I feel like my response would be something like "Well, I've never in my life put together a standalone computer system that lasted fifteen years without maintenance, but you've already done it once, so why are you asking *me* for advice. Sounds like I should be asking *you*."
Wasn't it HP-UX years ago where the "@" symbol was some sort of delete key? I remember once it taking me a while to sort out why an employee kept complaining that his password wasn't working only on certain systems.
I heard an interview with John Doe (of X, The Knitters, etc) and he was asked about auto-tuning at one point. He said that even if you're someone who doesn't normally use them, sometimes when you've been in the studio for hours and you're just having one of those days where you can't seem to get a particular part right, you just decide fuck it and use the auto-tuner so that you can record the damn thing and move on.
I've mostly found it a sign of a company's size/age/maturity as to how boring the server names are. Several places I've worked for started out with the admins coming up with their funny/cute/dorky naming schemes, only to eventually have server names be locked down in the name of STANDARDIZATION.
Then you have endless meetings to decide what should be the important components of a system name. Should it indicate the machine's location? It's OS? It's function? Should it even indicate which rack number and elevation slot the system is in? Eventually you end up with racks full of servers named SJC-LX-APPDEV01, NYC-SV-EXCHG02, and LDN-UX-SMTPDR01.
I have to admit, a little part of me misses having room for a little creativity in naming systems, but then the rest of me doesn't miss wasting time trying to come up with names for work systems. I've always got my home network to label with my ever-changing nerdly obsessions.
There are free-as-in-beer email servers, even for very high volumes of mail, that any competent IT staff could maintain with minimal effort and better reliability than GMail. How much money do you think GMail would save? Is that amount of money actually worth the hassle of dealing with GMail?
According to a Forester report, they estimate that it costs on average $25.18 per month per user to provide email services in-house, compared to $8.47 for Gmail.
Interestingly, most people couldn't actually guess what the real cost of providing email services in-house was, many guessing $2-11 per user.
The upshot of Forester's analysis was that up to around 15,000 users, it could be substantially cheaper to outsource email as an infrastructure service.
Admittedly, there can be a lot more to the calculations though. Depending on your business needs or industry, you could have regulatory or compliance requirements that might interfere with an outsourced solution if the vendor can't meet those requirements.
The Forester report: http://www.forrester.com/Research/Document/Excerpt/0,7211,46302,00.html
Arstechnica report on the report: http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20090108-report-gmail-about-one-third-as-expensive-as-hosted-e-mail.html
Well, what about people who do have that sort of personality? What are they supposed to do, starve?
Work in a different industry? There are a lot of IT jobs that aren't in trading/clearing/brokering.
Likewise, after my most recent hiring I was told one of the strongest factors in my favor wasn't my 15+ years of technical experience, it was the hiring manager's sense that I was a low-stress personality type who would not be driven to insanity by the high-stress nature of the job.
This wasn't based on any particular personality test, mind you, just the hiring manager's judgment call based on my performance in the interviews.
Since then I've seen potential candidates for other positions in my group who met the professional qualifications passed up because they seemed wound too tight for the work.
The best that Sun could do is make OpenSolaris as much of a developer workstation OS as they can, in competition with Linux.
I keep thinking that Sun should seriously take a shot at the high-capacity low-cost storage market. They seem to have some really good ideas behind the "Thumper"-type solutions, but they're still priced way WAY too high.
Overpriced products easily duplicated with FreeNAS or any number of products at a fraction of the cost.
Are people really running petabytes of enterprise-class storage on FreeNAS? Don't get me wrong, FreeNAS and others like it are great products for tier 3 and maybe even tier 2 storage, but for serious high-availability storage clusters?
Can we quickly run through which of those other solutions have features equivalent to VMotion?
(Seriously, I seem to recall Xen or KVM was working towards something like that but don't know the status. I don't believe MS's free solution nor Parallel's non-free one has anything remotely Enterprise-suitable.)
I've got Parallels on my Macbook Pro right now, and it's fine for my purposes, but I really can't imagine anyone running production data center virtual machines with it.
Something like 15 years ago when I worked at a job supporting AIX, someone once made an error on an invoice and we received a full copy of AIX on floppies. I can't remember how many total disks there were, but there were multiple boxes of them.