IT has increasing pressure to align or in some cases drive business needs. If you look at a single sector – say Finance, you realize that no two finance organizations are alike. And even within a single finance organization, the business needs from various business units are extremely different! So why is it that we read marketing literature that purports to solve all of our problems in a single shrink wrapped package?
The truth is that in a data center there are several spheres of influence over each application decision. Virtualization is forcing applications to play well on virtual machines, but not all home grown applications perform well when virtualized. Some will be stellar.
Not all applications require a separate network, while some actually perform better if they are not sharing resources. And lets not forget that some application installation companies and some application vendors push certain hardware for their installations as it is easier to troubleshoot on a known platform.
I have seen only a few data centers that have applications running on a single vendor platform across the entire data center floor. As equipment is refreshed/upgraded, then you are back to supporting a variety of platforms based on performance and price concerns at the time of refresh/purchase.
Options are continuing to grow (although I would argue that not everyone takes advantage of them). But the paradigm is shifting from simply price->performance->business need, to now include things such as power consumption, energy ratings, field upgrade ability, performance/power ratios, and a variety of other factors for each purchase.
So the next time a vendor shows up spewing marketing material speak, be prepared to challenge the “one size fits all” approach with your own set of increasing difficult matrices that fit YOUR needs.