In storytelling a deus ex machina is not necessarily a good thing. In fact, its use is often attributed to the author’s inability to resolve a plot point and thus divine intervention, or some other too-good-to-be-true coincidental discovery of a vital piece of information, is used to solve the problem. The term comes from Greek plays in which the gods descended from the heavens to solve an unsolvable problem for mere mortals. In those times a primitive machine was used to lower the “gods” from the heavens onto the stage, hence the term which translates as “god from machine”.

While many IT personnel have almost certainly prayed on any number of long, frustrating evenings for a deus ex machina solution to some problem with which they were struggling, the reality is that very few “machines” can suddenly drop out of the sky into the network and solve all application-related problems. Unlike storytelling, however, the existence of a deus ex machina solution would certainly be a good thing and having one drop out of the sky would be, if you’ll pardon the pun, a god-send.

While no such beast exists completely today, a unified application delivery platform comes pretty close.