So, here is my parable.
Should you drive to work in an M1A tank? There are lots of very good
reasons to do so, prominantly the way driving to work in an M1A tank
enhances your personal safety. In both freeway incidents and grocery
store parking lots, it is the fellow driving the M1A tank who comes out
on top. However, there are lots of reasons not to drive an M1A tank to
work. The initial aquisition cost of several million dollars is pretty
hard to swallow. And even if you can quietly steal one from the local
Army base, the fuel costs alone will bankrupt you in short order.
Companies have been running their IT infrastructures on the
equivalent of M1A tanks for the past several years, and the fuel bill is
starting ot catch up with them. The first manifestation of this
changeover is the way Linux is eating the bottom out of the proprietary
UNIX market. Why run your web server on an Ultra 450? It is the finest
hardware around, but it is not actually *needed* for the application.
Between commodity hardware and simple failover systems you can achieve
the same results for far less money. So why not save the money?
Once you look at how the operating system market is shaking out, the
next chapter seems blindingly obvious. Oracle is wonderful software,
but it is an M1A tank, and its many features are not *required* for most
applications. Why are people running contact management software on
Oracle? Why are they running web services on Oracle? Like proprietary
UNIX, in many installations Oracle is a nice-to-have, not a
have-to-have. And cost-concious CIOs should be looking with just as much
focus at their Oracle database budgets as they have recently been
looking at their proprietary UNIX budgets.
Has a certain simplicity, doesn't it?
| Paul Ramsey
| Refractions Research
| Email: pramsey(at)refractions(dot)net
| Phone: (250) 885-0632
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