Mainframe versus Distributed
A fellow in Boston last week remarked that his management is working hard to get rid of the mainframe and hoping to leverage virtual servers to rehost applications. He thinks (and I agree) that it is a terrible f---ing idea!
With a five person support team, his mainframe has not gone offline for as long as he can remember. Downtime in the distributed server environment, which sports nearly ten times the administration requirements, is legendary.
The problem is, the entire mainframe environment shows up as a single line item in the IT budget, while distributed computing platform and support costs are spread all over the page, preventing an apples to apples comparison of cost and value.
We agreed that there are different apps and business needs that may support the need for both centralized and decentralized computing, for mainframes and for client/server. However, a lot of boneheads in management aren't seeing the truth of this in part because of the overwhelming noise of the distributed camp. When it comes to storage, distributed systems don't begin to approach the efficiency of storage behind mainframes. Most of what the software folks are up to in distributed storage amounts to little more than trying to re-create what already works in the mainframe shop.
Guess I'm starting to sound like an old fart, but facts is facts. All of SNIAs combined "architecture" (they are applying that term to XAM and SMI now) pales by comparison to big iron in terms of effect, reliability, scalability or cost-efficiency.
There. I said it.