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Do Operating Systems Matter? Part 1

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A month or two back, I had a conversation with a vendor who I won't name here (given that I'm at VMWorld, I should probably say that it wasn't VMWare) on the subject of application and service provisioning via a grid type application. A mouthful, I know. Essentially, the demonstration we were given centered around how the application permitted the drag and drop connection of a variety of resources: MySQL database to JBoss application server to Apache web server, and so on. Interesting, to be sure, despite the fact that I've seen similar demos and similar promises from vendors over the years.

The surprising thing was that the conversation got quite heated as I pushed for more information on what operating systems the individual applications were running on. Those of you that have interacted with me in person will probably realize that I don't really get contentious easily. I cannot recall, in fact, a similarly antagonistic briefing in my career to date. Ultimately, the dispute - in my view - boiled down to a central and fundamental disconnect: I believed that the operating system mattered, while the vendor in question did not. Vehemently, did not.

My principle argument was simple: ISVs, in my opinion, still write to operating system layers.

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