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 café (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!  

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