As the nature of corporate computing shifts from the client-server model of the last two decades into a highly virtualized cloud environment accessible from any device, the style of infrastructure, management and even software has changed. Understanding this change and what it means for all of the players in the tech world is the vision of our Structure conferences, so we’re thrilled to share that Pat Gelsinger, the CEO of VMware, is speaking at our upcoming event in June.
Gelsinger participated in many of the biggest shifts in computing in his first career at Intel, where he oversaw the development of the lines of chips that eventually became the mainstay in commodity servers. It may be hard to imagine, but prior to the late 90s, most servers ran on specialty Sun- or IBM-designed chips, while Intel’s processors were relegated to personal computers. Gelsinger also helped push Intel into the wireless radio standards world, and even helped create the Intel Developer Forum.
In 2009 Gelsinger left Intel and joined EMC, where he helped drive a new architecture for EMC’s storage gear that allowed users to virtualize their storage, placing a lot of data in storage arrays and taking advantage of the existing compute there for some processing. This wouldn’t work for all big data analysis but it might work for some. Now after gaining the top spot at WMware in September of last year, he has seen many of the trends driving the current shift from their infancy.
Hopefully this will help him push VMware into a mainstay of the new world of IT — a position that isn’t guaranteed. While VMware was the catalyst for this shift with its virtualization software, the rise of open source alternatives and enterprise-class clouds that obviate the need for VMware’s corporate customers to buy their own servers present a challenge to the $39 billion company.
But VMware isn’t standing still, buying startups to offer cloud-based services for enterprise customers as well as buying infrastructure startups and pushing a vision for the software-defined data center, where the compute, the storage and the network are all abstracted from the underlying hardware. The company is also making its way into the mobile world, ready for the post-PC era, a concept VMware’s previous CEO Paul Maritz defined at our Structure 2010 conference.
So when Gelsinger takes the stage in San Francisco next June, I’m eager to hear what he has to say about VMware’s place in the changing IT ecosystem, as well as how the software-defined data center will come about. If you’re eager to hear from one of IT’s greats, make sure you get tickets to the show on June 19 and 20. The earlybird rate is $995, and you can now buy a special discounted season pass to all three of our Structure events in 2013. Check out our our Structure 2013 page for more on the lineup for this year’s event.