Showing posts from 2012

Yes, I get it!

When it’s an Indy racing car driver that expresses so succinctly the value proposition that comes with embracing standardization and commoditization, the message for the NonStop community is hard to miss and forward-thinking vendors are responding ...

For several years, well, decades really, we have been collecting wines that were sold in magnums – essentially a double helping of your favorite wine in a really big bottle. There’s a couple of Penfolds, several Silver Oaks, Duckhorns, a Joseph Phelps and even a ’93 Bordeaux from a famous vineyard picked up cheaply at Heathrow airport when the US dollar was a lot stronger. However, they are mostly Australian reds and when the holidays come around, it’s a great time to pull a cork and see just how well they have developed.

As many of the bottles are from the early ‘90s, it’s always a mixed blessing – sure we like the wine but now the cellar looks the poorer with the absence of a really good examples of wines we like, but the response from…

maRunga, in the sky

Everyone picked up on Google’s clouds misfortune, but back on July 2, 2012, New York Times reported: “On Friday night, lightning in Virginia took out machines that were part of Amazon Web Services, which hundreds of companies use for data storage and computation. Well-known sites like Netflix, Pinterest and Instagram were not accessible for hours.”

On October 22, 2012, GIGAOM reported: “Here we go again. Problems with Amazon’s Elastic Block Storage (EBS) service have brought down Foursquare, Reddit, Heroku, and other popular websites. Once again, Amazon’s U.S. East data center in Virginia is ground zero for these issues”

Back in 2011 Earnst&Young published a paper “Cloud computing issues and impacts”, as part of their Global Technology Industry Discussion Series. Interesting reading:,_impacts_and_insights/$File/Cloud%20computing%20issues%20and%20impacts_14Apr11.pdf

So, unguarded clouds may get us all in trouble? I t…

Big News on Big Data?

What has kept NonStop entrenched in our data centers for many years – its unique attributes when it comes to running mission-critical transaction processing – ensures that it will not be overlooked when it comes to building out Big Data frameworks!

Having the RV as our “command center” when we travel is giving us new freedoms when it comes to being able to be flexible with our travel plans. Any time we need to head back to the west coast, there’s now few issues preventing us from stopping by good friends at HP and to catch up with former colleagues from our times at Tandem Computers. With the recent move to new facilities, within the HP campus at Palo Alto, we were able to enjoy an unexpected pleasure – visiting for the first time the well-maintained original offices of both Mr. Hewlett and Mr. Packard, and the photo above was taken of us alongside the desk of Mr. Hewlett.

Big occasion and a big highlight! The street and city were one of the first US addresses that I came across – anyo…

Things are not always what they seem to be…

The best place to illustrate this point would be Las Vegas. Don’t get me wrong, I love the place, where else can you experience change of scenery – from New York to Venice without even boarding a plane. I stayed in Venetian while at the HP Discover earlier this year, nice hotel, so I decided to explore it yet again, this time without a benefit of a room there, just passing by. Nothing changed, and it was actually better than the real thing, which is under water ...

So, sometimes the real thing is not what you may want. Guardian (UK) posted this picture on November 11, 2012:

On the other hand…when I bought my new Sony laptop with Windows 8, which is supposed to be almost as good as Apple … I tell you (and I am sure comForte CTO Thomas Burg will not agree), what a joke! Nothing is intuitive about it, if I did not stop by the Microsoft store where a salesman showed me the basics I would not have known which way is up…

Different approaches …

Changes in direction at a familiar road course, as well as in the executive team at HP together with how markets are approached all called for taking a different approach. And yet, changes are what we must do if we are to compete effectively.
This past weekend saw Margo and me at the track, a road circuit outside the village of Buttonwillow, California, all weekend, firstly as mechanic for Margo on Saturday as she participated in four sessions, and then as driver on Sunday for another four sessions. This was our last outing of the year, and it will be another five months before the Vette gets to “stretch its wheels” once again. The photo above is of “Team Pyalla” setting up camp, trackside, as light was fading Friday afternoon.

The circuit was created to support various configurations to keep everyone on their toes, but it featured a number of corners from famous circuits and for years has proved to be a popular location for testing and even magazine car reviews. However, for this weeke…

The best of views …

A trip to a national park reminded me of just how far we have come; the NonStop systems deployed today within the NonStop community are highly versatile, modern servers. But simply deploying the latest iteration of NonStop is only a starting point and the onus is on each of us to really look at how best we exploit NonStop.
Business took us once again to Las Vegas, an occurrence that has already featured in posts to other blogs. On our way Margo and I were able to stop by Zion National Park, Utah, and as we were taking the RV, it gave us an opportunity to enjoy a long weekend checking out the park’s sights. However, one morning I awoke to find my vacationing neighbor, Steve, shooting pictures of the front of the RV and I was a little puzzled by the intensity he was exhibiting until he showed me this photo. It seemed we had parked the RV in the best location to catch a reflection of the mountain peaks that surrounded us.

For anyone planning a trip to the south west, including visits to s…

I think I'm having stress!

Plans are made, tickets are booked, and Mother Nature plays havoc… Yeah, I was booked on a flight to Baltimore on Monday, October 29. Who knew? Of course the flight got cancelled and plans had to be changed. Could have been a lot worse, I know…

Click on Richard's picture and check the T Shirt he's wearing. Yes that's him behind the helm of Chardonnay II off Santa Cruz, California.

I have been getting nostalgic lately, looking at what happened over the years – how technology changed our lives and our careers evolved trying to catch up.

Oh, yes, I remember 1989 Tandem Computers Annual Report – and for those who long ago have forgotten the specifics, I was featured in it, with an artist-rendered likeness.

The SNAX/CDF product had been released, and for me, having been a part of this then modern development project felt fantastic! I was a part of something significant, it mattered, customers awaited it ready to deploy!

Fast forward to 2012 – yup, 23 years later. Time flies…

Reasons to celebrate!

Some days I look at what happened over the years, and sadly, I can’t say that all that happened was planned, but for sure there was always a goal.

My goals are always set way high, just in case I achieve them, so when we first looked at the NonStop managed clouds demo all I could think of was just how cool it would be to partner with HP, get the “Sydney boys” (Managing Director, Peter Shell, Chief Architect, Neil Coleman, and Development VP, Dave Finnie) involved, and come out with a world class solution for those who can’t afford to lose their transactions in the clouds.

Richard gave me this look that said “in your dreams”, but unless you have dreams you just stay put, and do not get any closer to your goals.

So we started talking with the HP guys demonstrating the product, Justin in particular (that’s Justin Simonds), Richard wrote a few posts to the NonStop community blog promoting the effort, we sure admired what they’ve done, and we really liked them and their enthusiasm.

Yes, y…

The energy that surrounds NonStop ...

There’s no denying just how important people – users, vendors, consultants, analysts – are to NonStop. And the contributions keep on coming; without which we wouldn’t have the NonStop system of today.
I came to NonStop via a very circuitous route – one that involved several states and a couple of countries. It was 1987 and I had returned to the United States to work for the second time and it was with Netlink (or Systems Technology, as it was known when I joined the company in 1986) who had set up shop in Raleigh, North Carolina. Among the names and faces that were involved with Netlink were folks like Mark Hutchens and Terry Bishop who I was to reunite with many years later at Insession as well as Rick Ploen who many of us know from time he spent with ACI Worldwide, and more recently comForte.

It was while in Raleigh that I first came into contact with Tandem Computers. Midway through 1987, Netlink CEO Paul Wood called me to his office to outline his conversations with Tandem Compute…

NonStop you!

There is a message about NonStop to be taken into the enterprise as the NonStop system is proving beneficial and indeed appropriate whenever topics such as Java, Big Data and Cloud Computing are raised – it’s just going to take a lot more engagement by all of us to make it matter! Road warriors are an integral part of most vendor companies. We all know who they are, and they rarely miss a user event or convention. For them six or seven flights in a week to visit four or five accounts is merely routine, and living on the edge with respect to not knowing whether flights will be cancelled, or a critical PC (or router or line) needed for a presentation will fail, or even a last minute cancellation by a user, only strengthens their determination.

I know; for thirty plus years, this was the only life I knew, and while it was interrupted a couple of times as I was given different assignments, I seemed to always gravitate back to this lifestyle, but of late, and with the work I am currently d…