“Ugh, this server is such a pile of garbage!” Eric shouted for the 10th time that week. The “server” was an aging desktop that fell out of use several years prior. Eric’s team needed to resolve a performance problem in their production BizTalk environment. The best thing they had to simulate that environment was running virtual machines on this over-matched computer that you wouldn’t even give away to your kids. Such “recycling” was the standard at Eric’s company. Whenever they needed hardware to assist with development, Eric argued with the hardware guys just to get a handout of scraps from them. This time was no different.

In hopes of actually getting a usable dev server, Eric knew he would have to contact Mitch, the cranky head of the hardware team. A machine that was in its prime back when MySpace was the social media king would be an improvement. Eric carefully drafted a respectful, polite, and painfully courteous email to Mitch, explaining the inadequacies of their current setup and how this was keeping them from supporting production.

Mitch didn’t retort with the same level of professionalism, however. “WHAT YOU HAVE IS GOOD ENOUGH! STOP WHINING.”

Eric let Mitch cool off for a day before he tried again: “Mitch, we are unable to do our jobs and solve this production issue without different hardware. Please, ANYTHING you could spare would be better than this. Thanks!”

Mitch was un-fazed by Eric’s desperate plea, shooting back “OH SURE! I just have all kinds of supercomputers laying around the office for whenever one of you pipsqueaks has a little problem! If you guys knew what you were doing, THERE WOULDN’T BE A PRODUCTION PROBLEM IN THE FIRST PLACE!”

Eric knew the battle was hopeless, so he decided to get his manager involved. His manager used to work with Mitch’s boss, so he had some pull. A week went by and just as Eric gave up hope that he would ever get his “new” hardware, Mitch stormed in the door and slammed down a recently-decommissioned blade server with eight processors, gigs and gigs of RAM, and enough hard-drive space to download all the porn on the Internet. “HERE, YOU LITTLE SNITCH! Way to tell your mommy on me!” Mitch said gruffly before he left. Eric was so stunned by what happened he wasn’t even able to thank him for the hook up.

Eric’s team got the new wicked-awesome server loaded up with their BizTalk setup. Their virtual machines were but a minor nuisance to its processing power. They ran their first big test of BizTalk; the services launched with breakneck speed and the user interface was zippy. Eric started to process some data expecting the same exceptional results, but something was wrong. When their application tried to hit the database, it ran head-first into a brick wall without a helmet on. After ruling out every other possibility, Eric deduced that the database server must be the new bottleneck. He inspected the connection settings where he found the DB server’s name was MITCH-DB. “Oh crap,” Eric said aloud upon realizing he’d have to deal with Mitch again.

Eric emailed Mitch asking him what this MITCH-DB was and what the specs were on it. “What the hell do you care?? That was my desktop when I first started here, it got turned into the development database server a couple years ago, and SHOULD BE JUST FINE for your needs!”

Eric asked one of his more senior co-workers when Mitch joined the company. “I think way back in early 2000.”

“Son of a…” Eric muttered as he prepared to face the next uphill battle with Mitch.