As former CTO of XenSource and now CTO of Citrix Systems' virtualisation 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 virtualisation 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 virtualisation 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.