Innovators & Influencers - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Cloud // Software as a Service
News
1/16/2009
01:47 AM
50%
50%

Innovators & Influencers

A SaaS trailblazer, a REST activist, a firewall revisionist, even a president will all shape technology in the coming year.

Paul Maritz
Virtual Makeover

Paul Maritz After 14 years as a top executive at Microsoft, Paul Maritz was well aware that the Windows paradigm didn't provide users with everything they needed. And as he watched cloud computing emerge, he began formulating ways to meet those needs and take virtualization technology to new heights.

Maritz left his position as executive VP of Microsoft's Platforms, Strategy, and Developer Group in 2000 and founded cloud startup Pi. By 2008, Pi had 100 employees and a plan to arm users in the cloud by letting them take their computer resources with them, regardless of where they were or what machine they were at. It was a far cry from having a seat on the five-man executive committee at Microsoft, but Maritz was happy with his smaller company. In February, EMC bought Pi, and Maritz was made head of EMC's infant cloud computing division.

InformationWeek Reports

He was barely settled into that position when chairman Joe Tucci tapped him to be CEO of EMC's VMware unit, whose leadership in the virtualization market was about to come under siege from Microsoft.

"That was not something I anticipated as I launched into 2008," Maritz says. It was a daunting start, since he replaced Diane Greene, one of VMware's founders. Soon after Maritz took over, Mendel Rosenblum, VMware's chief scientist and Greene's husband, resigned as well.

By the opening of VMware's annual VMworld gathering in Las Vegas in mid-September, Maritz seemed to have the company on track. A new team was in place, and more important, he had new products planned and a new way of describing VMware's virtualization thrust.

VMware was going to supply "the virtual data center operating system." Previously, the company had been hesitant to refer to virtualization as fulfilling part of the operating system's role. Any time it had done so, Microsoft had responded that VMware was talking beyond its expertise. But Maritz ignored the barbs and asserted the power of virtualization in VMware's own terms. It was going to be the orchestrator and manager of all the virtualized resources in the data center. His new message also differentiated VMware from Microsoft, which in July added its Hyper-V hypervisor to Windows Server 2008, making virtualization merely a feature of the server's operating system.

That approach is shortsighted, says Maritz. By adopting virtualization as a separate software layer, IT managers can aggregate virtualized resources and use them as "a single, giant computer--it's the mainframe of the 21st century," he says.

Formulating a strategy is one thing, Maritz acknowledges, but it's crucial to execute it. If you're competing with Microsoft, you can't make mistakes, he adds. "They can make mistakes and recover from them. You can't," he says. That's a mighty big challenge for a man who had no plans to be competing directly with his ex-employer just a year ago.

-- Charles Babcock

Paul MaritzPaul Maritz
Virtual Makeover
George SochaGeorge Socha
E-Discovery Organized
Manjit SinghManjit Singh
SaaS Believer
Jeff TeperJeff Teper
10 Years, All SharePoint
Sam RubySam Ruby
REST Activist
Barack ObamaBarack Obama
Presidency 2.0
Nir ZukNir Zuk
Reimagining The Firewall
Kirill SheynkmanKirill Sheynkman
Demystifying The Cloud
Marc BenioffMarc Benioff
Taking On The Cloud
Avi KivityAvi Kivity
Virtual Linux Champ
HD MooreHD Moore
Security Threat Spoiler

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
1 of 7
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

News
Becoming a Self-Taught Cybersecurity Pro
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  6/9/2021
News
Ancestry's DevOps Strategy to Control Its CI/CD Pipeline
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  6/4/2021
Slideshows
IT Leadership: 10 Ways to Unleash Enterprise Innovation
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/8/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll