RE: PC Systems for sale
- From: "Main, Kerry" <Kerry.Main@xxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2008 18:08:38 +0000
From: urbancamo [mailto:mark@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Saturday, October 18, 2008 7:25 AM
Subject: Re: PC Systems for sale
Well, I normally don't take the bait on discussions like this - I tend
to sit back and just have a good laugh.
There seems to be precious little of the 'best tool for the job'
mentality. This applies in every decision that an adult makes.
In the working world it is an unfortunate reality that we don't always
get the choose the most productive environment and tools for us as
individuals. As an example, I use a sun thin client to connect to a
sun server, then start an RDP session onto a Windows box. This is
where the development tools are installed that I am expected to use.
From my position, I'd rather develop under UNIX, because the UNIX
toolset is familiar to me and designed for an experience user.
However, from a company perspective, their normal users have been
exposed primarily to Windows. I understand that there are sound
business reasons for them to use Windows for non-development office
staff. It's my job to convince them that the benefits of our team
using UNIX to develop under outweigh the disadvantages.
Windows is the environment of choice for most companies simply because
it is the dominant operating system, and therefore requires the least
investment in retraining. More companies are appreciating however that
Linux is now significantly closer in terms of the user interaction
experience and toolset (OpenOffice/StarOffice) for office workers that
the cost of retraining is low enough to make the other benefits
(stability, manageability, etc) outweigh the disadvantages. The
increasing use of open source software also allows companies to switch
between environments without loosing functionality. For example, as
most development tools I use run on a Java platform I can happily
switch between Windows and Linux with very little disruption.
And so with Java on OpenVMS. Some Cust's will develop Java on Windows/
Linux but deploy (copy) on OpenVMS for added security and native
The problem I see from the OpenVMS perspective is that open source
development has left the platform behind. I believe the reason for
this is the same reason why most computers have an Intel x86
processor. I think we've just gone too far now to reach a critical
mass where there is enough open source software ported to OpenVMS to
get users back on.
Open source OS options will always have a place, but imho, are losing
steam right now as senior managers do not want their IT staff playing
in the weeds with low level bits-n-bytes OS stuff. They would prefer
these resources focus on working with their business units to help them
become more competitive. Given that the OS and associated training is
a small microism of the total IT budget, most senior Execs could not
care less what their IT OS strategy is.
In addition, many senior exec's want a single throat to choke when
things get messed up.
Specialized use is an entirely different scenario. If you want a
server with excellent stability and security then OpenVMS is a good
No argument there.
In my spare time I primarily use Linux and OpenVMS. I have two
options. I can use my Linux box as a desktop and remotely display my
OpenVMS desktop, or use the OpenVMS box directly. However, as the
ZX6000 I use does not support DVI I tend to use my Linux box as a
desktop because the display is much crisper. I also note that
I guess what I'm trying to say here that everyone on this list
probably has their own set of requirements and I don't see arguing
about them is getting us anywhere. I struggle enough with my own
conflicting requirements. I love DEC kit and OpenVMS because I have
history with them and appreciate them both as fine examples of
engineering. However, I have to support a family and that means
working with operating systems and hardware that I consider inferior.
While no one will argue with personal decisions you make that are best
suited for your specific conditions, you also need to realize that the
IT world is moving back to very centralized, very HA, very secure
environments. Server and DC consolidation projects are happening in
almost every med-large company today. The number 1 and 2 targets for
these server consolidation projects are x86 based Windows and to a
smaller degree, Linux environments running at 5-15% peak utilization
during "busy" parts of the day. This is a fact - not OS religion.
Virtualization options like VMware are temporary solutions to save HW/DC
cooling costs, but these are still small savings compared to the IT
Staffing costs which are typically 60-70% of any IT budget. IT staffing
is directly tied to the number of OS instances being maintained so the
"one bus App, one OS instance" platform days are in for some tough
times in the next 12-24 months.
As I sometimes like to say "the new dinosaurs are those developing
distributed applications targeted at "one bus app, one OS instance
platforms using hype of the day technologies."
p.s. I got caught by the OpenVMS relicensing issue the other day. As I
only had a VT terminal at hand I typed the values in by hand. No big
deal. I love command line interfaces as they can be much more
productive for experienced users.
And the lack of a useable CLI was always such a negative against Microsoft
when enterprise companies were looking at options, that Microsoft finally
saw the light and added a much improved CLI as part of Windows 2008
A good CLI is critical to mission critical computing as batch jobs are
a key component of how real work gets done behind the scenes.
I worked on a GUI replacement for a call centre application and the
reason was not productivity but ease of training. The experienced
users of the green screen application were phenomenally quick as was
the application. The GUI replacement was incredibly slow and
frustrating for the experienced users. At the end of the day, however,
the replacement remained because it took 3 months training to get up
to speed with the GUI app and a year with the green screen app. The
average employment duration of an operative had dropped from ten years
to three years, so a year of training was just too costly.
Not sure what you mean here as a PC or MAC or whatever GUI and/or
browser front ends can be implemented on OpenVMS in the same way as
any other OS.
Anyway, I agree everyone needs to evaluate what tools they need for
a specific opportunity, but imho, the times are changing.
HP Services Canada
(remove the DOT's and AT)
OpenVMS - the secure, multi-site OS that just works.
- Re: PC Systems for sale
- From: urbancamo
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