Friday, February 27, 2015

NonStop in the “technology mix” for IT? Sounds reasonable …

Among IT professionals, when discussions turn to hybrids, it’s not just hybrid clouds being talked about but hybrid systems and for the NonStop community, this includes hybrids featuring the latest NonStop X systems …

I recently passed a car with a bumper sticker: “Yes, it’s a hybrid, it burns both gas & rubber!” One’s perspective on the environment may differ from others’, and sometimes quite radically, but even so, there’s a sense that whatever interests us and wherever our pursuits take us, if we can leave the environment better off, then that is to the benefit of us all. Saying anything more on this matter however, as the majority of the U.S. shivers under the impact of a severe and lengthy winter deep freeze, may prove controversial (and it has nothing to do with the rest of this post), but even so, the cold has many of us wondering where global warming has gone.

Living on Colorado I have become a big fan of natural gas – a sentiment I shared with others when I lived in Australia. For a very long time the option to power vehicles with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) has proved to be popular among Australian drivers and with the abundant supply of natural gas, now apparent to everyone pretty much everywhere we look (in the U.S. LPG is known as Propane, and referred to as Autogas), it’s still amusing to hear the debates on whether more refueling stations should be built and whether manufacturers should provide support for LPG on many more vehicles.

Despite all the talk, I fully expect to see at some point hybrid cars that are powered by combinations of LPG / electric just as I anticipate seeing diesel / electric hybrids sometime soon. The point of mixing technologies to better meet the needs of users has become a proven winner for many within industry and so, mixing technologies for IT sounds every bit as reasonable, and already from the messages coming from multiple vendors, it would seem that the day of practical hybrids is fast approaching.

I have been writing about the emergence of hybrid computers within the NonStop community for some time, and with each post, and the subsequent discussions that arise on LinkedIn groups, the degree of interest climbs. For as long as I have been involved with NonStop, there’s been a very strong argument to be made for making very sure everything supporting an application on NonStop stays on NonStop, as the all-important availability attribute is only as strong as the weakest link. Push processes off-platform and onto Windows and the expectation of availability levels we associate with NonStop is immediately lowered. Why bother, some have argued, to even use NonStop systems if part of the application proves vulnerable because of the inherent frailty of the secondary system.

Before getting any deeper into this post, for the sake of clarity, when it comes to NonStop X and hybrids, “a hybrid does not need to co-exist in the same chassis,” according to Manager, HP NonStop Product Management, Karen Copeland. “It can be an overall application configuration where different parts of the solution run on different systems that communicate with each other in real time to be seen as one application by the user, while using the best of breed for different parts of the system.”

The likelihood of reaching out to another system on the far side of the data center will be one option many CIOs will consider, and the way I hear it, where NonStop X is already being tested. The most important consideration by everyone in the NonStop community when thinking of hybrids, I was told, was to think big! Don’t limit your thinking about the value hybrid computing will bring based on past projects or what you read in the popular press!  

IBM has had hybrids for some time now. With their mainframes, the opportunity to configure both zOS and zLinux in the same mainframe has been an option for many – particularly when zLinux supports the front-end presentation services and page serving and zOS supports the database and some of the heavy-lifting associated with mission-critical transaction processing. Very much a working model for what HP will likely begin promoting aggressively with NonStop X and x86 Linux, now that we can expect to see both sharing the same chassis at some point it will be hard to imagine modernization projects in the future that don’t take advantage of such an option.

Unfortunately for IBM, but potentially good news for HP, a renewed push to right-size IBM has seen mainframe customers doubting the future of the mainframe – not from a technology standpoint but in terms of future support, along with consulting services. None of this has lessened IBM’s enthusiasm for hybrids and for those who may be interested, check out the latest IBM’s press release
IBM Cloud Makes Hybrid a Reality for the Enterprise.

My interest in what was prototyped by the HP NonStop solutions architects some time ago, under the general banner of Persistent Cloud Services (or, Guardian Angel) that was subsequently productized by InfraSoft as maRunga, goes back to my own appreciation that in Pathway may be the very glue that holds hybrids of NonStop and Linux together; in so doing, throwing the mantle of Pathway over systems apart from NonStop. Pathway Advanced Cluster Services (ACS) extended the reach of Pathway to adjacent NonStop nodes under the single definition of a domain, so why not continue expanding the reach of Pathway to include nodes other than NonStop, such as Linux. This is now evolving into the current message for maRunga, and while there’s still further refinement of maRunga required, InfraSoft remains committed to working with other vendors to capitalize on this product to better serve hybrid systems anchored by NonStop.

This reference to clouds, and cloud computing, turns the dialogue back to where hybrids first begun entering mainstream discussions. At the center of these discussions was the expectations of the enterprise – would they simply abandon all that they had invested in to date, or rather, complement select applications with processes running on much cheaper platforms. This question was addressed recently in comments to a discussion on the LinkedIn group,
Mission Critical Systems Forum (facilitated by Oracle). In response to the question, Are legacy systems a hindrance, or just the fall guys when things go wrong?, Ed Carp, a Linux Guru, observed that, “Contrary to the original article's assertions, legacy systems ‘just run’. As another poster pointed out, some are always looking for the next big thing - moving away from Java or whatever ‘because it's become legacy’”.

However, more importantly for the NonStop community, Carp then wrote that, “Moving to the cloud, while it sounds sexy and new and attractive, just pushes problems of scalability, reliability, security, and backup control to someone else's plate - and when your cloud provider goes down or just goes away, where's your data? How do you know who's managing it is reliable and keeping it secure?” This of course, touches a nerve of every NonStop proponent, but then Carp finished with how, “It seems to me that moving to the cloud as the sole option without a failover to locally cached data is a recipe for failure - and if you have to manage local data as well, why bother with the cloud, with the issue of network latency - unless you're running multiple locations (then data in the cloud becomes more of a win for you) - it just becomes an added expense”.

Could we see not just a hybrid made up of NonStop X and x86 Linux, sharing a common chassis or not, but also a hybrid of NonStop with one or more Clouds and where Pathway throws its mantle over the lot? Again, I anticipate that something like this will eventually prove extremely tempting to some in the NonStop community. When you look at the vendor community some are likely to opt to explore such configurations. As have been well documented to date, OmniPayments, Inc. now has its solutions operating from within a cloud, all based on NonStop, but imagine the potentially greater TCO, should some processes be run on Linux within the cloud. In his article, Payment-card transaction switching via the cloud, just published in the Jan – Feb, 2015, issue of The Connection, CEO, Yash Kapadia, observes that while it’s “not a general cloud offering for running customer applications” all the same, “it is a Software as a Service (SaaS) cloud that specifically provides financial-transaction-switch services via HP NonStop servers.

Yash is not alone, as many of my clients provide products capable of running on either NonStop or Linux – and most of them, from a common code base. Whether there are issues of DMZ placement, as in the case of security or simply access to a richer presentation toolset, vendors including IR, WebAction, InfraSoft and DataExpress all seem to be well-suited to exploiting any mix of NonStop and Linux, whether found in a shared-chassis or in a NonStop overseen cloud.

According to Michelle Marost, President of DataExpress, “With as much talk as there is these days of the benefits derived from building hybrid computers around NonStop, and having the extra flexibility of selecting where DataExpress runs that only adds to the benefits that come with our secure managed file transfer suite.” IR is well positioned to provide a single pane of glass to monitor hybrids, even as WebAction has begun demonstrating the potential to track adherence to SLAs that span hybrid environments. WebAction Cofounder and EVP, Sami Akbay, was quick to observe that when it comes to, "Realtime process monitoring, alerting, and workflow enablement across hybrid systems is just one area where WebAction excels. We see this service as part of the future landscape for all enterprise systems."

The industry is behind deploying hybrids even if it is in support of hybrid clouds. Vendors within the NonStop community are prepared and are essentially looking for the first implementations – yes, news from HP supports this new direction with, apparently, a handful of new NonStop X hybrids already under test at customer sites. Perhaps most important of all for the NonStop community, new markets may be fueled following the option to run NonStop from within a cloud. As Yash noted, “Special consideration is given to mid-size retailers who have grown large enough to afford their own transaction-switching systems. OmniCloud can offer such retailers dedicated systems. These systems still run in OmniCloud, but they relieve the retailers of the purchasing and operation costs of obtaining their own system”.

And therein lays the real story of hybrid based on NonStop – becoming price attractive in markets where NonStop may still be considered expensive. The move to be fully commodity-based, together with the option to run standalone in hybrid configurations with other systems or indeed clouds, with the flexibility to support modern languages and platforms, is among the biggest message about the new NonStop X coming from HP. NonStop cannot be ruled out of any market or industry or from any use-case scenario – when it comes to technology and solutions, the enterprise today has many options that can be pursued and mixing technologies for IT sounds every bit as reasonable. Including NonStop now, as an option, will certainly draw greater attention and for NonStop to be in the mix is good news indeed for every member of the NonStop community. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Death of big projects?

A trip to Las Vegas is a reminder than not all big projects succeed and the story of failed big projects isn’t limited to construction as experienced IT professionals will quickly point out – but the issue today is whether small has become the new big!

This week has me back in Las Vegas for another event, the ATM Industry Association (ATMIA) US Conference, 2015. Under the overall banner of enhancing the consumer’s self-service experience, it has attracted the usual crowd of ATM vendors, payments solutions providers as well as all the service providers on the periphery of the ATM ecosystem. Among the sponsors are some familiar names, and it’s good to see a healthy representation from the NonStop community, and conversations started as soon as I left the registration desk. However, it was the familiar sites of the Las Vegas skyline that really caught my attention this week.

If you recall the last post to this blog, that of February 6, 2015, Of hubs and spokes; of niches, clouds and beyond the horizon; it all looks good for NonStop X! it contained the familiar site of the Las Vegas tower – home to the Stratosphere casino and hotel. The picture was taken from the window of my hotel, but this time, even though I am staying in the same hotel, my window faces the opposite direction and so the picture I have included above is of the view from this window. In case it is not obvious, the image represents an almost-completed site that has been standing abandoned for more than three years. Having changed hands a number of times, there’s still no indication as to when the development will be completed and yet, its primary building dominates this northern end of the famous Las Vegas strip.

It is not alone, however, as across the street and a little closer to the main attractions on the strip, is an even bigger vacant property sitting on 87 acres, the Asian-themed Resort World. With an access road already renamed Resort World Drive, there’s only a minimal number of structures visible with very little evidence that any work is being done whatsoever. At the other end of the strip, across the road from the Mandalay Bay complex, sit a couple of incomplete support structures for yet another Ferris Wheel for Las Vegas, even as the Vegas High Roller Wheel - the world’s largest observation wheel – has been completed and is operational. With rebar clearly rusting, these abandoned support structures are yet another reminder that not every major project in this city makes it to fruition.

When it comes to major projects floundering, many major IT projects have suffered similar fate. Back in the 1970s, during my trip to the US, there were advertisements placed by the Australian retailer, Myers in the American edition of Computerworld looking for experienced IT executives. Describing their need for additional resources for the biggest retail IT project ever, and offering starting salaries well above what any Australian IT manager had seen before, the project called for building two new data centers, equipping them both with some of the biggest IBM mainframes available at the time, and bringing online processing to every store, complete with online access to centralized databases. This was, at best, adventurous for the times (remember, 4800 baud communication’s lines), while at worst, a risky investment of corporate funds. Meyers did make it eventually, but after several delays and a move to distributed processing. More importantly, the financial overruns were fodder for numerous financial commentaries that made headlines even in the mainstream media.

Retailers, banks and government agencies are famous for the big projects they pursue. Many in the NonStop community will recall as I do the huge undertakings initiated by the Australian banks, Westpac (Core System 90?) and ANZ (a new platform proposed jointly by Dell and Microsoft?). These were equally famous for the many decision reversals that occurred along the way. I happened to be in the offices of a Westpac IT executive who calmly told me of the just-made, forward-thinking, decision to go with distributed IBM Series/1 computers at a time when their only use appeared to be to fill up empty warehouses (alongside, of course, the many unsold rebadged Stratus computers – the infamous IBM System/88).

Not everything big that we dream up comes to fruition, nor does the big idea develop into the game-changing, disruptive and innovative solution its proponents promise. However, apart from the news about failed outsourcing projects, of late there has been little news about the pursuit of the big project by an enterprise. So little news in fact that there’s been stories written about the death of big projects, given so few enterprises have the stomach anymore to tackle anything involving multiple years. Selling any project that may outlive the CIO’s likely residence in the corner office is becoming even more difficult to accomplish, so much so that for all intents and purposes, the big project has completely faded from the IT scene.

In the March, 2015, edition of the eNewsletter, Tandemworld, my Musings on NonStop column touches on the topic of big projects. Not so much about the death of big projects, but rather, the flip side of the topic – have all the big applications been written and has the need for big projects become a moot point? That is, with nothing big needing to be developed, are we approaching a time of change rather than a time to reboot with completely new processes? There’s no longer a situation where empty box outlines, describing functionality needed by the business, remain unfilled waiting, as it were, for a new product to appear on the horizon. Furthermore, I suggested, have all the applications been written? And just as importantly, is the science, or indeed art of large-scale application-writing, heading for the trash can? Will we all be witnesses to the death of the development of further enterprise applications?

Continuing with this idea, I then wrote that there will be exceptions, of course, but in general a strong case can be made favoring enhancing what we now have versus looking for what is new. As much as this may sound sacrilegious to the IT faithful, the dawn of the mini-applications, or simply, Apps, is hitting the enterprise and making large enterprise projects that most of us are familiar with, looking oh, so 1990s, to paraphrase recent comments made by a Google executive. Again, “in this age of mobility and information” the core of what we need to do as a business has been done, for the most part, leaving the tweaking of processing and presentation to better serve customers on the move – yes, the always-on world is forcing a modernization of our applications like we haven’t seen, well, since client/server computing, and yes, perhaps since the first distributed computer came onto the scene.

In a recent email exchange with WebAction, Inc. Cofounder and EVP, Sami Akbay, on this very topic, Akbay suggested that, “Traditional applications are dying. These applications used to sit between people and computers. They were optimized for human generated data to be the input. Humans also consumed the output.” And by traditional applications, for the most part these were the very big applications we had seen developed in the late 1980s through to the late 1990s, that anchored much of the IT processing of every enterprise. However, while they remain, Akbay suggested that there were complementary projects underway at nearly all of these enterprises. “The new generation of small applications sit between machine generated data and an infrastructure fabric,” said Akbay. “The input data is predominantly machine generated. Humans consume the output. Also other applications consume the output but that's the next generation ‘connected applications’”.

With so many discussions of late on the topic of modernization, it is often overlooked that modernization is more than just dressing up the look and feel of older, legacy, applications. What was the subject of the big project, decades ago, and remains operational, only requires a new GUI, or so conventional wisdom suggests. For many enterprises this is indeed the modernization projects being pursued. On the other hand, the advent of modern languages and frameworks has also seen incremental functionality being provided using some of these modern languages. This is the subject of an upcoming article in the March / April, 2015, edition of The Connection magazine that I am co-writing with InfraSoft Pty Limited CTO, Neil Coleman. In this article, the merits of using Node.js running on NonStop X and support JavaScript is actively promoted and there’s very little today that is more modern that Node.js.

The landscape of Las Vegas is liberally littered with the evidence of the failed big project. IT history tells us that Las Vegas isn’t alone in this respect – the numerous times that the IT big project failed likely continues to outnumber the IT big project that succeeded. It may be cavalier of me to suggest that the days of the IT big project are over, but by many counts, this may be truer than we realize. Embellishing the applications that keep enterprises in business seems to be the new reality and adding small applications, as Akbay observes, will likely play a bigger role going forward. Having a choice to run new platforms on NonStop X systems only makes going down this path seem even more realistic.

Big projects dead? Just look around your IT department and look at who has the appetite for more big projects and you will readily see that small is now the new big. It may not be as glamorous, and less likely to capture the media’s attention, but then again, as long as baby-steps remain in vogue, as we see today with small applications, then the likelihood of anyone in the NonStop community grabbing the spotlight will be close to zero. Put that down as yet another positive attribute for going with NonStop and one I have to believe every CIO will welcome!      

Friday, February 6, 2015

Of hubs and spokes; of niches, clouds and beyond the horizon; it all looks good for NonStop X!

The topic of NonStop being deployed as a hub has been a consideration for decades with several initiatives kicked off during that time. But with the arrival of NonStop, will an intelligent price-competitive hub featuring NonStop X make a difference and prove valuable to users?

In the post of February 3, 2015, to Buckle-Up-Travel (my social blog), In truth, we are but travelers …, I comment on how I have become a traveler in the sense that what’s immediately beyond the horizon is important to me. Not the destination, nor the road itself, but rather the act of moving, of travelling, as I said, that really motivates me and keeps me well-grounded in what’s happening in the world outside my office. I don’t always make the right decisions about the form of transportation I use, but so long as it gets me pointed in the general direction I want to go, it’s all good! This reminds me of the quote from 1951 Alice in Wonderland animated movie when Alice said: “I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it!”

However, this post isn’t so much about travelling as it is about the shared expectations that I have with many of you about the future of NonStop now that NonStop X is about to ship. While I am sketchy with details about who will be the first to use NonStop, even as I am completely in the dark about where the first NonStop X systems will appear, I have a sense that there will be numerous surprises in store for all of us as HP lifts the veil on Project Cognac. From the time I was first briefed I have had a hard time keeping the lid on what I saw as a potential game changer, but now, the conversation has truly started and bit by bit, the expectations for NonStop X are beginning to see daylight.

A short time ago I started a discussion on the LinkedIn group, Tandem User Group, where I asked for members (willing to do so) to “provide a comment as to what you see as priority for HP as it starts selling NonStop X in 2015”. Among the responses was one from HP Master Technologist, Justin Simonds. In the past Simonds has been upbeat about all things NonStop so seeing him respond to the question didn’t come as a surprise. For Simonds, it was a case of reminding members that, “As I've said to anyone who will listen, (the Internet of Things) IoT is going to be huge and (capturing) a very small percentage of that would be a boon to NonStop.”

However, Simonds then moves onto a more interesting observation as part of his response. “NonStop in the SaaS area is where I see NonStop in (the) cloud,” Simonds proposes.  “Opsol is doing a lot of work in that area and I believe there should be more. In terms of verticals I would like to see NonStop in Healthcare (back in Healthcare), back with a strong 911 offering and energy. I'd like to see NonStop get involved with Supply Chain again.” Before he completes his response, Simonds shifts into overdrive, noting how within HP NonStop development, “We had some excellent ideas back in the ZLE days and with some of the new datastreaming partners such as WebAction and Network Kinetix we could again offer up unique and compelling advantages. I could go on but you get the point. NonStop X should mark an uptick in NonStop awareness and deployment into new areas.”

Confirming Simonds observation, in my post of February 3, 2015, In Novel Ways … WebAction for NonStop X Will Change the Way Business Operates! I reference WebAction’s Jonathan Geraci even as he agreed with Simonds, making the observation that, “With the arrival of HP NonStop X, companies will have the opportunity to use NonStop in novel ways.” Furthermore, I wrote, “NonStop systems have always been about ease of use and ease of management, but in supporting x86 the value proposition of NonStop takes a big turn in the right direction – lower overall Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).” The promise of even greater commoditization along with competitive pricing, can only help aid an uptick in NonStop awareness and with the turmoil IBM is going through right now re layoffs, even the staunchest of NonStop foes may concede NonStop X changes the game.

For many members within the NonStop community there are few fond memories of ZLE and yet, at the time, it was a bold move and one where perhaps HP NonStop development faulted as it crossed the starting line. Nevertheless, ZLE built on a lot of early work – remember some slideware in the 1990s in support of intelligent networks, etc. – and in its day ZLE had the potential for being a game-changer for IT. However, should we take a second look at ZLE and is there an opportunity to revisit its role as we near general availability of NonStop X systems?

Former ITUG Chair, Janice Reeder-Highleyman, wrote in the Nov – Dec, 2014, issue of The Connection about ZLE. In her feature, OmniPayment’s Yash Kapadia Was Happily Retired Until His Wife Demanded He Return to Work, Reeder-Highleyman includes the following comment, “Yet another Tandem / Opsol collaboration was the execution of ZLE for Tandem.” Naturally, this caught my attention as did the observations that followed. “Yash believed that there was more potential for ZLE than Tandem realized, so Opsol negotiated the acquisition of Tandem ZLE’s intellectual property rights. Soon after, ZLE was reborn as Opsol’s OmniHub, a NonStop data integration solution for companies requiring IT infrastructure integration in order to capture a single view of their customers’ transactional activities.”

For me, this was an open invitation to check directly with OmniPayments, Inc. CEO, Yash Kapadia, to find out more about the influence of ZLE on his products and Yash didn’t disappoint. “Whenever a customer purchases OmniPayments there’s a strong case to be made for the purchase of OmniHub. Our clients see the potential value from OmniHub being the seamless integration of application code with as many banking or retail channels as they need supported – whether online banking, mobile banking or ATMs and POSs, OmniHub ensures any transaction can be accessed by customers no matter the channel selected.” Yes, sounds a lot like what I had previously read about ZLE.

In the real world, OmniHub has found customers and today, according to Yash, “We have deployed OmniHub in combination with OmniPayments at several Financial Institutions (FIs) including Banco Popular Puerto Rico (BPPR), as well as for the Mexican retailer, Casa Ley, and companies operating financial switches including one of the most recent wins for OmniPayements on NonStop systems, Carvajal.” For each of these customers, OmniHub has enabled customers to leverage functionality across different delivery channels greatly simplifying the customers’ support.

“When it comes to business services, what is provided today with OmniHub is that OmniPayments users can access numerous Business Logic Modules (BLMs). These include processes in support of OmniSCV (single customer view, OmniOffers (personalization) and OmniSI Server (stand-in processing) but what’s also worth keeping in mind is that adding new channels and new services is not complex.” Yash then added. “This can be accomplished with configuration changes and by accommodating additional data sets that reflect data from existing legacy services that need to be centralized on OmniHub. Such data sets can be easily created using the browser-based console.”

Supporting what Simonds had written to the LinkedIn group discussion, Yash then told me that as he “looked further ahead, with OmniHub supporting real-time access to all information and all relations of the customer with the bank, there is business intelligence available on consolidated and real-time data gathered by OmniHub and with Big Data / Analytics initiatives under way at many FIs, it’s a logical place for OmniPayments to provide the necessary interfaces and services in support of Big Data.” All up, a nice segue observation, as Simonds clearly observed, into the work being done by companies such as WebAction.

As for the mechanics about how OmniHub works, especially in light of what was leveraged from the earlier work done in support of ZLE, “OmniHub supports a variety of interfaces that enable easy integration of numerous channels, including TCP/IP, CORBA, SOAP/XML, HTTP, MQ, Tuxedo, Pathway and SNA. Addition of new channels and new services is not complex,” said Yash. “Should HP NonStop add support for external connections via InfiniBand (IB) following the introduction of NonStop X, then such support could be easily added via OmniHub.” Indeed, the more I consider the role of a modern day ZLE-like hub, the more the work being done in support of hybrids featuring NonStop X and Linux X, the more I am inclined to think the former sins of ZLE may have finally been excised.

When I posed the prospect of hybrid configurations based on NonStop X finding newfound popularity within modern data centers, Yash was very forthcoming with his observations on hybrids. “Even as there’s considerable talk across the NonStop community about hybrid X systems, comprised of NonStop X and Linux X (all on x86 blades, housed in the same chassis / cabinet), such hybrids will help reduce the cost of the hardware needed to support FIs,” said Yash. OmniPayments embraced hybrid architecture and according to Yash, “We see opportunities to leverage such systems should they come from HP. We have been deploying a hybrid architecture for some time that includes both NonStop and Linux and with HP contemplating further hybrid development, this would be very easy for us to support. OmniHub would most likely play a key role as it is a function of OmniHub to support channels no matter the protocol or services provided.”

And OmniPayments isn’t alone when it comes to hubs and hybrids. In the post of January 9, 2013 to the IR blog, Datacenters with hybrid systems; challenges persist for all who monitor… IR VP of Products, John Dunne, reassured me that, “If our customers determine that there’s value in having the oversight of the heterogeneous mix of systems, so typical of a modern data center, then IR will continue to ensure Prognosis features communicate with each other!” Likewise, in my opinion paper featuring DataExpres, DataExpress moves the data in a secure and managed manner that can now be downloaded from the DataExpress website, I quote DataExpress President, Michelle Marost, after she said, “With as much talk as these days of the benefits from building hybrid computers around NonStop, having the extra flexibility of selecting where DataExpress runs only adds to the benefits that come with DataExpress.”

Throughout the decades I have been involved in IT I have witnessed the pendulum swinging between distributed and centralized computing. Often this was driven by vendors promoting their proprietary systems as satellites – a useful way to introduce new technology into a customer’s data center with the intent of displacing the incumbent technology provider. Hub and spokes, hierarchies, networks, on- and off-premise, time sharing, service bureaus and even clouds, anyone with any sense of history of IT has seen it all. With hybrid computers I sense just the latest iteration of a balanced approach to IT that combines many of the above elements in a more manageable fashion – just look at the latest capabilities of IR-Prognosis with their easy-to-configure, side-by-side, dashboards, all under a single pane of glass. 

Simonds included in his observation how the, “tight integration with Linux for composite type applications, where portions of a service run on Linux and portions run on Nonstop and with NonStop overseeing the service,” may prove to be an option much closer to reality than many within the NonStop community might appreciate. I was passing through Las Vegas a short time ago and couldn’t help but notice how the town continues to be optimistic and with a great room that gave me this view to the horizon, such optimism proved contagious. And yet, the ever present blue skies seemed to go on well beyond the horizon suggesting that there was still a lot more to come,. Yes, it’s all looking very good indeed for NonStop X where deployment options will only be limited by our imagination and just how creative we dare to be!