Mark Russinovich is a Technical Fellow working on the Windows Azure team. His focus is on solving hard problems related to the Fabric Controller, which is in some sense the Windows Azure operating system kernel - it provides services and management infrastructure for the applications that run on Windows Azure.
Before joining the Windows Azure team, Mark worked in the Windows kernel engineering group and, as you probably know, Mark is one of the founders of SysInternals and is the co-author of several extremely useful tools for analyzing, measuring, monitoring and really understanding the things that happen at the lowest levels of the system like memory management, process management, threading, etc... Mark also is the co-author of the best Windows Internals books on the market. Finally, Mark is one of the highest rated speakers at Microsoft technical conferences (you must watch his PDC10 sessions!). Will he still work on Windows Internals series of books now that he is no longer on the Windows team? Is he still deeply engaged in the goings on in Windows kernel world? Is he writing SysInternals tools for Windows Azure? What is the Fabric Controller, exactly? How does it work? What's underneath the Fabric Controller?
Windows Azure is a cloud operating system. What does that mean? What are the Windows-analogous components running inside Windows Azure? What's Mark up to? How does he like the new gig? Why is platform as a service (PaaS) so important? What is PaaS, really? And more.
As usual, this is a turn-the-camera-on-and-converse interview that happened just as you see and hear it. We therefore move from topic to topic in a natural and somewhat unstructured way and yours truly probably had too much coffee before heading to Mark's office :)
It's always a real pleasure to get to chat with Mark. He has the uncanny ability to simplify complexity so that we can understand the meaning and reasoning behind the technology at hand without possesssing expert level knowledge or being as bright as Mark. He's one of our best and brightest technical minds and Windows Azure is lucky to have him solving hard problems and pushing the Windows Azure kernel(Fabric Controller) envelope.