Monday, September 16, 2019

All that was revealed at NonStop Partner Symposium!


When the HPE NonStop team gets together with the NonStop vendor community, as it now does each year, it becomes clear that there are no limits to what can be achieved …



Any trip to the West Coast is a trip we look forward to taking and this latest trip proved to be no different; as always, it proved to be a great time to be out and about on America’s highways! This year has seen a record number of flights taken by Margo and me but despite the time spent in the air, there has still been a lot of time spent behind the wheel of our car. On this occasion, we chose the relatively new BMW M4 that we leased only last year. Turns out that yes, you can turn a track-focused car into a grand tourer!

If you have not been keeping up with posts to our social blog, Buckle-Up, you may have missed all the excitement surrounding our exit from the RV lifestyle along with our retirement from track-day outings. Everything has gone – the RV, the car-hauler, and yes, even the venerable Corvette track car. Scaled down and with the downsizing a realization that we are now free to travel anywhere without constraints or limitations. Those ubiquitous highways that glue the country together are now ours to enjoy without us having to plan ahead and find locations where we could pull in 60+ feet of rig. Ahhh – the luxury of simply choosing any hotel for the night!

Flexibility, choice and yes, even opportunities to try something different; it’s all refreshingly new for us after a decade of pulling our house behind us everywhere we went. Fair enough, it provided us with many memorable times out on the highways of America otherwise we wouldn’t have maintained the gypsy lifestyle as long as we did, but then again, there is a realization that a burden has been lifted from our shoulders and we couldn’t be happier. And yes, here’s the thing; for NonStop users, we are just entering a time of flexibility, choice and yes, the opportunity to try something different – virtual NonStop!

While much was revealed at the 2019 NonStop Partner Symposium there is very little that I can share at this time. HPE tied up the vendor community, appropriately enough given the nature of the symposium, in CDAs and you will just have to get yourselves to the upcoming NonStop Technical Boot Camp to hear more about material covered last week, but what I can share without breaking any terms in the CDA is that when it comes to NonStop, talk of R & D isn’t solely about the D even among the NonStop team! If you missed reading the September issue of NonStop Insider you would have missed reading the very first article,
HPE HQ hosts NonStop Partner Symposium where you would also have missed reading that:

“When you consider just how far NonStop has come in such a short time – from custom to industry standard and from proprietary to open and yes, from NonStop as traditional systems to NonStop as a collection of virtual machines - the one take away that can be reveled is that the big bets HPE continues to place on the future success of NonStop continue to be made.”

In short, HPE isn’t easing of on its long term commitments to the NonStop community as investments in NonStop are being made all the time and the results of these investments can be seen in recent announcements and updates.  What is becoming better understood is that among the NonStop vendors there is a renewed sense of camaraderie. In the past it may have not been all that common to come across vendors in similar markets sharing an adult beverage, but on this occasion, as can be seen in the photo above, there was a particularly friendly gathering of vendors seated together at the bar. Then again, this is a huge differentiator when it comes to the NonStop community – everyone just wants to see a win for NonStop!



Big bets on NonStop? What does that really mean for the NonStop community? Stated as simply as I can then is that visible evidence of the type of bets the NonStop team is placing on NonStop and just as importantly, the bets that they are placing on the NonStop vendor community. It’s more than tradition or a return to the halcyon days of the Tandem Alliance program as it’s now very evident (just check the NonStop price book, for instance) that for many NonStop projects select vendors are considered an extension of the development team. We shouldn’t be surprised to read this as so much talk exists today in support of all vendors building out ecosystems that pull together primary vendors, third party development shops and yes, even customers. The competitive nature of today’s ever changing IT landscape calls for a degree of creativity and indeed vision that left to just a single vendor with a single outlook on IT would likely not be successful.

I am often asked at major HPE events like HPE Discover why I am continuing to follow NonStop? After all, surely the market for NonStop is in decline and just as surely, the need for true 24 x 7 x forever levels of availability are possible using redundancy up and down the stack? More to the point, isn’t good enough well, good enough? When every interaction is triggered by a swipe on a smartphone or tablet where connectivity is still an issue, dealing with a service that goes away is no big deal. We will click on something else, right? As for the cloud, doesn’t everyone save their most precious valuables – pictures of family, pets and vacations – in the cloud and it’s always available, isn’t it? Well, not exactly … I have been down this path so many times of late with my peers at these big tent marketing events that it’s getting boring. Even as I write this I have lost count of just how many times I have gone down this path with every reader of posts to this blog.

But at the most recent NonStop Partner Symposium I picked up on something refreshingly new and it’s something that falls well outside the stringent requirements of the CDAs everyone signed. It’s a sense that old dogs are indeed learning new tricks. At a time when the discussions turned to how best to appeal to a younger generation of developers with their demands for support of new-age tools, utilities and languages, one after the other, seasoned hands at developing for NonStop revealed that they were already using these very same tools, utilities and languages. Yes, the new stuff is really good; for the most part it’s portable and better still, productivity gets a solid shot in the arm. So why would we be surprised to find so few TAL programmers among these seasoned practitioners?

Not for one moment am I suggesting we lessen our plans to attract younger aspiring developers to NonStop, but rather, let’s realize that it’s not the hoodie a developer may be wearing or the headsets they may be wearing that defines a modern programmer, but it is yes, attitude! So often we look down on the younger generation and chastise them for the attitude they project and yet, when it comes to developers every one of them needs an attitude and it was clearly on display at the NonStop Partner Symposium. Age was no indicator of the way developers tackled the tasks of writing and testing code and it is about time that we acknowledge that good developers are a breed apart and come in all sizes, genders, nationalities and yes, age groups!

The HPE NonStop team certainly understands this even as they also understand that there really aren’t any limits to what can be achieved when HPE and a vendor community with attitude cooperate. Looking around at who was present at the lobby bar that first night of the NonStop Partner Symposium I could easily recognize nearly four decades of “experience” on display. We talk of a younger generation taking over the business their parents started and yes, it’s true and on display as well. But just as importantly, not all of the experience gained through the decades is leaving the community just as it’s not true to say we need to cater to the needs of younger programmers. There is most definitely a science behind programming, but then again, I will argue there is an art as well and it’s not limited in any way to any specific demographic. On the other hand, it would seem that even the most gifted of those who are attracted to the NonStop platform do like the occasional beer from time to time.

Let this be an open invitation to join all of us at the upcoming NonStop Technical Boot Camp to be held November 3 – 6, 2019 in Burlingame, California. There will be some coverage of material shown to the NonStop vendor community I have to believe – some, but not all mind you and in saying even this I need to be careful - but be assured, developer or simply end-user, there is a lot going on with NonStop. It’s not standing still and it’s certainly not gathering dust on warehouse shelves; NonStop is as vibrant and as relevant today as it was four plus decades ago and this is something not lost on any generation of developers we might encounter. See you in November! 

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