I know that I've been pretty absent from the blog during this month, I've actually worked behind the scenes for the Juku Vimeo Channel and in some virtualization engagements that absorbed 110% of my time (sometimes even my spare time), but besides that I always kept an eye on twitter following all the infrastructure topics that I love the most: virtualization and storage.
Blah, Blah, Stacks
There was a lot of yapping about stacks lately (especially on twitter) about which stack is better, who's more integrated, who has less SKUs and who's more successful in selling it.
On Juku we've always been pretty optimistic about stacks, calling them a good platform of choice for many customers, especially those with staff issues, but I've been thinking about it lately and I now partially changed my mind about that, one of the sentences that I hear the most when discussing stacks is: "If you're buying a stack is like you're buying a car from a dealer, otherwise is just like building a kit car".
F1 IT Team
But what if you have a "Formula 1"-grade team that can build and maintain a technology stack using best-of-breed technologies in the market without entering in a strict vendor lock-in?
This is my point: back in the old days, when the mainframe guy came on-site he was the man in charge, he had the knowledge of the system, the people inside the company only knew how to "operate" the computer, they knew (almost) nothing about the IBM monolith, and most of the time they didn't even care about that, they knew just what they had to and delegated everything else to mother IBM.
Then the '80s and '90s came and the "open systems" revolutionized everything, suddenly every company had a "systems engineer", a guy who knew how the things worked internally, a man who knew how to deal with the system administration tasks, they gained an intimate knowledge of how things worked inside the company related to the IT and what worked better for them, this is the kind of "feeling" that nobody can just learn in a week of training and it's the pitfall of many outsourcing project where the outsourcer can't reach the same level of "confidence" with the IT applications and the business they're outsourcing stuff to.
Building your own is not a crime!
Now if you followed my though path down here, just think about the knowledge that your IT department has regarding your business processes, your customizations, your infrastructure and what they can do if you give them the ability to build a best-of-breed stack, maybe with the help of a trusted partner (a vendor, a VAR, you-name-it).
This is what I'm referring to, the past decades gave us tons of knowledge about our IT intricacies, why waste everything in the name of the "one throat to choke"? and about that very point, just ask your sysadmin when was the last time that a support team (excluding Oracle 🙂 ) turned him down and dumped the guilty on the back of another vendor.