Saturday, August 20, 2016

You want to read more? Posts on NonStop enter their tenth year!

With this post to the NonStop community blog, Real Time View, I celebrate the beginning of my tenth year of blogging. Keeping to the theme of HPE , Mission Critical Systems and in particular, NonStop, has proved fertile ground for a storyteller and I expect no letup in new topics to cover in the years to come …

If there was ever a time when I thought I could simply kick-back, relax and write a few posts as I quietly ease away from technology I can no longer recall when that was exactly. This summer I have spent more time in front of the keyboard than I can recall ever having done before. However, the good news is that well, there’s more good news than ever before. And I cannot recall the last time I said that or said it without harboring lingering thoughts myself over whether or not I was pushing a little beyond the realm of reality. However, putting those thoughts to one side, Margo and I headed to our favorite Boulder steakhouse where we did kick-back and relax while we celebrated the passing of this milestone.

But no, for the NonStop community things are definitely looking up and I have to admit I really am energized by all that I am hearing about NonStop. Perhaps sitting down with Andy Bergholz, Senior Director of Development of HPE NonStop, during HPE Discover 2016 did it as his enthusiasm has proved contagious and it rubbed on me – and for that I have only Andy to thank. Did you see his column in the July – August, 2016, issue of The Connection? If you haven’t then you should as you will get a sense of what I am alluding to. It’s positively entertaining, to quote one popular television series I regularly watch.
There is a reason why we have the expression about enthusiasm being contagious. It’s hard not to become engaged when all around you there are people actively engaged in conversations about NonStop. Now, having said that there are a couple of words I have eliminated from my vocabulary of late – no more references to legacy, proprietary or even to special, unique or just plain different. What NonStop brings to the table is excellence.

In the key markets it serves, mission critical transaction processing, where every transaction executes in real time, NonStop excels. It’s at the top of the charts when it comes to availability and given the ongoing discussions after the fallout from some massive outages of late for airlines around the world, we should be shouting as loudly as we can about the merits of NonStop! If IDC continues to reward NonStop with the prestigious AL4 badge – something no other vendors can lay claim to, although IBM pushes close with its Parallel Sysplex configurations, but you try looking over the wall-charts describing all the paths between the mainframes in the Sysplex and you will understand that even for Parallel Sysplex it’s annotated with an asterisk!

My plans for kicking back and relaxing have been interrupted this week for one additional very good reason. With this post to the NonStop community blog, Real Time View, I start my tenth year of blogging on HPE and NonStop. If you missed it, page all the way back to the post of August 20, 2007, where I introduced myself to the community as perhaps the very first blogger supporting NonStop. In that post I finished with the observation and question - what did we all think about the recent HPTF&E - how many events do you go to each year?

HPTF&E has been long gone, replaced by HPE Discover that in turn has been complemented by the end of year NonStop Technical Boot Camp event, but the question – how many events do you go to each year? is a very relevant question and for me, very important. Local events have begun to flourish around the world – I had been hoping to make it to OzTUG for their event in a few days’ time even as others are preparing to travel to VNUG (I was present at a luncheon when the decision was taken to re-launch VNUG and to rename it VNUG from VTUG back in the early 2000s) but no, I couldn’t pull off the trip this year to the VNUG event or to find time for a trip down under.

For every member of the NonStop community they should be able to make it to a user event somewhere on the planet at least twice a year – their local user group meeting as well as more widely attended GEO event, either in EMEA or the Americas. If you aren’t able to pull off making the journey then you aren’t alone as I have to make some hard decisions and skip a couple each year but I will blog about each and every one I attend. And that’s the real value that comes with blogging – sharing information. Alerting the community whenever something exciting transpires! Keeping NonStop in the headlines no matter what.

As the day approached for the start of my tenth year, I emailed Randy Meyer, Vice President & General Manager, Mission Critical Systems, HPE. Through the years, Randy and I have exchanged many emails on the topic of spreading more ink on NonStop across the industry. On numerous occasions, as busy as Randy has been of late, he has found time to sit down with Margo and me over coffee and for that, we are both highly appreciative – it was Randy’s initial encouragement all those years ago that helped motivate me to blog.

Randy’s response to the news of this particular anniversary was to the point and yet again, reflective of Randy’s own enthusiasm for all things NonStop. “I’m not in the least surprised that you still have interesting and exciting things to write about, and that it’s more popular than ever,” said Randy. “The NonStop team continues to drive innovative solutions help the most demanding customers in the world run their businesses – all day, every day. Who WOULDN’T want to read about that?”

It was as I entered my third year of blogging that I talked about why social media was becoming as important as it is today – it’s where many of us first learn of something new. In that post of September 13, 2009, And the rockets' red glare! I quoted web-sales teaching guru, Brian Clark. “So, blogging can be vitally important, but most likely it will open doors for you that lead to revenue or help you promote things you are selling, as opposed to generating a ton of money from advertising,” he suggested. “There’s a huge shift going on thanks to globalization and the growth of the Internet, and those who can create and express ideas online will be at the top end of the economic spectrum.”

As with everything you run across on the Internet, I then added, you have to be a little careful when applying all that is conveyed by gurus and other thought-leaders. However, I continued in that post, the basic observations Clark makes remain valid; “product placements” in blogs are becoming just as important as in any other medium, and the trend today is that more and more people are relying on the Internet for all of their product information. Ignoring this medium and letting your competitors gain the upper-hand, will be tough to reverse when you wake up and finally “get it!”

And that has been one of the most encouraging aspects of my blogging – from the earliest days, even as I was working at GoldenGate, it was Sami Akbay, then VP of Product Management and Marketing, who told others at GoldenGate that indeed, I get it! And I have to admit, Sami did understand the potential to effectively and rather inexpensively communicate a message and when it comes to NonStop well, I blogged non stop. I also have to thank at this time Yash of OmniPayments. Without Yash’s longtime support and indeed encouragement, I am not sure I would have had enough stories to tell and as anyone who knows Yash well, there are plenty of stories yet to tell.

Do I envision kicking back any time soon and to seriously consider taking it easy? The short answer is heck, no! As a community we are sitting atop the best potential for NonStop making a difference, ever. Yes, ever. The market has truly turned and is coming to NonStop. And I have to admit, to reuse Randy’s words, with many more years to come and even more posts to be written, then “Who WOULDN’T want to read about that?”

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