One of my tasks over the weekend was to calculate how much it would cost to operate a service. I can't tell you what the service is, of course, since actually providing useful context is far beyond the scope of this blog. ;-) However, I had a good sit-down with Excel 12 on Saturday morning and began refactoring the way I think into things like "hardware" and "unanticipated downtime." I was struck by a few things:
I'd love to say that I now have a spreadsheet that captures every variable and gives phenomenally accurate predictions of cost. Instead I have a spreadsheet that takes about 6 variables and calculates an annual operating cost for a particular kind of site. Interesting, but not the panacea I'd hoped for.