Amitabh Srivastava : 2009 Plenary Meeting


Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Location: Fisher Conference Center, Arrillaga Alumni Center

"Operating System for the Cloud"


Microsoft is building the "operating system for the cloud" as a platform that supports scalable, available applications with lower costs and greater agility than previously possible. Traditional operating systems control local hardware (CPU, disks, etc.) and provide valuable abstractions (processes, files, etc.) to support application programs. Cloud operating systems have much greater scope, controlling globally federated hardware resources (switches, routers, machine racks, etc.) and providing scalable, available abstractions (storage services, lock services, virtualized computation, etc.). Windows Azure is realizing this vision.


Amitabh Srivastava is a Corporate Vice President at Microsoft with responsibility for Windows Azure, the company's new operating system for the cloud. He began working on the company's services platform in November 2006, after playing a pivotal role in shipping Windows Vista.

Srivastava joined Microsoft in 1997 as a Senior Researcher and led the Advanced Development Tools group in Microsoft Research that investigated new techniques to build innovative tools and technologies to improve performance and quality of Microsoft software. His vision and energy led to the creation of the Programmer

Productivity Research Center (PPRC) in March 1999, which he has led since its inception. Srivastava's PPRC group, now known as Center for Software Excellence (CSE), has produced several tools and technologies that are critical to Microsoft product groups.

In January 2001, Srivastava became one of a select few to be named a Distinguished Engineer, now known as Technical Fellow.

Srivastava joined the Windows group in December 2003 as Corporate Vice President to redefine the engineering process for Windows Vista. He was responsible for the development of core operating system components such as the kernel, operating system architecture, definition of development processes, and development of advanced tools to automate the development processes.

In late 2006, with Dave Cutler he started 'project Red Dog' to build the operating system for the cloud. Project Red Dog was announced as 'Windows Azure' at PDC 2008.

Before working for Microsoft, Srivastava was the chief technical officer and vice president of engineering at TracePoint Technology Inc., a spin-off company from Digital Equipment Corp. He joined Digital's Western Research Labs (DEC WRL) in Palo Alto, Calif. in 1991. Srivastava's research on binary code modification at DEC WRL resulted in the creation of TracePoint. Srivastava started his career as a researcher at Texas Instruments Inc.'s Research Labs in Dallas, Texas in 1984 after graduating from Pennsylvania State University.

Srivastava holds 13 patents and has published a variety of papers. His paper on ATOM with Alan Eustace in PLDI 1994 received the Most Influential PLDI Paper Award in June 2005. He is the author of OM, ATOM and SCOOPS software systems, which have resulted in products for Digital Equipment and Texas Instruments on the Alpha and PC platforms. He led the design and development of Vulcan, a second-generation binary transformation system, at Microsoft. Vulcan is the foundation of a wide variety of tools developed at PPRC.

Srivastava delivered the commencement address titled "Fourth and Goal" at the College of Engineering graduation ceremonies at Pennsylvania State University, University Park on May 16, 2008.

Srivastava earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India, and a master's degree in computer science from Pennsylvania State University. He received the 2003-2004 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and was selected as the 2004 Outstanding Engineering Alumnus at Pennsylvania State University.