily migrate to a production environment.” Virtuozzo allows customers to house their legacy workloads in system containers, gaining critical portability in production. In a nutshell, the company supports the desire of CIOs and CTOs to embrace the new technology trends that will accelerate their businesses. And Virtuozzo provides peace of mind by resolving the security and isolation challenges that often pair with new technologies.
Proven Interoperability in Production with Containers and VMs
While Virtuozzo’s core technology is container-based, they understand that different workloads have different needs. Virtuozzo also provides options to run applications on hypervisors or containers simultaneously, uniquely positioning Virtuozzo to offer both in a single platform.
As customers gain visibility into their workloads using the Virtuozzo platform, they can experiment with running applications on containers or hypervisors. "Our customers can run Virtuozzo on any machine that supports the creation of virtual environments, and they can operate them from anywhere on the network," explains Lovell. “Our product enhances server reliability, performance and profitability.” It’s a struggle to manage a mixture of workloads such as legacy systems, Windows, Linux, micro services, DevOps, and different kinds of applications running in a data center. Everything boils down to the multiple data centers, lifting the weight of these workloads, which stalls productivity because of processes and separate silos of resources. “Enterprises or ISVs now operate thousands of servers and expect to manage them from a single console, no matter the underlying technology,” says Lovell. “Virtuozzo exceeds our customers’ expectations by bringing multiple technologies together, combining compute, storage, and networking, as one consolidated view. We deliver a robust, user-friendly platform to enterprises and ISVs.”
A case in point for Virtuozzo is one of its clients, a financial planning applications and tools provider to many Fortune 500 companies. Initially, the firm’s solutions were offered as on-premise deployments. The firm decided to attempt to move the cloud to lower deployment cost and make implementation easier for the customer.
The firm’s partnership with Virtuozzo allowed them to leverage their existing software architectures whilst being able to serve multiple tenants easily on the same physical resources, and providing secure isolated access for each individual customer. Virtuozzo integrated virtualization and container technology within the client organization's data center, successfully deploying independent system container instances for each end-user and making these available to the customers via the cloud. The organization effectively eliminated the need for manual installation of application deployments, provided security for each customer and was able to take advantage of economies of scale. The company saw an impressive return on their investment with Virtuozzo, saving more than 60 percent on costs compared to other technologies.
"The main benefit of deploying the application container within a system container, like Virtuozzo, is the ability to provide real isolation and security around it so customers and individual projects are protected even on the public cloud"
The organization’s customers were able to easily access their most important data. Additionally, Virtuozzo minimized the hit on the firm's productivity by giving the firm tools they needed to deal with disaster recovery and migrate applications to a different data center when necessary. This also provided customers the benefit of scalability.
System Containers: The Most Effective Way to Reduce the Footprint of Your Operating Systems and Applications
Virtuozzo allows operating systems to share system and application memory and workload processing between different environments by writing software within the OS itself. This process is the basis of “container virtualization” and something Virtuozzo has pioneered for the last 15 years. “We created the idea of containers in the modern sense, which is a different approach to traditional virtualization,” says Lovell. “Along with providing a full operation system to the application or user, Virtuozzo enables enterprises to securely share physical resources on a machine and control balancing and isolation. Our platform benefits customers running the same type of OS across lots of hardware—though Linux or Windows.”
By using containers, customers reduce the amount of overhead on the server hardware, as they can allow application binaries to share memory, removing duplication of the application in memory whether that is a database, micro-service or line of business application. “Virtuozzo allows your application, without changing a single line of code, to run in a container and take advantage of performance and reduced costs,” says Lovell. Virtuozzo’s customers successfully run data centers of thousands or hundreds of thousands of servers. By understanding the differences between containers and traditional hypervisors, it is possible to house the appropriate application in the appropriate technology to reduce hardware requirements and improve performance.
By investing in innovation, Virtuozzo aims to continuously help customers keep pace with ever-changing technology trends. The company keeps a tab on the latest technologies, features and innovations to design solutions that add value to its entire customer base. “Our goal is to scale our solutions to the growing market demands. And to continue to be the best solution—from performance and management to reliability and affordability— for the entire industry to drive great value to our customer base.” concludes Lovell.