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VMware Predicts Death To Operating Systems
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Written by Daniel   
Saturday, 11 August 2007 11:15
 Mendel Rosenblum envisions a world run by virtualization appliances where software makers wouldn't need a bulky or complex OS.
By Antone Gonsalves
InformationWeek
August 9, 2007 04:01 PM
In the view of Mendel Rosenblum, chief scientist and co-founder of virtualization vendor VMware, today's modern operating system is destined for the dustbin, a scenario unlikely to please Microsoft or any of the Linux vendors.
Rosenblum's keynote on Thursday wrapped up the LinuxWorld conference in San Francisco, preaching the virtues of virtualization, which he believes will eventually make today's complex, some would say bloated, operating systems obsolete. "It's just going to go away," Rosenblum said.

 

 Not surprisingly, Rosenblum favors a world in which a virtualization layer is tied directly to the microprocessor and other related hardware of a computer. Running on top of this layer would be virtual machines, or mini-operating systems, that would be designed to run specific applications. Merging the OS and software would create a module that would be more reliable and secure, easier to manage and offer higher performance.

The reason is in the simplicity of the architecture, Rosenblum said. Operating systems, particularly Windows, have become behemoths comprising millions of lines of code expected to share resources among multiple applications. Such complexity degrades performance and makes the software less reliable and harder to manage.

"If you have something this complex, it's also really hard to innovate," Rosenblum said. "This is the position that Microsoft is in, even with its team of engineers, which is huge. It's hard to do anything."

The better architecture is to build software for what Rosenblum called a virtualization appliance. Software makers could package within a virtual machine only those components needed to run a particular application. "I can start simplifying these things," Rosenblum said. "I can take out parts of the OS I don't need for this application, and build an OS that's highly optimized for the application." More

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