Stanford University professor Mendel Rosenblum, recipient of the inaugural ACM Charles P. "Chuck" Thacker Break-through in Computing Award, developed his groundbreaking virtual machines in the late 1990s as a way of enabling disparate software environments to share computing resources. Over the next two decades, these ideas would transform modern datacenters and power cloud computing services like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. Here, Rosenblum talks about scalability, systems design, and how the field has changed.
Virtual machines were pioneered by IBM in the 1960s. What prompted you to revisit the concept back in the 1990s?