Coming up on the busy season – will we see your participation?

In previous years, with the coming of fall, participation in NonStop user events has dominated our calendars. For 2020, it’s changed and we have gone virtual: Will you be logging into upcoming virtual events?

Sports events kicked off a short time ago. It’s all now very serious. Here in the US the National Football League (NFL) has already started its fall classic even as colleges get back onto the gridiron. Crowds may be nothing more than cut out silhouettes even as some sporting events have opened the gates to a tightly monitored small group of fans. At this weekend’s Indy races, where the Governor’s consent only arrived a week before cars went on track, it was a case of there being only 8,000 fans on hand around a three mile circuit. In F1 it was similar, only that there were no spectators whatsoever.

As governments hold the reigns tightly in the hope that this global pandemic can be managed and biotech labs hustle to bring to market lifesaving vaccines, it is clear to all and sundry that enjoying the fellowship of our peers is still a long way off. As much as the big operators in places like Las Vegas, London, Sydney and elsewhere around the planet want to see the return of major conventions and conferences, there is nothing solid to work on in this regard. It’s still very much up in the air as to when this will look more normal.

For the NonStop community this time of year is one where there are numerous regional user group events being held, with the biggest event on the NonStop calendar drawing near. For a number of years now, attendance at the annual NonStop Technical Boot Camp (TBC) has been climbing higher but this year, there is little talk of fellowship and more of sitting in front of our computers watching others stepping before the cameras to provide technology, platform and systems updates. Already, regional user group events have been held virtually and now the work is going ahead to ensure this year’s TBC will be a virtual success.

I have always been a big fan of events for real. The opportunities to network and to hear something new seemed to outweigh any negativity that may have arisen over travel. But who really wants to leave home anyway? Which of you want to deal with the hassles of travel in today’s carefully monitored environment? Even those who prefer to drive to events have to take precautions but how many bottles of hand sanitizer and how many boxes of sanitizing wipes must you pack into your car? Even as the prospects look better for a working vaccine to appear shortly, each day provides its own level of stress each time we head to the grocery store.

 

On the other hand, what we can say about the upcoming NonStop All Digital Experience is that it will not be stressful nor should it prove disruptive to our daily lives. We will not have to pack our best conference clothes nor will we need to pack a whole lot of business cards or exhibition “trash and trinkets!” Should we reserve time at the local barbers? And for those with dietary restrictions there’s no need to worry at all as meals will continue to be “home cooked.” We will not have to worry about whether or not we are sitting at the right place or of missing an important conversation at an adjacent table. In fact, any concerns over finding a parking space for our rental car just won’t materialize.

What will take center stage of course will be setting aside the time to pour a cup of good strong coffee and stay seated in front of our computer for the duration. Even as the agenda is being worked on with the date for submissions now passed, I suspect that this year’s all-digital experience will come with some surprises. There is no doubting the success that NonStop must be enjoying having gone commodity hardware-centric to where it is now a software solution but the idea of commitments to NonStop is being overtaken with more awareness that it is the consumption of NonStop that is taking center stage.

Expressed, as bluntly as I can, the try-before-you-buy, pay-for-what-you-use model is coming to a NonStop near you! It’s inescapable and it’s actually to the credit of the NonStop team to recognize this major sea-change under way across all of IT. When HPE executives talk about bringing the cloud experience to all users, even those interfacing with data centers populated with traditional systems, NonStop is not on the outer. It’s a participant and with that, we are seeing a new way with which to view the acquisition of NonStop.

This may not be obvious at first. This may not even be visible to many NonStop adherents. But change it will, say those close to the NonStop development teams. It has been coming for some time however and early success with running virtual NonStop on VMware has proved beneficial to some who have sought for quite some time to run NonStop, as software, on hardware they have already deployed. The move to X86 in hindsight has proved to just be the first roll of the dice in this regard.

It will not be the sole choice for running NonStop as the option to deploy traditional NonStop system will remain, but even here, you may hear news from the NonStop team that will challenge your understanding of what traditional NonStop systems really means. Look for some interesting presentations on this topic even if that means you need to get up early to hear the news. While I haven’t seen the agenda as yet nor have I been made aware of Q and A sessions that might follow I have to believe there will be lots of discussions even if many of them are pursued via IM.  

One presentation that I am hopeful I will be giving will be on the topic of a recent article published in the August issue of NonStop Insider - The ABC’s of an Affordable Business Critical Compute. This research note is on the topic of NonStop TCO in today’s world – a revisit of a much older research note that I had published back in 2014. If as yet you have not read it, you may want to do so and I do hope that you tune into my presentation when it happens.

The good thing about the all-digital experience is that I will not be taking to the stage but rather, running through my slides and providing commentary that will be recorded to be played back on demand. At least, that’s the current plan so stay tuned to hear more about this closer to the scheduled dates of the event. I plan on providing a fresh post prior to the event itself. The other good thing about the all-digital experience is that you really will never know what I will be wearing which could be anything from a Hawaiian shirt to a un-pressed tee shirt to a button-down business shirt. Here’s a clue, however; one of the above will not be making an appearance.

Prior to the event there will be a number of “partner only” webinars that the NonStop product managers will provide; a practice from earlier times when ITUG Summits were often preceded by partner updates so that there would be no surprises in the exhibition hall when users turned up at vendors booths. This is a very good sign and further evidence of the value the NonStop team places on the NonStop vendor community. About the content of these webinars you will just have to wait till you hear the full story at the NonStop All Digital Experience as it is beamed to your desk. 

Will we see your participation at this upcoming November event? I sure would like to think you all want to hear the latest news and updates from the NonStop team. I cannot imagine of any excuses whatsoever that would hinder such participation. As for Margo and me we are looking forward to the event and while we will not be able to see what table you chose to sit at and we cannot pass comments about your attire chosen for the  occasion, we can say that we sure would be pleased to read your name appear alongside the presentations.

For now, there is still plenty of time to register so please, take it from the both of us, turn to the Connect web site and complete your registration. Like us, I have to believe that they are looking forward to hearing from you. And now, it’s time to adjust to a new busy season and to embrace a more normal environment as best as we can provide – so, see you in the ether at TBC 2020! And hopefully, the NonStop team will come up with some creative way for us all to participate in a traditional beer bust. My adult beverages are already on ice; cheers!

 

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