Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Oh Canada! NonStop RUG, CTUG, enjoys a packed house.

Every successful system and platform attracts an ecosystem; whether it’s groups of users, vendors, service providers and even media channels all of them provide a vital “service” and NonStop is seeing it’s ecosystem continue to grow …

As readers of the NonStop community blog, Real Time View, know all too well, when opportunity to drive somewhere to meet with the NonStop community presents itself and there’s time on the calendar to make the tip possible, you can count on Margo and me to put in the hours behind the wheel to get there. And the drive to Mississauga, Ontario is always one of the longer trips on our calendar we do our very best to make sure we make it. Last year was a little bit of a let-down as for one reason or another we attended MATUG outside Washington D.C. but found we had no time to drive to Canada. Oh dear …

But logistics aside, we missed listening to Mr. T – Jimmy Treybig – and I suspect further opportunities to hear from Jimmy will lessen in time so yes, from that perspective, electing to drive can be sometimes problematic. As for this year, choosing CTUG meant we couldn’t make it to NENUG that this year represented a combination of community members from New England and New York. On the other hand, being a participant at this year’s CTUG event was reward enough to make the time behind the wheel enjoyable.

The HPE NonStop development team is moving fast. This has been the message coming from its leader, Andy Bergholz, whenever he has the opportunity to address a large gathering of NonStop users. It’s not something that Andy simply throws out there on a whim but rather, truly reflects all that is taking place in support of NonStop. To paraphrase a popular commercial, “You don’t know NonStop” if you have missed any recent NonStop events as it’s front and center in the march to hybrid infrastructure with converged systems. And it isn’t stopping with this as at CTUG we were briefed on much more that is in store for NonStop that continued to surprise even the hardiest of NonStop supporters.

The good news is that from my perspective, I am seeing the team from NonStop development working more closely with the NonStop vendor community. When one question was raised late in the day about the potential for NonStop development to develop a capability, the response was unequivocal. With three competitive products from the NonStop community already in the market, this wasn’t a priority for NonStop development – there would be no competing with NonStop vendors on this occasion.

Whenever business looks at technology particularly with new product initiatives be they a major solution from a well-established vendor or simply the latest project coming out of the open source initiatives, these businesses want to see a thriving ecosystem actively involved with the technology or product. Today, NonStop may not attract the types of major vendors that are better known within the media but that isn’t to say, the NonStop vendors active in the NonStop market are any less important.

Again, personally, I would like to see many more vendors in the NonStop marketplace but the core group of NonStop vendors that are committed to NonStop ensure that there is little that NonStop systems cannot do today – and when the discussion turns to issues of modernization, staffing and integration with what surrounds NonStop today, all the pieces that business would need are present. When another question was raised about NonStop doing more to bring down the costs of NonStop the response from NonStop development was immediate.

“Have you really looked at the costs to run NonStop compared to a Linux solution?” When you look at the tab to run a reasonably sized cluster of Linux and throw in the utilities, databases, replication, etc. licenses and then look at the associated support costs, the true value of HPE providing an integrated stack in addition to the NonStop operating system, most businesses would be shocked to see the bottom line – NonStop is more than competitive with the best of the open source offerings.

Several years ago I did a study on the true cost of ownership (TCO) of NonStop and compared it to both Windows and Linux offerings. The report I produced can still be found on the HPE web site and has been referenced in a number of NonStop presentations and it didn’t mince words. If you aren’t aware of this research note, then check out
NonStop offers the lowest TCO  in its class for complex  mission-critical applications And this was before the work that led to the release of the latest family of NonStop systems, the NonStop X. Point is, HPE has done a tremendous amount of work that has seen the TCO for NonStop drop to its lowest level all time. However, it’s not just the costs for a NonStop system itself that needs to be taken into consideration but the ecosystem of NonStop vendors.

What is often overlooked is that within this ecosystem, questions about configurations, APIs, integration at the file and message level, etc. can all be quickly and easily addressed with a single call or email. And more often than not, for free. Going one step further, raising a question on any one of multiple LinkedIn groups focused on NonStop and there will be multiple responses produced in barely a heartbeat – that’s what the NonStop community does best today. NonStop has a thriving ecosystem and it’s not just a group of product companies but increasingly today, it includes managed service providers as well.

Not sure how to manage a new NonStop X deployment – then call in any one of these managed service providers and they will be quick to set your mind at ease. Scattered globally there is bound to be a couple of them that serve your geography and increasingly, your industry. And don’t forget too, several of these managed service providers can actually do all the work necessary to order and then commission a brand new NonStop system. When I was at BITUG earlier this year and sat down with TCM CEO, Tony Craig, I was really impressed even as I was taken aback by just how comprehensive managed service offerings have become.

My earlier reference to a research note I wrote on NonStop also touches on the subject of publications and commentaries. This month, a new monthly publication has been launched and it is one that has Margo and I actively involved. Indeed, Margo is the Managing Editor of the publication, the NonStop Insider. By now, you probably have been emailed with the links but in case this is news to you, then read the
October issue and let us know what you think.

This is just the latest addition to a growing list of publications now supporting NonStop and whether your preference is for a Connect publication such as The Connection, or Tandemworld or even the Availability Digest, the good news here is that there are multiple sources you can turn to for up-to-date information on all things NonStop related. A thriving, indeed growing, media ecosystem is every bit as important as the ecosystem we have in support of products and services and I think that this is one of the big surprises that has come out of the recent RUG events we have participated in – so many members of the NonStop community are now deriving their income solely from supporting NonStop!

The upcoming NonStop Technical Boot Camp is now only a few weeks ago and a lot more will be written promoting this major NonStop event in those weeks. At the recent RUG events there has been much that has been hinted-at by the NonStop folks giving presentations so expectations among the NonStop community are running high. CTUG proved popular and was a packed house for the entire time I was there but hints about what was to come were being provided on a regular basis.

However, whatever is eventually disclosed at Boot Camp I suspect will still be only a small part of what NonStop development is pursuing as for sure, they are moving fast. A lot of the attention will be on the data base and the big changes happening with NS SQL/MX but like everyone else, I am going to have to wait to see what is announced on the day.

Ecosystems surrounding popular technologies, products and services are always a good sign for any business evaluating solutions. When it comes to NonStop then there is an abundance of vendors making up a very strong ecosystem. And whether it’s a product, a service, a simple question or two, the NonStop community has never been better served than it is today and this is something we all need to share with our associates and colleagues as for sure, I have to believe, for many of them, “They don’t know NonStop!”

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