Thursday, December 31, 2020

2020 – The last post!

Whether you are familiar with a bugle playing Taps or The Last Post, either way, finally, the sun is setting on 2020! Bring on 2021 …


When we first talked about taking a break during the 2020 Christmas to New Year holiday season, we had no intention of including breaks of any other kind. But then, Margo and I were unaware that lady luck would intervene and not in a positive manner. Whereas we had been checking out locations from Key West to Palm Desert (where we have previously spent the holidays), we are now reconciled to the simple fact that we will be spending time on the couch.

For those who follow Margo and me on social media channels you will have read of how Margo broke her leg in a bad fall while heading downstairs to our bar. I would like to say that a drink had been involved, but no, both of us had refrained as we were entertaining neighbors that night and it was Margo who was leading them downstairs where she had laid out a buffet that had taken all afternoon to prepare. We have still to determine exactly what led to what, but we all heard Margo’s leg snap the moment she landed on the lower level floor.

Margo has spent a lot of time as a volunteer for ITUG and perhaps, not as well known, as the Chief Meetings Officer of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) that was dedicated to  spinal and brain injuries (and their subsequent rehabilitation) so she knew all too well that a lot of time would be spent on the living room couch. We both made adjustments but it did put a different spin on recovery, 24 x 7, as there were no shortcuts to be found and there would be no tolerance for interruptions to the healing process!

Perhaps a sad way to segue to NonStop and what transpired in 2020. However, many members of the NonStop community witnessed first-hand circumstances much worse that a broken leg. As we kept an eye on various social media channels, it became obvious that the NonStop community wasn’t immune to what was taking place closer to home. The impact of the global pandemic was felt everywhere you turned and to read of HPE CEO Antonio Neri testing positive for COVID-19 just as this year’s HPE Discover 2020 event was about to kick-off reminded us that everyone was at risk, no matter their situation.

Each month I provide a short update for our clients. And yes, we are so appreciative of the group of NonStop vendors who have supported us through the decade plus Pyalla Technologies has been in business. It is appropriate at this time of year to express such thanks even as we look ahead to 2021 knowing that many of our clients are as uncertain as to what the future may hold as Margo and I happen to be. In this latest client update I wrote of patience and of how it’s in short supply for many of us – who remembers the famous tee shirt created at Tandem Computers by VP, Steve Schmidt? It had a lot to do with our growing lack of patience so long ago about which I will say no more!

Patience has never been my long suit. In fact, I have the level of impatience I have exhibited at times that has contributed to my less than stellar performance in some arenas. A sense of urgency has its place, but it’s so easy to step beyond that and to appear more than impatient. When it comes to 2020, with the end of the year fast approaching like many of you, I am only too happy to see the back of 2020 and to welcome the arrival of 2021. After all, as a community, we have so much to look forward to when it comes to NonStop.

Before the US military turned to playing Taps, the Last Post could be heard at day’s end and whenever the fallen were remembered. Today, among countries of the British Commonwealth it is still played as they celebrate Remembrance Day – a time to remember those who didn’t return from past wars. It is also played on ANZAC day in Australia and New Zealand and memories of it still linger with me to this day as my family returned to Sydney’s cenotaph (pictured above) to hear the Last Post being played.

When viewed in the context of 2020, it seems more than appropriate to finish the year of blogging with a similar title as yes, for 2020, this is the last post! We will remember you as 2020 ushered in not just the new normal but its duration suggests changes will be long-lasting and influence business in ways we could not have anticipated this time last year. Who could have imagined that ZOOM would dominate the conversation or that usage of tools like Dropbox and DocuSign would become commonplace? For many the even bigger topic of the day had to do with data and how it’s volume, together with its velocity, have changed the way we look at the core and the edge.

It was during 2020 that HPE informed us that data, data analytics along with Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) would be leaving the realm of research to go mainstream. That gaining actionable insights from massive amounts of data would be paramount for enterprises to not just be competitive but to be able to stay in business. In times when the business compass was spinning wildly and where finding true north was next to impossible, falling back on the data at hand was the only instrument available to us that would help us find a way through this global pandemic.

When it comes to NonStop systems we have to come to appreciate that they are now a hybrid-in-a-box. For NonStop converged systems delivered today, the redundant fabrics interconnect processors supporting the NonStop OS along with Linux and Windows boxes – Linux for storage and networking, Windows for consoles – something we often overlook when discussing NonStop. For NonStop virtualized, looking at the many cores making up a virtual NonStop, a similar mix of OSs is evident.

What this means is that the NonStop team knows hybrid and in so embracing, leaves the door open to other processors being added at some point and already, in previous posts to this blog, we have referenced the potential upside from adding HPC Apollo processors into the mix to better support the crucial analytics that enterprises need today. With HPC jumping the gun, so as to speak, and joining the GreenLake initiative (where NonStop already participates after a fashion), these things are all possible.

As 2020 comes to end and we look to 2021 for better news to come, NonStop isn’t without its challenges. The biggest challenge of all remains and it is a challenge we cannot ignore: The continuing relevance of NonStop is at the very heart of conversations across the NonStop community. Not that this community discounts the value proposition of NonStop but rather, communicating this value proposition to the rest of the enterprise.

Can NonStop exist within a cloud environment and bring with it the cloud experience with which enterprises are familiar? Can NonStop underpin a cloud and provide the same level of elasticity of provisioning enterprises value most with cloud usage? Can NonStop effectively tap clouds public as well as private as a resource no different from any other resource it taps today? Perhaps as just another external storage option that has no single point of failure? The answer to all of these questions that have challenged us of late is yes, NonStop can do this. 2021 could very well be a break-out year for NonStop in so far as we see NonStop present in ways we didn’t expect to see just a few years ago.

As NonStop became a software solution, it can be massaged in ways that will surprise us in 2021. What will drive the conversation will not be the challenges to NonStop per se but rather, the challenges enterprises face. Outages continue to be the nemesis of enterprises dealing directly with communities as each and every outage attracts unwanted attention across social media channels. There is nowhere to hide in 2021 when your system goes down. Communicating this value proposition in a meaningful manner will need the full support of HPE and perhaps with a new organization and new leadership, NonStop will attract the attention within HPE that it deserves.

This is definitely the last post to this NonStop community blog for 2020. However, this is not the last post for NonStop. When you consider just how many options now exist for NonStop deployments and how far the NonStop SQL database has come (describing just one NonStop subsystem), I am now wondering when we will hear the last post sounding for mainframes? For Unix? When you think about it, the transient nature of OSs is such that in time something better comes along. Aren’t you glad to read that with NonStop there’s no muted sound of the last post to be heard but rather, nothing better has come along!

And with that, our best wishes to you all for the coming year and may it herald greater opportunities to come for everyone in the NonStop community.       

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

For the NonStop community, so ends a year none of us anticipated.

Movement of people; movement of commerce; movement of data – there’s no stopping NonStop! Roadblocks? Get over it!

When will this end? When will normalcy return? When will 2021 arrive? And so the questioning continues. For a year that started without any clues as to what would follow, we have been left to wonder about our own situation with family, friends and neighbors. As news headlines continue to broadcast ominous warnings about what is still to come, we might be thinking that the time has come to lease that old missile silo, after all. Even with vaccines making their first appearance, it is going to take time and for most of us, this new life centered on being hunkered down in our own homes will continue.

Living in Colorado where a massive uptick in construction is under way with new homes, new schools and yes, new roads being built. As we look around our own neighborhood, development has continued unabated such that even freshly built homes re-entering the marketplace have sold in a matter of weeks. Society is coming to terms that perhaps concentrated living in high-rise condo complexes or taking up residence in a busy city isn’t the smartest decision to take right now.

Looking at the data, so many people have moved out of New York City, to reference just one place, that the state’s presence in Congress faces a reduction. Florida may end up with a greater representation in parliament than New York, for the first time ever. Whatever our business needs or where our travels may take us, roadblocks have appeared unlike at any time in the past. Their erection has only added to the growing concern that these upheavals across society are here to stay.

Transactions. The data is telling us that there has been a massive uptick in transaction volumes and the data being created is nothing like we have ever seen in the past. Sitting idly by the television screen it seems so easy to click a few icons to buy that “much-needed” item. Even for car-centric folks like ourselves, the opportunity to buy a car and have it delivered to our door all without any interaction with the dealership seems to be a sea-change that will have all dealerships rethinking their operating models. Do we really need tens of acres of cars of every description and color in order to clinch a deal? Shouldn’t we be looking at car purchases as just another transaction capable of being initiated from our smartphones or tablets?

Data. Rather serendipitously, during messaging with a good friend who are looking to buy either a BMW, a Jaguar or a Cadillac, I received an email offering me $10,000 off the price of the very same Jaguar our friends were considering purchasing. Serendipitous or simply a coincidence well, I don’t think so. Ever wonder where these enormous company market valuations are coming from? It’s the data that they are accumulating that is making the big difference in market cap valuations.

When conversations turn to Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (ML/AI), those conversations quickly transition to a discussion about better capture and integration of the data arriving each and every day. And growing in a manner those traditional batch-style approaches to moving, integrating and absorbing data just won’t cut it any longer: Ask the Striim team, for instance, or the management at NTI!

Movement of people; movement of commerce; movement of data – it’s all happening at once driven by an unmistakable desire to escape. Escaping a city, escaping into consumerism and yes, escaping into our daily tech lives is happening so fast and yet it’s hard to imagine anything changing in 2021. Even as roadblocks continue to be erected wherever we turn, there is a likelihood that this will only cause a slight disruption to the road we are following as we all know, we will find another way! We always do! Florida or a new car may not be on everyone’s mind these days, but underlying our conversation is the recognition that where we are headed is far removed from the normalcy of the past.

If you missed the previous articles posted to this blog in December, you will have missed how much I struggle to equate vendor’s strategies with anything other than a desire by them to sell us something that they have determined is of importance to the growth of their business. On the other hand I do not struggle to understand the value whenever enterprises talk of their strategy for IT – the road to digital transformation consists of products that they view as aligning with their strategy. Together, what these three posts of December 2020 reinforce is the realization that NonStop is commencing a new cycle in its support of IT.

Nothing is binary – whether you see the world as cloud to edge, you will see data moving to the edge even as you will likely see transactions moving back to the core, cloud or otherwise. The strength of NonStop has always been in its capacity to insert itself into the world of transactions and data where its primary attributes are most valued – availability and scalability. Traditional NonStop, virtual NonStop, NonStop as a Service – we have at our fingertips the means to place NonStop practically anywhere! Is it possible that NonStop is not constrained by any roadblocks its users might encounter?

Out at the edge, you never want a transaction initiated by a consumer to simply vanish leaving the consumer with no idea as to what just transpired. Likewise, with the data that is being accumulated you don’t want to run out of processing power. Either way, failure to be there for the consumer 24 x 7 or being unable to scale out to handle the ability to process and then store more data, will just create a further and realistically, an unnecessary roadblock.

What we are beginning to understand is that when it comes to the movement of people; movement of commerce; movement of data is that there is no sign of this letting up any time soon! As we continue to see roadblocks erected the more we will continue to transact all that we do from where we feel the safest. Our home or nearby cafĂ© (if that remains an option)! Everyone predicted that we would become communities that relied on mobile devices even as we predicted that our social interactions would be immediate and constant. What we didn’t predict was how we would have few other options other than to extend our ability to transact while mobile to what we do in business. Yes, we found ways around this potential roadblock!

Putting such technology into the hands of everyman and the consequences shouldn’t surprise us. Transactions and data! Escalating in volume and velocity on a logarithmic basis that shows no sign of letting up any time soon! The beauty of roadblocks real or just perceived is that in the majority of instances they are a sign that we have gone down a path for as far as we can go. Look around; backtrack perhaps; reassess where you truly want to go. It’s something every enterprise is doing today and as we head into 2021, the only thing we can be certain of is that we will likely run into even more roadblocks.

When it comes to NonStop and it’s capturing of transactions and the creation of data, view NonStop systems more or less as a modern-era stile that allows us to simply step up and over any roadblock. For the NonStop users, their path will never be blocked nor will the role of NonStop differ much from what it has always been. A surety that a transaction will complete and that the resultant data that will be created and never be lost.

Isn’t that the essential property of any system contributing to the growth of business? Isn’t that what everyone in 2021 will be seeking? As we see 2020 draw to an end the NonStop community should be in a mood to celebrate as it continues to enjoy unprecedented opportunities to climb over and indeed smash through what would stall the progress of those not deploying NonStop?

And with that, Margo and I wish you all the very best for the coming holidays even as our fondest wishes are that you enjoy the happiest of New Year celebrations. See you in 2021!  

Monday, December 14, 2020

When buying computers, like buying cars, it’s the DNA!

How much does a computer have in common with a car? Not much, until you want to purchase: For NonStop customers getting from A to B is not a good enough reason to buy!       

 



Ever wondered what finally tips the scales when it comes to buying a new computer? Thought about what transpires behind the scenes when key pieces of software are acquired? Was it the price a choice of features or comprehensive packaging providing an all-in-one solution? There are many factors contributing to an outcome and of late, within the NonStop community, there couldn’t be more options to choose from what is being sold today. 

While Margo and I aren’t involved in the major decisions influencing the technical direction at any major enterprise, it’s something we run into on a regular basis. Whether it’s buying the latest Apple iPhone or iPad or a really big smart TV, sometimes it comes down to the intangibles. Can I buy it online and can it be delivered soon? Do we like the folks we are interacting with? Do we like the color being offered? Having said that, one consideration we view important is product or service performance, as no consumer ever boasted about how slow his device happened to be or how little capabilities it provided. And of course, no one boasts proudly that they waited in line for three hours for a basic service to be provided. 

Just recently and in truth, rather serendipitously, we proceeded down a path that ultimately led to us putting down a deposit on a new car. Yes, the owner of the dealership just happened to be our next door neighbor who built a relationship with us based on trust. We needed a pickup to move some furniture and he left the keys to one of his pickups “under the mat.” While putting up Christmas lights he asked me if I would like to drop by to view a model I was interested in that he knew was proving difficult to find. A week or so later he gave us the keys to drive the model of interest when no other dealer was even talking about letting anyone to seat in a car, much less providing a test drive option!

When it comes to NonStop systems we have all been made aware of the imminent shipment of models of the fourth generation of NonStop X. Have you been given a set of keys yet? Taken it for a spin? If you happen to have missed the announcement then you can replay the presentation by visiting the Connect web site and going to the On Demand library where you will be able to listen to Mark Pollans as he walks us all through NonStop Next Generation Systems. Very soon HPE will begin shipping the NonStop NS8 X4 (and it’s entry level sibling, the NonStop NS4 X4) and while promised performance levels will be similar to the previous generation, the Intel x86 chipsets themselves will be coming with Intel vulnerability mitigations in place for NonStop systems.

After so many decades of investment in NonStop it is encouraging to see these investments continue as today, more than ever, transaction volumes are increasing rapidly even as the data being created on NonStop reaches new heights. But NonStop continues to do something very special even as it is the premier transaction and database processor meeting the requirements of the most demanding of mission critical applications of enterprises everywhere. What is that something special? Well it didn’t just happen overnight but has come about through experience, rigorous testing and a disciplined approach to development. 

The sense of serendipity that arose as we progressed towards the purchase of a new car was also in evidence when I turned to magazines looking for product reviews. Don’t we all, these days? In this case it was the advertisement for Honda that caught my eye. In the first paragraph or so a couple of expressions jumped right off the page to where I was substituting HPE and NonStop in numerous places.

Try this: 

The average computer has 30,000 parts. Each one is linked to every other one through a complex web of mechanical and electrical connections – the fabric. If you are someone who gives little thought to what these parts actually do then you are probably content with a computer that gets you from desktop to server with no cause for excitement.

Follow? See where this is going? If you are familiar with the many generations of NonStop you will already know that NonStop is not for everyone. We do care that the sum of the parts together with the fabric that ties it together will perform as required around the clock.

There is nothing wrong with this way of thinking, but it should be known that HPE NonStop was not founded on any such philosophy of computing utilitarianism. While HPE never neglect the A- to B-ers and their quest for reliability and efficiency, we always make sure to add a little extra zest to our NonStop computers so that in the event of complexity and change, the systems does not fail to deliver the requisite number of smiles.

Yes, if you missed the short video by HPE Steve Kubick on the Special Sauce that is only present within NonStop then you may want to revisit that video now on YouTube. When it comes to the quest for reliability and efficiency together with the pursuit of something that goes well beyond utilitarianism, then you can look no further than at NonStop.

This is the result of a long history of NonStop that dates back before fault tolerant computers ever rolled off the assembly line … knowing all this makes it easy to see that availability, scalability, security, data integrity (and more) is part of our DNA.

It may be too simplistic to view computers the same way we view cars but then again, it all depends upon your perspective. In these times, as we see so many strategies unfolding as to the ways we can consume compute, the lines between cars and computers have become somewhat blurred. Cars have become computers even as computers are as mobile as cars. In case you haven’t given it much thought availability, scalability and more are truly integral parts of NonStop’s DNA.

We are hearing HPE routinely talk about its plans to become the leading edge to cloud, everything-as-a-service, platform provider. We are hearing too about HPE being partner driven and for the NonStop community all of this is resonating in ways that are being reflected in an uptick in sales of NonStop. When it comes to strategy, our NonStop DNA is on show and is ensuring interest in NonStop remains high. The markets NonStop serves continues to be diverse even as the move to virtual, the move to database, the move to hybrid is generating the kind of interest in NonStop many of us recall from decades past. 

According to Michael Porter, an American academic known for his theories on economics, business strategy, social causes, and is referenced widely as was the case when an article in Harvard Business Review appeared in 2015. “At a fundamental level, all strategies boil down to two very broad options: Do what everyone else is doing (but spend less money doing it),” said Porter, “or do something no one else can do.”  Then again, this same HBR article adds the possibility of a third option that might resonate well with the NonStop community. “It’s tempting to think the third camp — reacting opportunistically to emerging possibilities — represents the field’s most recent thinking,” said the author of the HBR article.

When we talk about NonStop’s DNA it’s hard to ignore that NonStop was an extraordinary innovator as it tackled a marketplace that didn’t exist. Fault Tolerant computers were an opportunistic reaction to the emerging possibility that devices with which consumers would interact needed to be online, 24 x 7. This at a time, for instance, when few anticipated the future global ubiquitous presence of the humble ATM. Not only was this an opportunistic reaction to a business that was emerging but in pursuing fault tolerance, NonStop was doing something no one else could do. Four decades on and NonStop still processes mission critical transactions. NonStop still supports an always-on database. And now, NonStop runs virtual and can live inside a cloud!

The average NonStop computer has probably more than 30,000 parts connected by a fabric that together ensures continuous availability, 24 x 7. In so doing NonStop has added a little zest, a kind of special sauce, that few other vendors have been able to replicate to the same degree and the DNA of NonStop is evident with every NonStop system, traditional or virtual, that has ever been deployed – isn’t this the material of legendary application of strategic thinking where the results speak for themselves?

Next time you see a post or a tweet promoting NonStop as being able to do a lot more than simply connecting A to B remember that NonStop is the mission critical system that is best positioned to capitalize on today’s massive growth in transaction volume. Honda proved it many times over and continues to dominate auto sports worldwide. HPE, with NonStop, likewise has proved it too - reacting opportunistically to emerging possibilities while doing something no one else can do – dominating the world of mission critical computing!      

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Strategic? It’s time to let it go …

Ever since it was first rumored by IT professionals that the label strategic came with Velcro backing for ease of re-use (on a whim by sales and marketing), seeing “strategic” appended to products raises the hackles of even the most ardent supporters about any merits such product might have!

As news broke this week of HPE setting up shop in a suburb of Houston, Texas news media jumped on the story very quickly. Was this just another case of a Silicon Valley company leaving California for a more tech-friendly state? Was it a case of simply giving its employees better housing options with the benefits of a less onerous tax structure? Timed to coincide with the announcement of Q4 2020 financial results with references to sales of HPE products looking more like pre-pandemic results, perhaps the company felt encouraged to throw in a reference to changes of address for its Head Quarters.   

In this announcement was a phrase that caught my attention. HPE said that it is making the decision to move its headquarters to Houston, Texas, and that “The Bay Area will continue to be a strategic hub for HPE innovation.” If you didn’t catch it, the phrase in question just happened to be “a strategic hub for HPE innovation.” Not so much the innovation aspect, as I am as convinced as are many of you that HPE has indeed entered an era of accelerated innovation as it drives forward to become a leading edge to cloud, platform as a service company. 

Rather, it’s the presence of that catch-all word, “strategic.” But first, let me be very clear. I have followed the many programs of HPE for nearly two decades – from the time HPE and Compaq “merged” – and have nothing but admiration for their management team. In particular, I think HPE CEO Antonio Neri has been like a breath of fresh air for the company.

When I talk about strategic, I am writing about the word itself and in no way am I making any negative assertions about this move of the HQ to Houston. Moreover, I can see significant benefits with the move to Houston even as of late, Margo and I have been considering making a similar move ourselves and for similar reasons. As for usage of the word strategic it’s been my experience that there should be a band of Velcro applied to the word strategic as it is applied and reapplied, at some point, to every product an IT vendor has to offer.

The association with Velcro first arose in presentations and commentaries provided by IBM. Not that it was the IBM presenters that made this connection but rather, attendees of the presentation. Ever heard of IBM’s SAA – it’s Systems Application Architecture that was strategic for IBM when it came to tying together it’s various product lines from micros, minis and mainframes based on a common user interface, common communication services (yes, you guessed it, SNA) and a common software development environment. Strategic, perhaps; palatable to the greater IBM community, unfortunately no!

It was all too much too late and came at a time when IBM was failing to adjust to the new world of TCP/IP, open systems and a decline of interest in mainframes. This wasn’t the only time IBM threw the strategic label around. Who remembers programming in PL/1 or learning all about HIPO (Hierarchical Input, Processing and Output)  that was introduced as a systems analysis design aid? Complete with plastic templates, you were meant to be able to walk through any business requirement and come up with all you need to then turn to PL/1 program. In actuality, all HIPO delivered was a lot of pretty diagrams than many systems analysts framed in their offices.

Of course there would be no discussion on strategic products without some reference to DB2 positioning in the face of a rampant Oracle. However, for the NonStop community, we can look no further than when the battle lines were drawn separating the messages and indeed strategic value of SNAX versus ICE. Again, look no further than today when SNAX was not ported to the Intel x86 architecture (as strategic as it once had been) but rather, gave way to uLinga, a product that was developed by ex-members of that original ICE team. 

There are many similar stories that abound and HPE is not alone. The populist belief among former IBMers is that the label “strategic” was meant to signify that a product, service, technology or architecture wasn’t meeting pre-promoted sales figures. Strategic, in a sense became akin to being the flavor of the month.

The interior of Australia is mostly desert: The picture above is of a scene close to the Murray-Darling Basin which is the source of Australia’s largest river system. The presence of such large sand dunes gives you the true impression of just why water is such a scarce commodity to the west of Australia’s eastern coastline, but the story went that if seeking an oasis don’t be fooled by what you may consider a strategic sand hill observed during a previous outing. Any faith that may be attributed to the value of any strategic landmark is doomed to failure as yes, a sandy hill is but a fleeting presence on that vast vista of that terrible continent.

When it comes to the IT landscape then yes, blindly following a familiar terrain couldn’t be less rewarding if we had simply bought a less-featured product and be done with it! Buying time to see over the horizon even as we deliver something that is of interim value has been the plight of technologists for decades. When the recent NonStop Technical Boot Camp (TBC) was under way, I lost count of the number of times I heard vendors making reference to how strategic their product was for HPE and the broader NonStop community. 

Nothing could be further from the truth, even as shards of Velcro could be seen sticking out from the sides. As one HPE NonStop technologist wrote to me only this past week, when it comes to anything being promoted as strategic even as they believed is still carried some weight, “but as you know when a term becomes over-used and I fear strategic is failing into that category, it loses strength.”

Over exposure of a term or phrase is always a sign that there is a story behind the message and it’s not altogether pretty. Either there is an overpriced feature, a technology patronage that has moved on to something else (but as yet, hasn’t been made public) or much worse, a recognizable copycat approach taken that just doesn’t pass the sniff-test. But should IT vendors ever make statements about the strategic nature of a product? Is it really the correct action to be taken by any vendor; surely, it’s up to others to accept the strategic nature of a product. Just as important messaging, in and of itself, only lasts so long. When it comes to decisions that are made it is up to the actual NonStop customer to see such products delivering solutions that are providing them with the value that is strategic to the enterprise.

In an exchange on the topic of strategic product sets with Tim Dunne, NTI’s Global Director of Worldwide Sales, he made a remark that I suspect resonates with us all. “NTI will always respect the right of Customers to choose technology to meet their strategic direction and we will never portray a ‘sales strategy’ as better than a ‘customer-developed’ strategy,” said Dunne, “When it comes to what’s strategic and what’s not, NTI products adapt to what NonStop customers view as strategic for their enterprises, not the other way around.” 

Certainly, in the days when IBM was central to much that I pursued, it was ultimately the customers who set the direction. The abject failure of IBM’s SAA being among the best examples of enterprises rejecting the strategic label coming as it did at a time when enterprises were welcoming the product offerings of IBM’s competitors as the cost of ownership became the most important consideration of all.

As the sand hills adjacent to Australia’s biggest river basin keep moving, so too does IT; it just keeps evolving and it is the wary IT professional that depends too much on a product that they know is simply little more than a passing offering from one marketer or the other who wants you to believe their product is more than just a flavor of the month! Strategic for whom, exactly? On reflection then, and following the virtual TBC, perhaps “strategic” is losing its strength after all. To paraphrase popular advertising soundbites, it’s time for us as a community to buy just what we need and not have the need to just buy the message.  

Looks can be deceiving! HPE NonStop; when being the best still matters!

For the NonStop community, we know what looks good may not only be deceptive but borderline dangerous; mission critical applications are bes...