For the NonStop community, we know what looks good may not only be deceptive but borderline dangerous; mission critical applications are best served by HPE NonStop systems!
There was a time not too long ago, when my appearance took on a distinctly “Steven Spielberg look”. Right down to the glasses I wore and to the cut of my hair and beard. With hindsight, the similarities became clearer whenever Spielberg was giving an interview – we shared numerous mannerisms. Without making too fine a point of this, there are photos taken of me during the 2004 Cannes Film Festival that Margo and I swear were on-sold to newspapers. Picture this, walking with Margo towards the red carpet when out of nowhere two young scantily clad ladies on rollerblades swung up to me, grabbed an arm each, turned me to the side when cameras began to flash.
Holidaying in Maui, one family followed me practically everywhere I went, taking happy snaps at every opportunity. Goodness knows what now hangs on the walls of their residence. One proprietor in the Gilroy Outlets kept calling out his staff each time Margo and I entered the store so much so that Margo would call me Steven each time. And then there is a restaurant in St Paul, Minnesota, that will happily tell you of the time they entertained Mr. Spielberg together with his entourage. Perhaps the most telling conversation on this topic that I ever had was when my own mother called to ask about my appearance on the cover of Time Magazine!
Fortunately, with time and yes, age, differences have emerged and there is less speculation as to who I happen to be. Although as much as I try to explain to folks that it would be most unusual to find Mr. Spielberg shopping in an outlet center or hanging out at a bar in a tourist hotel, it seemed I was providing a less than compelling argument. And then there was the time when seated in my usual 1B seat on a United 737 that a passenger coming through the cabin door remarked to his partner – look, there’s Robin Williams! Ouch … again, would Mr. Spielberg, let alone Mr. Williams, have been seen travelling on a commercial aircraft?
No, looks can be deceiving and it’s not all that hard to imagine coming across something that turns out not to be the item (or person) we thought it was. When it comes to technology, looks are not only deceiving but can be borderline dangerous. For the NonStop community, such deceptions can be readily observed, but unfortunately, more often than not, as a community we aren’t in a position to push back on what looks as though it might be a similar technology to NonStop.
Take clusters, for instance. How often do we read that such and such server can be purchased and configured as a cluster with the inference that in so doing, a level of continuous availability will be provided? How often are we called upon to respond to management inquiries as to why such and such processor cannot do what NonStop does? Much of my time of late has been spent in addressing what at first glance looks to be a NonStop system in another guise but even the best clusters, a NonStop doesn’t make!
Even more disturbing perhaps is the commentary that often follows: Isn’t good enough still good enough? Everyone else is using this such and such server and it seems to be doing the job; why shouldn’t we follow suite? We may think that NonStop is being out-marketed (and in many cases, this is exactly what is occurring) but do you ever call marketing when something horrible happens? When you go down and leave a community hanging, there better be a little more behind the curtain than just the marketing team.
I was reminded of this as I caught up with my reading over this holiday period. A time, mind you, that has been extended somewhat because of the global pandemic’s impact on opportunities to travel. Trips to the local store are about all I have managed to do of late and given how I have become the cook of late while Margo recovers from her broken leg, these trips to the store have been for the basics and for little more. However, two stories caught my attention and even if the connection between the two is tenuous at best, nevertheless it got me thinking about NonStop.
The first story referred to the hiring of a new coach for the New York Jets football team where the topic of culture came up. “Culture is one of those words that is overly used in the sports world, and yet not clearly defined. Why? Well, it's more of a feeling and less of a tangible quality.” It took the arrival of a recruit from another winning team for the Jets organization to explain how they were deceiving themselves if they thought they could win given the current culture.
According to Jets general manager, Joe Douglas, when talking about the attributes of a head coach, "We’re looking for a person with great character and integrity. A person that’s going to have outstanding vision of what they want the identity of this team to be moving forward, and then what’s the detailed plan on how they want to achieve this identity, someone that’s a great communicator, a great manager.”
You have to love it, don’t you: Someone with not just a vision but a plan on how to achieve it; a great communicator! The other story struck closer to home and involved a medium that is very familiar for everyone working with NonStop. I am talking about cash and the processing of cash. In a short update published in CNBC.com attention is given to how “the coronavirus pandemic has caused a surge in demand for contactless payments accelerating the shift from cash to digital options.” Nothing too surprising here even if it is a reference to what is happening in the US. However, that isn’t the end of the story. “Despite the rise in demand for contactless payments, many states and cities in the U.S. have passed laws banning cashless stores,” noted the CNBC reporter.
With all the attention being given to our transformation to a cashless society, could looks be deceiving? Apparently so and here is where NonStop enters the storyline. Culture? Yes, we have seen the vision HPE has articulated and is now aggressively pursuing: Becoming world’s leading edge to cloud platform as a service company. Cash? Yes, supporting financial services industry remains front and center the premier market vertical for NonStop. But more importantly as a community, what looks good doesn’t cut it with us – clever tricks and sleight of hand illusions don’t deceive us when it comes to how we deploy our IT resources.
As a culture, the NonStop community knows that fault tolerance cannot be achieved through simple redundancies and network switches. We all agree with this and we are fervent evangelists when it comes to the merits of NonStop. In this case, looks do not deceive; mission critical applications, including all those facilitating the distribution and collection of cash, cannot afford to drop a transaction. The danger arising with missing accurately posting updates about any customers financial position is clear. Drop my cash and I drop your services! However, the culture of NonStop goes much deeper.
There is no mistaking the mission of NonStop just as there is no mistaking the steps the NonStop community takes to ensure mission critical applications simply don’t fail. With all the work that has been done in support of NonStop, HPE has now delivered on its strategy to provide the NonStop community with options – run NonStop any way you want that best meets your business needs. Traditionally on converged systems; virtually on any compatible hardware; “as-a-Service” out of GreenLake! No, the look of NonStop deceives no one; its fault tolerance continues to be delivered in ways that meet the needs of mission critical applications.
With time, I am no longer mistaken for someone else. Even during the height of this mistaken identity there were some close to me who just didn’t see it. Not possible, seemed to be the popular refrain. And yet, when my own mother expressed doubts about who really was on the cover of Time magazine, I had to stop and think about the possible deceptions that might have arisen. Fortunately, with NonStop, there is no mistaking its identity or the functions it serves. And for that, there is the assurance that comes with knowing you have the real deal. NonStop doesn’t stop nor does it hide behind a mirage. There will always be ways to mimic some aspects of NonStop but when it comes to NonStop, nothing is almost as good as NonStop.