Q&A: VMware co-founder Mendel Rosenblum

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At the third and by far the biggest VMware's annual VMworld convention last week, we grabbed the chance to speak to the company's virtualisation visionary and co-founder, Mendel Rosenblum. Where does he see the company taking this fast-evolving technology?

Q: What combination of factors has made virtualisation the hot topic of today?

A: A lot of the excitement around virtualisation stems from problems in the current software environment - a combination of modern operating systems and applications. People weren't happy with issues such as reliability and security. While the OS is supposed to be in charge of the hardware, people spend too much time managing them, and they're not robust enough to run multiple applications. What was needed was a thinner layer to do the mapping onto the hardware resources.

For example, you could imagine a distributed OS that allows free flow of information between applications, or one that stops bad processes bringing down the entire OS -- but we evolved not to do that.

And some of the older technology was too slow -- now the hardware has arrived.

Q: It sounds like 'modern operating systems' is VMware-speak for Windows.

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