Friday, October 31, 2014

Countdown to Boot Camp 2014 – It was a little over 20 years ago ...

A flashback to 1993 and an ITUG event in Orlando gave me the introduction I was looking for with this post about who's talking at the upcoming NonStop Technical Boot Camp 2014 ...

It was a little over 20 years ago – October, 1993, as I recall – that I attended the annual ITUG event in Orlando. I was with a group from development that included Margo Holen and we were showcasing a project we all called Chameleon – featuring “twin tails” connections between PCs, and Tandem computers. Cut one “tail” and the other took over – it was all based on Ethernet and took advantage of custom NICs from Ungermann-Bass (UB).

Joining Tandem developers was Michael Ladam from UB. Michael, Brad Poole (now with comForte), Margo and I took a drive to Cape Canaveral and we stopped for gas alongside a tourist shop selling practically everything. To this day we all will not readily forget Michael’s exclamation while perusing western belts, each one featuring a flashy belt buckle, when he found a belt with “a buckle that says nothing at all!”

More recently, I was driving back from Mississauga, Ontario, having just participated in the CTUG event that is proving ever more popular with the years, and stopped in at the world’s biggest truck stop. Alongside Interstate 80 in Iowa, this truck stop is indeed huge, so much so that when satellite radio station channel, Outlaw, held a free concert recently they had to broadcast where exactly on the site attendees could find the performance.

Imagine my surprise then as I passed a display (pictured above) that boldly proclaimed: Buckle’s Attitude – Let your Buckle do the talking! For a mere $20, you could wear a belt buckle advertising anything you wanted. I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to snap a picture even as Margo couldn’t help but prefer to be anywhere else but with me at that moment. However, there are only a few weeks to go before the NonStop Technical Boot Camp 2014 and having checked out the list of presentations it would be remiss of me not to highlight some of the sessions already scheduled.

While I was unable to attend the first restart of this important community event when it was held in 2012, I did make it to last year’s event and will do so again this year. In fact, as much as I really like the show HP puts on each summer – the big-tent HP Discover event in Las Vegas – there’s just something special about being in San Jose and listening to vendors and customers alike talking about their plans for NonStop.

When it comes to vendor presentations what really struck me is the return of the solutions vendors. In times past, it was more or less an event given over to tools and utilities vendors and while they are an important integral part of the NonStop community – indeed, whose continued generosity allows the Boot Camp to flourish, hearing about the aspirations of those vendors who truly live and die depending on the market competitiveness of NonStop, there are many a home truth disclosed about just how popular NonStop is these days among real users.

Topping my list of must-attend sessions therefore is the presentation by OmniPayment’s CEO, Yash Kapedia. His presentation this year is C-11: The Smarts Behind EMV Smart Cards on Monday at 2:30 in the Chynoweth room and I suspect that there will be more than a few interested parties wanting to know more of what Yash has been up to when it comes to securing our card information in these days of apparently easy-access by any bad-guy committed to stealing such information.

“When it comes to adoption of EMV within the U.S., it’s not so much a case of if but when and whether it can be completed before any further regulation occurs. Indeed, there are instances of merchants going ahead regardless – it’s important for them to retain customer loyalty in the face of highly-publicized hacking attacks,” said Yash. “However, more importantly, as from August 15, 2015, any U.S. merchant that does not process most of its transactions with EMV-compatible POS terminals will be liable for fraudulent transactions, rather than the issuing bank as is the case today.”

An important issue for the NonStop community, as Yash reminded me, “Since HP NonStop systems have a significant presence in payment-card transaction systems, it is important that the NonStop community be familiar with smart-card technology. OmniPayments has a number of years’ experience with EMV implementations elsewhere across the globe.” Yash assures me that he will be more than willing to provide the benefit of his experiences to date during his presentation, and plans to be available for discussions with any interested parties at pretty much any time during the event.

While it’s early and there’s a raft of NDAs in place, one session should prove interesting and well worth the effort spent finding the session. Part of the Application Modernization track, the session HP-26 Going beyond SOAP for a Cleaner, Fresher Web Services Architecture at 10:30 Monday morning (in the Guadalupe room) will feature a joint presentation by HP’s Keith Moore and InfraSoft’s Dave Finnie. For any parties interested in potential market opportunities for NonStop running on Intel x86 architecture this may very well be a glimpse into a bright new future for NonStop. I have already seen a little of what will be covered and it's impressive!

The NonStop community has the presence of a real powerhouse vendor in the Big Data space, recently recognized by CIO Story as one of the
20 Most Powerful Big Data Companies, that is providing product that supports NonStop – to the best of my knowledge, a first. Sami Akbay, WebAction Cofounder will be joined by Jim Knudsen (JK) for a Sunday afternoon (1:00pm - 5:00pm) Pre-conference seminar How to Take Advantage of Big Data with NonStop. At this point I would like to just add a little late-breaking news. I will also be participating in this presentation, albeit not to the technical level of Sami and JK.

According to Sami, a good reason to attend is “this will be a true Big Data background and primer focused on just how Big Data impacts NonStop and where you will see how WebAction is already assisting the NonStop ecosystem, bringing with it Big Data context and richness.” Furthermore, Sami told me, “We are looking forward to seeing Big Data being adopted into the NonStop ecosystem and want to be enable and accelerate that evolution. We are seeing novel ways of using data from outside the NonStop ecosystem and the real business advantage that can be gained with deeper insights.” 

Talking of the Pre-conference seminar that will be held Sunday, comForte has a couple of rooms and have populated a number of sessions. I have covered this in a new blog post you can find on the comForte web site – check out For those NonStop systems looking too much like legacy; replacement potential is high! For me the commitment to the user community by comForte is outstanding and many of the company’s executives and management will be highly visible.

There will be some new, or at least less familiar, faces present as well and I am pleased to see Susan Raye from DataExpress attending this event. I have begun working with DataExpress and the more conversations I have with these folks the more I am impressed. If you missed my latest post to ATMmarketplace, check out Lift the flap ... what's behind it? and watch too for an interview with the folks from DataExpress that will appear shortly in the Nov – Dec, 2014, issue of The Connection.

Finally, it would be remiss of me not to include a reference in passing to my own presentation – this year, on monitoring. While it will feature my own observations and opinions about monitoring I will be pulling some material from that given to me by IR. The new releases surrounding Prognosis 10 are bringing a lot of modernization to monitoring that really goes a long way to simplifying the tasks and I for one am interested in all new developments targeting monitoring – look for the presentation C-13: Overwhelmed by Complexity? Looking for Business Insight? What's really going on inside your data center? at 5:00pm Monday in the Guadalupe room.

It’s hard to imagine where twenty plus years went and no, I suspect I’m not the first to make such an observation. However, the very presence of a major NonStop user event still drawing a crowd is something very special and not to be taken for granted. I write a lot and true, I talk a lot – no, there’s no such thing as a Buckle that says nothing at all, and with that, as the days wind down, I’m looking forward to catching up with you all!

1 comment:

Justin said...

Hello Richard,
Good on ya mate. Thanks for promoting the Bootcamp and for the highlights. Although it's a little self-serving, Sami and I are presenting a session together on Tuesday at 5-5:50 in HP-40. I believe it just lists me which is unfortunate. The session is called HTAP Hybrid Analytical Transactional Processing and highlights WebAction. Please attend.