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The deal with Cisco was announced on Thursday evening, however financial details have not been disclosed.
Parallels was founded in 1999 and is best known for its Parallels Desktop for Mac product, which lets Intel-based Mac users run a virtual Windows desktop environment on their machines.
In a statement, Parallels said the investment would help accelerate adoption of Parallels' virtualisation products that are underpinned by Cisco's infrastructure.
The deal will also see the two companies engage in more joint development, marketing and industry initiatives, the statement claimed.
Hilton Romanski, vice president of corporate business development at Cisco, said: “In collaboration with Parallels, we are focused on offering a more efficient and easier to use cloud services delivery model for service providers.
“We are particularly excited about Parallels' global presence – including its operations in Russia – which affords Cisco a continued opportunity to fuel innovation there and around the world,” Romanski added.
Birger Steen, CEO of Parallels, said: “By strengthening our collaboration with Cisco, Parallels is focused on accelerating its growth and offering an end-to-end solution for cloud service providers.”
The deal with Parallels is the latest in a long line of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and virtualisation investments carried out by Cisco in recent months.
In October, the company acquired virtual network overlay specialists vCider, followed by cloud networking business Meraki and automation firm Cloupia in November. It also announced plans to collaborate more closely with virtualisation giant Citrix and printer company Xerox in the latter part of 2012.