Tuesday, October 6, 2020

It’s getting cold outside … will it be warmer online?

Ready for the season to change? Ready for the nature of events to change? The weather may be turning chilly but there will be a warm reception for the NonStop All Digital Experience …

The posts and updates this week have been about making the transition to winter. Living alongside the Rockies means we have to anticipate change happening almost every day. It was just a few weeks ago when it snowed and at the time, I posted of how the telltale signs of summer coming to an end couldn’t be more evident when you have several inches of snow on the ground. That was before fall arrived – who would have predicted we would be living under almost perpetual haze from forest fires to the west as snowflakes drifted earthwards.

Among the posts have been queries as to which winter tires to buy and what exactly does the state of Colorado mean as it declares active traction laws are in place October through May. Turns out you have to fit tires that are either snow tires, tires with the mud/snow (M+S) designation, or use a four-wheel/all-wheel-drive vehicle. When I sought out chains for our four-wheel drive Jeep Grand Cherokee, the tire company told me that if the Jeep could only operate with chains mounted then “get off the road!”

Sometimes, it is the obvious that all that is needed to pull you up to realize that well yes, that makes sense. For the NonStop community, what has been obvious for many years is that there is no comparative server that can assure us of a level of permanent availability that is a standard feature of the NonStop server. As we continue to read posts to sites like LinkedIn that inform us that there is no reason at all to buy one more server, the obvious has clearly escaped the authors.

More times than not, there are reasons to run applications on NonStop and those reasons haven’t changed. For interactions with end users 24 x 7 nothing else can deliver the same degree of uptime than NonStop continues to do, irrespective of the market vertical. More importantly and yes, probably not always on the tip of our tongues, is just how NonStop has been doing this for four plus decades. It may be cold outside but this just has to warm our hearts knowing that HPE continues to make major investments in NonStop.

I was reminded of this as Margo and I pulled together the October 2020 issue of NonStop Insider. As the first issue of our fifth year of publication, it attracted 20 submissions which is close to the maximum we set for ourselves. This issue may already be available online as you read this post, but it wasn’t just the number of submissions but how there were three of them coming from HPE NonStop team members from different NonStop organizations. While they are promotional after a fashion they draw our attention to their videos, posts and industry observations some of which were published on popular social media sites.

From the sales organization we see that HPE Enterprise Account Executive Steve Kubick continues to post short video clips drawing our attention to just how reliable NonStop systems are today and of how a two-minute outage, acceptable to some IT managers, simply won’t fly for the NonStop community. Master Technologist at HPE, Frans Jongma, is now posting videos about NonStop SQL/MX (and continues to do so) highlighting, “how easy it is to work with NonStop SQL/MX and how little advance knowledge is required to create and use a fault tolerant database.”  

Separately, Master Technologist at HPE, Justin Simonds, looks at potential hybrid configurations based upon NonStop. “NonStop could provide a continuous feed to the Apollo’s for continuous learning and model creation.  This became even more interesting with the acquisition of Cray Super Computers,” writes Simonds. “They have a number of government contract systems and a fabric that is faster than InfiniBand … I’m calling this concept the Artificial Intelligence Driven Enterprise or AIDE.” Reading these commentaries as delivered did warm our hearts on this occasion.

Where NonStop Insider continues to break new ground is in terms of hearing directly from HPE NonStop insiders, third-party vendors and a number of consultants. One particular column that I wrote had a lot to do with a challenge to all those in marketing. Are existing marketing practices still relevant and is the traditional CMO becoming a legacy vocation – who would want to hold this title in today. Talking about being warm, the corridors of marketing must be chilly places to hang out these days. Perhaps, not coming from a place where marketers like to go and yet, as with so much that has been influenced by the presence of this global pandemic, what once was the mainstay of practices may no longer be valuable going forward!

There was another thread that worked its way through many of this month’s submission and that was the upcoming NonStop community event, the Nonstop Technical Boot Camp. By now we have all read of how TBC has been rebranded The NonStop All Digital Experience with free registrations being accepted. If, as yet, you haven’t registered then simply go to this site, NonStop TBC by clicking on the hyperlink or by cutting and pasting this link into your browser www.nonstoptbc.com

There will not be anything chilly about this event even as we all adjust to events being held virtually. This year I will be giving a presentation based on the research note I wrote about the affordability of NonStop. This is a revisit of the topic of the TCO of NonStop I first raised back in 2012, but with the publication of a new report on Availability Level 4 server offerings by IDC the timing seemed appropriate. Once again, I will also be presenting on behalf of NTI where its DRNet® product line has taken off in ways many might find surprising.

If you want to be sure you make it to these presentations, for now the dates and times are as follows:

Talk 1:  “The ABCs of NonStop TCO” 
Sponsored by HPE
Scheduled for: US TRACK 2 – Wed – 11/18 @7:30am – Pacific Time

Talk 2: “From replication to distribution, integration and transformation, NTI is putting data first”
Sponsored by NTI
Scheduled for: Vendor Theater:  US TRACK 2 – Monday 11/16 @ 12:00 noon – Pacific Time.

(Consider this as a guide only and check with Connect for possible future changes to dates or times.)

Is this proving warming? Is this taking your mind away from the cold that is headed our way? As for Margo and me we cannot entirely dismiss the thought of snow days ahead, but then again, those first snow falls are always a welcome reinforcement of the way seasons come and go. And yes, we are ready for cooler days ahead. While we will truly miss the opportunity to drive to Burlingame, California, to meet you all in person, we are looking forward to the virtual event. It should still be a whole lot of fun and the numbers of registrations continue to climb suggesting that this could be the biggest event ever, including those back in the days of the annual ITUG Summits.

Any sense of urgency to make sure we have the right tires on our SUV has lessened as we have no plans to drive over the Sierras, although in all seriousness, we will have one eye on the weather over the course of the next month or so. For those who know us both very well you will know that taking away any opportunity to drive somewhere is a downer for us. Then again, participating in a major event from my home office has its upside but I will say more about that closer to the event taking place.

With that, I trust you are all preparing for the biggest event of the year for the NonStop community. And understand this very well, our NonStop systems remain the premier server offering supporting mission critical applications so take time to read this month’s edition of NonStop Insider for a comprehensive view of why availability still matters. And oh yes, stay warm!     

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