Sunday, December 9, 2018

Memories; celebrations and yes, winning! NonStop has it all and much more …

Every time we approach the end of the year there are lots of opportunities to look back at all that took place and 2018 is proving to be a bumper year for those who follow NonStop!


Having spent several weeks in Australia and now New Zealand as well, there is much to be said about the great “Aussie Lifestyle.” It’s a lot different from living in the U.S and it’s a lot different from living in Europe. And yet, there are elements of both continents visible everywhere you turn. There are still Starbucks coffee shops and there are more than a handful of places happily selling donuts. There are plenty of stores specializing in Mediterranean foods as well as some of the best Thai food places in the world just happen to be in Sydney. Walking into a Belgium pub in Wellington, New Zealand, that sold magnificent muscles in a lightly-curried sauce was something Margo and I will remember for quite some time.

However, the events of the past couple of weeks are already beginning to fade from memory. As we begin the fourth phase of our five-phases-stay in the Antipodes, we are once again heads down working out of our Sydney office, courtesy of my brother Greg, where you will be able to find us right up until New Year’s Day. Looking at the picture above of Margo with both Sydney ferry boats as well as giant cruise ships framed in the window behind her only further highlights how these memories past, current and future will all be behind us just that very soon; memories!

But the good news, we are now looking forward to the next couple of weeks as there will be even more to celebrate. One of the big enticements for hanging around Sydney was the opportunity afforded by Greg to see Sydney’s’ famous New Year’s Eve fireworks from the deck of a Sydney harbor dinner cruise ship and that will be something to see. And yes, the source of even more memories!

As we head towards the final weeks of the year, how many of us are revisiting milestones of 2018? And how many of us are already looking ahead to 2019 and wondering just how big a community NonStop will become. Yes, there are more ways to run NonStop than ever before, but how will all of these new options be received by the industry? Just how well will they be received within HPE?

When you consider just how well executed this year’s GTUG event was and for those who attended HPE Discover 2018, Las Vegas, how diverse the HPE product portfolio has become, not forgetting either how this year’s NonStop Technical Boot Camp was so well supported by the HPE NonStop team you can’t help but notice that HPE is upping its investment in all things NonStop.

HPE IT is now running a sizeable chunk of its business on NonStop. HPE elected to introduce its first commercial blockchain product on NonStop. HPE elected to go with Nonstop (over OpenVMS and HP-UX) in ports to x86 and just a short time later, support for virtual machines. There is “smoke,” too, surrounding projects to have NonStop supported by Synergy as well as a virtualized NonStop running on chips more likely to be found out on the edge. Is it enough to suggest that there is more than a few fires already having been lit. If you think NonStop investments are winding down then think again! The question however remains; will the bigger HPE begin take notice of NonStop? Will there be more marketing support for NonStop?

When questioned, NonStop Product Management openly talked about the steps being taken to elevate the role NonStop is playing within HPE IT. To this end, there was a keynote presentation on this topic given at this year’s TBC. “Whether the field is paying attention to NonStop, which I am hoping that they do,” said one source within NonStop Product Management, “any previous wavering about the future of NonStop should be quickly dispelled as the field hears more about NonStop inside of HPE!”

Yes, “eating your own dog food” has always been one metric used to determine the future for any IT product in the past, so obviously, like many within the NonStop community, fingers are crossed at this time as we all look to seeing more support of NonStop coming from our friendly HPE field offices.
The mood, too, is changing within the NonStop user community. I have just completed an interview with one large NonStop user in the financial services industry. The surprising factor here is that NonStop isn’t deployed as an adjunct to other systems deployed – it is the main system upon which the rest of the business relies to stay in business and to face-down its opponents in a highly competitive market. “As long as HPE is selling NonStop systems,” said this NonStop user, “we will by buying NonStop!” Of course I was happy to be involved in this project and even happier to see the NonStop user’s management sign-off on the completed work.

Entering 2019 I am looking forward to interviewing even more NonStop users and perhaps I will have the opportunity to update an opinion paper I wrote for HPE Product marketing many years ago – do you remember reading this update:
http://h17007.www1.hpe.com/docs/enterprise/servers/nonstop/Beyond-Finance-and-Telco.pdf

That was five years ago and even as HPE executives, including our own Randy Meyer, talk about new deployments more than a handful of those included in this opinion paper of 2014 continue to rely on NonStop. As I take a fresh look at the NonStop user community this coming Spring, expect to hear more about this project as I begin pulling together the references I will need to make this a little fresher and a tad more relevant for today’s NonStop users. Hopefully, I will be able to reference early virtualized NonStop (vNS) users as well as a handful of NonStop vendors offering NSaaS.

My upbeat outlook on NonStop and my enthusiasm for refreshing this paper has come about as the submissions to the upcoming December issue of NonStop Insider began arriving in earnest this past week. Should be a good issue with more than a couple of submissions designed to get us thinking more about NonStop, HPE and even Silicon Valley in the coming year. What struck me were the submissions to do with NonStop users, the increased number of NonStop user presentations at TBC and a couple of quotes by users themselves included in this December issue.

Point is, in the December issue of NonStop Insider you will see more people talking about new undertakings involving NonStop than I have seen openly talked about in quite a long time. Does this mean there will be the uptick in NonStop users I have been anticipating for some time? Does this translate to there being a broader marketplace for NonStop than has been traditionally considered the home of NonStop – Finance and Telco?

The mood within the NonStop community may be changing even as our memories of Tandem and the systems we once relied upon fade even further from memory. Even as we may find ourselves reflecting on what was Tandem and yes, NonStop decades ago, the good news here is that we can turn around and view the most modern, fastest, biggest NonStop systems ever created. We can also view a NonStop presence even when sighting the hardware is difficult to do. And with the increased focus on a network of managed service providers ready and willing (and yes, supported by the HPE NonStop team) gaining wider attention within the NonStop community, we can view more applications running on that most important release of NonStop ever: the L-Series OS and stack!

What makes the Australian and New Zealand landscape so different from what we are used to seeing in the northern hemisphere is not so much them having quaint, slightly “behind the times,” a lot more friendlier  disposition, but rather their willingness to  try new things and to carve an identity all their own. Don’t get me wrong as there is no fiercer rivalry than there is between Australia and New Zealand and given the disparity in population size, it still ticks off many Australians that so many shared competitions are “owned by those darn Kiwis!” It was only a short time ago when these very same Kiwis complained to me of how they had to buy more shelves to hold their “saucers” as the Aussies had all the “cups!”

Of course, NonStop isn’t about winning on a playing field but there is no hiding the competitive nature of everyone in the NonStop community. On the other hand, as a community we all want to be seen as being associated with a winning platform. A platform with a very strong future and one that we are only too happy to talk about at events worldwide! There are times naturally enough when you think time isn’t on the side of NonStop and almost magically, the NonStop team pulls an entirely new product out of its hat.

A product that assures NonStop’s future for another decade. NonStop in one form or another may fade from memory but on the other hand, the root cause is that there is something even better to focus on. Aren’t you glad you are now on the winning team and aren’t you pleased to be around people committed to NonStop?  With that, I wish you all the very best for the year that is coming to a close even as I along with most of the NonStop community, look forward to celebrating the arrival of a new year! 

No comments:

All that was revealed at HPE Discover 2019

Las Vegas, HPE Discover and the heat was on – HPE lights a fire as it goes Cloudless; really? Find out more … Summer in Las Ve...