Thursday, December 20, 2007

"Strategic planning" and capacity planning requirements: how things have changed from the 80s

Back in early 1989, when I was working as a “mainframe” computer programmer for a health care policy consulting company, we were concerned with reducing “computer costs” (disk space and charged EXCP’s) because they came out of the bottom line for the business. As noted in the last post, I was able to reduce some costs by replacing random VSAM accesses with Sorts and sequential processing. But I also called around to a couple of data centers in the northern Virginia area for quotes on space and time. I was almost going to be in the position to negotiate a lease of space with connections. The buzzword for this kind of systems analysis was "capacity planning"; but at Univac, back around 1973, I had encountered this concept with benchmarks of 1110's and with general customer site support. We wound up getting bought and moving over to a 4341 and 4381 environment that offered VM (which made a mainframe look rather like a PC 1980s style with its F-disk) and MVS; there were cultural squabbles on how to run SAS. (I remember those notorious “podiatry jobs” and the SAS “bundles”).

How things have changed, where Windows Vista and Server are the standards, with equivalents in the Linux and Unix worlds; where on the mainframe OS 390 runs anything you want. Now, as I noted on this blog in August, I size and price items for video and movie editng software, and Visual Studio / ADO / SQL server or comparable MySQL environments on my own machine or own domains, and how to tie everything together with something like Wordpress.

But the 80s, those were the days, my friends. But they would “ever end.”

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