Given all the excitement about the transformative power of virtualization, you'd think the hypervisor had already conquered the world. In fact, it has barely planted its flag on the borders of business IT: About 10% of all servers have been virtualized, leaving vast numbers untouched.
Enter Simon Crosby. Once a tenured professor at Cambridge University, he's traded the ethereal heights of academia for the cutthroat arena of high tech, driven by the belief that "virtualization has got to be everywhere," he says.
As former CTO of XenSource and now CTO of Citrix Systems' virtualization and management division, Crosby has raised the profile of the open source Xen hypervisor as a viable competitor to market leader VMware, while advocating for the hypervisor--any hypervisor--to replace the OS as the key interface between applications and hardware.
Whether virtualization conquers the data center and beyond will depend on three objectives. First is to make the hypervisor ubiquitous by having it preinstalled on x86 servers. Citrix, VMware, and Virtual Iron have each announced deals with vendors such as HP and Dell to do just that.
Second is to make virtualization easier. "If we end up with a new category of IT administrator, the virtual IT administrator, then we will have failed because that's another whole skill set the industry has to hire," says Crosby.