Saturday, September 1, 2012

"F*** it, I'm buying a server" - the story of distributed IT

"The mainframe whisperer" - that's what my nephew Alex told me I should be after I described the culture of mainframers and explained why it clashes with the ambient business IT culture of immediate results.

Then his friend Stefan, who is tasked with getting results and has to deal with mainframers, told me of his experience of frustration with rigid behavior, leading to the memorable assertion: "F*** it, I'm buying a server." I told him that phrase was the history of IT since the 1980's.

The problem, of course, is that the rigid behavior that frustrates people so much is the reason why mainframes work so well while every other platform keeps crashing, being hacked, and generally failing the test of trustworthiness.

For me, this is the fractal meeting point of ocean and shore, of new and old, of aspiration and reality. And, somehow, mainframes have become a part of experiential reality, shoring up the world economy, while most of IT has continued to float on the waves of aspiration.

As I begin to spin up Mainframe Analytics, our blog, our website, and our business activities again after the passing of my wife earlier this year, this seems like a good leaping off point for this blog.

What can be done to bring together that which works with those who plan? Well, at SHARE in Anaheim, I had the opportunity to give the MVS Program keynote, in which I talked about this topic. And my answer, as you can see in the presentation posted at, is to get to know your mainframe environment ("know thyself"), optimize it for current needs ("get a haircut") and enthusiastically tell the world how great it is ("fall in love").

And that's what I'll be doing on this blog and in my role as Chief Strategist for Mainframe Analytics. Stay tuned!

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