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He Completely Saw Virtualization Coming: Is This the Industry's Most Prescient Man?

Former Powersoft CEO Mitchell Kertzman predicted the rise of virtualization already back in December 2005

When in 2005 we asked our globe-girdling network of industry executives, enterprise architects, software engineers, technology evangelists, analysts, and VCs to pinpoint what they thought the Next Big Thing would be, only one respondent singled out Virtualization and that was software industry legend Mitchell Kertzman, of San Francisco-based VC firm Hummer Winblad.

Here is what Kertzman, now at Hummer Winblad Venture Partners but still famous for having been the founder and CEO of Powersoft, which merged with Sybase in February 1995, predicted:

"With three strong virtualization platforms (VMWare, Microsoft Virtual Server and XenSource) now available, there will be more and more software products built not on traditional hardware/software platforms, but on virtualized platforms."


Mitchell Kertzman, CEO of Powersoft, reading the premier issue of PBDJ in 1994
(Photo Copyright SYS-CON Media)

Completely clear in his mind how central a role virtualization was about to start playing in the IT landscape, Kertzman (pictured above courtesy of the SYS-CON  Media photo archives from 1994) advised readers, for example, to "Check out Akimbi Systems, which provides a very exciting application for QA and test in the enterprise"

Third International "Virtualization Conference & Expo" Call for Papers


Virtualization, the hottest subject of in all IT right now, will be center stage in 2008.

Key opinion-formers in the field of infrastructure and pioneers of virtualization technologies of all types have already begun submitting speaking proposals to Virtualization Conference & Expo 2008 East, being held in New York City, June 23-24, 2008. Topics covered will range from Application Virtualization, Desktop Virtualization, Network Virtualization, Server Virtualization, and Storage Virtualization, to Virtual Machine Automation, Physical to Virtual (P2V) Migration, Management Applications, Tools and Utilities, and Virtualization Scripts and Procedures.

Submissions on these and dozens of other topics have already begun streaming in. The Call for Papers is as always a 100% online process, found here.

Register Now and Save!
Submit Your Speaking Proposal


Help with that transformation: submit your speaking proposal today.

IDC has stated that the virtualization services market alone is going to reach $11.7 billion by 2011 and in general this technology, which has been around for a good number of years, seems suddenly to be on everyone's mind.

In short, Virtualization is fast becoming a key requirement for every server in the data center, enabling increased workloads in server consolidation projects, efficient software development and testing, resource management for dynamic data centers, application re-hosting and compatibility, and high-availability partitions. Topics will include:
  • Server Virtualization
  • Desktop Virtualization
  • File Virtualization
  • The Future of the Virtual Enterprise
  • Hosted Virtualization
  • Para-virtualization
  • Hardware-level Virtualization
  • Storage Virtualization
  • Virtualization for Server Consolidation and Containment
  • Windows Virtualization
  • Utility Computing
  • State of the Virtualization Services Market

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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Most Recent Comments
Paul Giangarra 01/09/08 06:24:51 AM EST

IBM commercially introduced virtualization in 1967, it's not the "next" big thing, it's been around for over 40 years. It JUST recently (even "recently" is a relative statement over 40 years) was embraced and exploited by the x86 world, both AMD and Intel are finally stepping up and putting the hardware features in to support it better, features that have existed on other platforms for years. What's more interesting is to realize that there are three logical virtualization layers:

1. HW virtualization (goes back to 1967) includes not just the processor and memory, but also storage, network, I/O, ...

2. Middleware virtualization (goes back to the early 80s at least)

3. Service (SOA) virtualization, more recently formalized

One last thing, Bill predicted a lot of things that obviously in hind site didn't pan out. For example

"640K of memory should be enough for anybody" is a classic example

factpoint 01/08/08 08:46:40 AM EST

> what was that famous observation of [Gates], the
> worst prediction ever made?

Do you mean when Gates said at the launch of MSX in 1983: "Windows will never be a 32-bit OS"?! Nice one Bill :-)

factpoint 01/08/08 07:08:38 AM EST

> what was that famous observation of [Gates], the
> worst prediction ever made?

Do you mean when Gates said at the launch of MSX in 1983: "Windows will never be a 32-bit OS"?! Nice one Bill :-)

SoothSayer56 01/08/08 07:06:27 AM EST

Didn't Gates declare in January 2004 at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland that spam would be "dead in 24 months"? That's about as off as you can get?!

Nigel Thorn 01/08/08 06:10:58 AM EST

It might be interesting to compare other industry legends such as Bill Gates...what was that famous observation of his, the worst prediction ever made?