Thursday, September 24, 2020

Working from home and doing overtime!

It may not always be smooth sailing ahead but for NonStop, our journey continues; better hands than mine are on the tiller and nobody is getting wet …

Almost forgotten this day, given the world’s current plight of fighting the global pandemic, was how this blog passed yet another milestone. As we started the month of September it was the beginning of our fourteenth year of blogging. Yes, thirteen years have passed since the first post appeared, August 29, 2007.  When it comes to the subject matter of NonStop, there has been no end to the stories that we can tell and even after all these years, I have no thoughts about easing up on the posts. There’s just too much excitement about NonStop still to come!

When I first started blogging I did so from a corner desk tucked away on the landing of our Simi Valley rental townhouse. Commuting between Boulder and Simi Valley, even as I was working out of San Francisco, meant time on the road to kick around ideas with Margo that mostly wound up in one of the posts to this blog. Today, I have a great office in our Windsor, Colorado, home that affords me a wider view and provides direct site lines to the bar outside my office. Mind you, this is unrelated to storytelling but on the other hand, when the day’s work is done, my commute is rather trivial and somehow, there’s always an opportunity to detour to the bar before heading upstairs for mealtime.

I have often been asked about the various storylines that I have explored on this blog. Surely, there are only a finite number of things you can say about NonStop! And yet, with every email I receive and with every HPE event that is held, there is something newsworthy that has direct bearing on the NonStop community. With the NonStop All Digital Experience drawing nearer with its November date highlighted on my calendar, it’s fair to say that expectations are running high that announcements of some significance will be made. Which begs the question, naturally enough, as to what each of you will consider the highlight of the event?

However, before looking into that have you registered for this event as yet? The virtual gathering of the NonStop community is substituting for the annual NonStop Technical Boot Camp (TBC). If you have as yet not paid a visit to the Connect web site to register and the hyperlink above doesn’t take you there, then cut and past the following link into your browser –

Should you be interested in reading how the registration is proceeding then I encourage you to read the upcoming monthly column, HPE RUGS, when it appears in the October, 2020, issue of NonStop Insider. Working from home has not only allowed me more time to email and to converse but it’s also provided me with greater quality time to spend on reading current affairs and this is reflected in the articles you will find in this upcoming issue of the magazine. I trust you will find the time to read the articles and columns that make it into the issue as they come from a variety of sources and feature many familiar faces from across the NonStop community.


When it comes to storylines for NonStop it would be remiss of me not to call out the work being done today by the NonStop product management team. The game has changed for them in so many ways and it’s difficult to relate the work they do to what product management did in the days of Tandem Computers. When I was part of the former Tandem Computers product management team, we had a director, three second level managers and half a dozen or so first line managers each with teams of three or four product managers.

By way of example, I was one of those first line managers overseeing the comms and networking group that included four product managers. All up, within the product management team there were enough product managers to crowd the deck of the Santa Cruz 70, Chardonnay II (yes, a seventy foot yacht), when we went for a sail across Monterey Bay. With Ray Walker trimming sails and me at the helm, it was a lot of fun. Team building within product management was always fun even when in this instance, on a tack (or was that a gybe?), I managed to “drown” our leader, Bill Heil, with an untimely wave over the foredeck.

Today, it’s a lot different and far more challenging. Team manager, Karen Copeland, has five product managers that she works with – one focused almost exclusively on the hardware with four overseeing software programs grouped under operating system, database, middleware (including Java) and system manageability (including CLIM). A far cry from the heady days of Tandem Computers and yet, through the recent modernization and diversification with the way to deploy NonStop systems, the NonStop product line looks superior to anything delivered in former times.

NonStop SQL has gone from strength to strength and has gained the upper hand of some of the more established rivals with which it competed. Stories are coming to me about former Oracle sites that have migrated to NonStop and I am expecting to hear of even more migrations in the coming year. There are now more payments solutions using NonStop SQL than I can recall ever having leveraged this database – many may recall that in its earlier iteration, solutions vendors shied away from any dependence on NonStop SQL. But no longer!

As for supported languages and frameworks, if your preferences steer the conversation towards Java then no problems on this front as many solutions take advantage of Java and the JVM on NonStop. Want to program in Pearl? Script languages including popular open source languages like Perl, PHP and Python have been ported to NonStop. Furthermore, and what continues to surprise CIOs, is that DevOps can be pursued with NonStop - you can use Git and GitHUB to build and store your application in  a repository, Jenkins as an automation server supporting the creation of pipelines. Nexus and Artifactory are available as artifact repositories and Ansible for setting it all up to be production-ready.

When it comes to traditional and virtual machines, NonStop has you covered as well. NonStop can be delivered to your dock as a complete system or you can deploy NonStop on any server farm based on x86 where converged Ethernet fabrics are included and where VMware is supporting virtual machines. NonStop running inside a private cloud, without giving up any of its core fundamentals – availability, scalability, security and data integrity – who could have imagined such options just a short time ago? Running on real machines or on virtual machines, NonStop has quickly morphed into a platform that can be deployed any which way you prefer and to think, this has all occurred in just a few short years.

As for a thriving ecosystem of development partners in support of solutions, utilities and tools then the NonStop team has nurtured a community that is now the biggest such ecosystem of any product line within HPE. There are resellers, vars and channel partners supporting the sale of HPE products but when it comes to working with the developers, NonStop is unmatched in this regard and for some, has become the envy of other product managers. It is against this background that HPE IT chose NonStop to be at the core of its operations and in doing so, displaced hundreds of Oracle databases – the cost savings alone proved material to the continuing operation of IT within HPE.

Do I miss those social days sailing on Monterey Bay? Do I miss the times when we grilled on the deck of Building 4 in Cupertino? Of course, but those were different times. Have I now enough material to exploit within storylines featuring NonStop? Naturally as the productivity within the NonStop team ensures that there is something happening almost every week. My time may be spent sitting at the desk of my home office, outlining upcoming posts and commentaries and I am finding myself laboring into the early evening but NonStop has taken over center stage as far as storylines go. And for that, the overtime is well worth pursuing even as I continue to convey in no uncertain ways the excitement that NonStop continues to generate!



Bill Heil said...

Richard - it was always 'smooth sailing' with you at the helm! Thanks for your decades of suppport and recognition of the great people, customers and solutions that alway keep the globe humming...

Anonymous said...

Richard - it is always fun and 'smooth sailing' with you at the helm. Thanks for your decades of support and reporting on the amazing NonStop people, customers and technologies. Mission critical is important stuff for planet earth. Cheers, Bill

Richard Buckle said...

Many thanks, Bill - who could have imagined that after all these years I am still having fun coming up with story lines.

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