Forget post-PC; now we're in a post-virtualization world

Microsoft's President of Server and Tools, Satya Nadella, is beginning to speak publicly again, after taking on his new job in February 2011. And in one of his first pronouncements, he's declared that the industry is moving toward "the post-virtualization era."

Microsoft's President of Server and Tools, Satya Nadella, is beginning to speak publicly again, after taking on his new job in February 2011. And in one of his first pronouncements, he's declared that the industry is moving toward "the post-virtualization era."

What does that mean, exactly? We may get to hear more later today when Nadella will be talking about his vision for cloud computing through at the GigaOm Structure Conference. His appearance will be streamed live today, June 22, starting at 2:10 p.m. ET.

In the interim, there are a few clues about what post-virtualization means to Nadella on a feature story on the Microsoft press site.

What's driving the shift to post-virtualization, he is asked. His response:

"First, the notion of a modern operating system is shifting from software running on a single, physical server, to software running across an entire datacenter of servers. Services traditionally managed by a machine – storage, networking, compute – are no longer bound to a particular machine. This notion of an “elastic” infrastructure can have significant business benefits for customers. Moreover, he says, the data itself is becoming a platform developers can build on that leads to a whole new set of innovative application scenarios."

Nadella is committed to putting the cloud at the center of everything that Server and Tools does moving forward, he said.

“Our strategy in a nutshell is to cloud-optimize every business....That means offering businesses on-demand, scalable infrastructure and the ability to tap massive amounts of data for new business insight."

Microsoft officials have said repeatedly that virtualization alone does not a cloud strategy make. However, virtualization in the form of Hyper-V is at the crux of Microsoft's private and public cloud offerings, as this slide from the company's recent TechEd conference made clear:

(click on slide above to enlarge)

Microsoft is expected to include a new version of its Hyper-V hypervisor in Windows 8 client, along with Windows 8 Server.

The Microsoft Server and Tools unit is where the Azure team lives. Microsoft combined the Windows Server and Azure teams in December 2010. The combined server/cloud unit was led until this past March by Senior Vice President Amitabh Srivastava. Srivastava announced he planned to leave Microsoft when it became clear that he would not be getting former Server and Tools President Bob Muglia's job. (Muglia announced plans to leave after CEO Steve Ballmer decided he wasn't the right guy for the STB-chief job , according to scuttlebutt.)

Nadella is a 19-year Microsoft veteran who most recently led engineering for the Online Services Division. Before that, he led Business Solutions, which focused on the Dynamics ERP and CRM products. He also previously led various engineering teams in the server group.

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