Your company was once at the forefront of the computing revolution. You deployed the latest mainframes, then minis, then microcomputers. You joined the PC revolution and bought Sparcs during the dot-com era. You bought DB2 to replace some of what you were doing with IMS. Maybe you bought Oracle or SQL Server later. You deployed MPP and started looking at cubes.
Then you jumped on the next big wave and put a lot of your data on the intranet and internet. You deployed VMware to prevent server sprawl, only to discover VM sprawl. When Microsoft came a-knocking, you deployed SharePoint. You even moved from Siebel to Salesforce to hop into SaaS.
Now you have data coming out of your ears and spilling all over the place. Your mainframe is a delicate flower on which nothing can be installed without a six-month study. The rest of your data is all on the SAN. That works out because you have a “great relationship with the EMC/Dell federation” (where you basically pay them whatever they want and they give you the “EMC treatment”). However, the SAN does you no good for finding actual information due to the effects of VM and application sprawl on your data organization.