I realize that we’re getting into the heart of the 2012 Presidential campaign season and I enjoy a political fight as much as anybody. But I hate to see important IT decisions being made based on politics, religion or anything else that has nothing whatsoever to do with actual business-case issues.
Too many times I have seen and heard of decisions made to purchase hardware and/or software that were based not on what was actually best for the company making the acquisitions, but on the personal biases of the one making the recommendation or the final decision. It's time to get platform fiefdoms and politics out of the data center.
This issue came up again very recently while I was attending the IBM Edge2012 storage conference in Orlando. One of the attendees, an IT professional from a healthcare company with a multi-platform data center, stopped by our booth and in the course of our conversation I learned that for some reason this company had enough credits with IBM that they were given a zBX at no charge. Sounded like a pretty good deal to me.
So I asked the next logical question (always on the lookout for a potentially good case study to publish): How is the new zBX being utilized? The answer floored me. I was told that the zBX is not being used at all. Just sitting in a corner and not plugged in. But when I asked “Why?” the answer blew me away. It was because the folks who worked on the distributed systems side did not want any distributed systems to be hosted in that z/BX for fear of losing control to the mainframe side. Wow; makes you wonder who pays their salaries: their employer or the distributed systems vendors!
This little anecdote totally makes my point. Their decision was purely a political, personal decision; not one based on what was best for their company and the users. Now I fully understand that these types of decisions also frequently happen in the reverse where someone with a mainframe bias makes a similar irrational decision. Basically, for every workload there is an optimum place where it should be run based on the circumstances at the time, not personal prejudices.