Visitors to our home will not miss the presence of books and magazines liberally scattered across coffee tables and even cabinet tops. There’s a constant supply of magazines on almost every topic, from current affairs to travel and cooking, to cars and motorcycles, and architecture as well. As a third generation member of the newspaper industry – and yes, writing blog posts and commentaries is as legitimate a writing profession as any other to be found in the newspaper industry – it’s not surprising to find such a variety of content on hand.
Arriving in the mail a short time ago was a popular home and garden magazine where the editor in chief wrote of how, “One of the things I love about being a magazine editor is that our world never stands still. Every 30 days, we start an issue with blank pages pinned up on a wall and a vision for content.” It may not be every 30 days, but much the same feeling is experienced by many within the NonStop community whenever a new NonStop system is announced – it quite literally is a blank page to start, with a vision, that too awaits the content.
Through the years, there’s been considerable energy spent on promoting innovative usage scenarios for NonStop. From the time it first took hold as an intelligent front-end processor for ATM networks to where today there are users solely deploying NonStop SQL in support of NonStop as a database back-end processor. As history has taught all of us within the NonStop community, there are no limits on how NonStop systems can be deployed and with the new NonStop X systems about to ship in volume, even more usage scenarios will likely emerge.
Perhaps the most popular image for many within the NonStop community is of NonStop in the center of customer-facing, mission-critical applications. Not simply as a giant router operating as a traffic cop, but rather, as the hub around which spokes have been added such that information can just as readily be pulled from a variety of sources as it can be pushed for subsequent storage. This is highlighted in the post by comForte Marketing VP, Thomas Gloerfeld, in his February 28, 2015, Welcome to 2015!
“With NonStop on x86 we are convinced that HP NonStop will make inroads into new areas in the data center, said Gloerfeld. “In an ideal scenario, HP NonStop could act as the high availability hub, bringing NonStop capabilities and fundamentals to other systems in the IT environment.” And this is a message not lost on the NonStop community nor on HP NonStop senior management. Take the growing interest in hybrid computers, and the understanding that there are pilots under way with NonStop X as part of these hybrids – for more on hybrids see the post of January 25, 2015, to the NonStop community blog Real Time View, Floating in space, I need a lifeline … – as just a further example of essentially ensuring the most sought-after attributes of NonStop can be leveraged by adjacent systems.
Much of the reason why NonStop finds home as a hub or as part of a hybrid is that NonStop systems are rather easy to manage – despite the notion that there’s a need for new, younger, talent taking up the NonStop mantel, when it comes to operations there’s nowhere near the oversight other systems still mandate. In the January 27, 2015, issue of the Australian newsletter, Rust Report, industry watcher, Len Rust’s, editorial is headlined with To the cloud and infinity. According to Rust, “Although technology trends seem to come and go with frightening regularity, some have a lasting impact on business. These are ones that change the way businesses operate and provide dramatic improvement for those that adopt them. Such technologies help organizations become operationally lean, agile and responsive, increase effectiveness and improve outcomes.”
In times where bloated enterprise data centers are looking to become operationally lean, agile and responsive I cannot think of any system apart from NonStop that can claim such qualities. The flip side obviously is that NonStop inherently is all of these things and has been for decades. As one retailer running NonStop systems once told me, “we don’t have anyone watching the NonStop; only when the console printer starts to spew out messages and console printouts start falling on the floor, does anyone take a look!” Yes, the positioning of NonStop in the center of today’s modern transactional systems makes the world of sense.
What is often overlooked is that the NonStop community is tightknit. Talking with Gloerfeld this week, he talked of new C-level executives appearing in organization charts. As companies wrestled with increasing effectiveness and improving outcomes, there is interest in taking whatever steps are necessary to remain relevant. When it comes to IT however, C-level executives aren’t as involved with systems selections as many would have us believe – and again, NonStop X embracing the Intel x86 architecture may make many CIO’s edits irrelevant as of mid-March, 2015. Where NonStop systems provide a meaningful role, awareness is developed from the ground up and not vice versa, not from the top down.
This is supported by the way vendors market products to the NonStop community – not through advertisements in the Wall Street Journal, but rather, through branding and messaging in evidence at every user event worldwide. NonStop popularity has been sustained through some of the toughest of IT times simply by word of mouth, a published article or two, and the occasional webinar. To be still the “top dog” in payments is a strong testimonial to just how effective this bottoms-up marketing support has been through the years.
In closing, I recently promoted the upcoming GTUG event, to be held April 27 – 30, 2015, in Munich, Germany. Preliminary information can be found at http://www.gtug.de/HotSpot2015/welcome.html – check it out. In my promotions of this event to LinkedIn groups I made the observation that the presence of NonStop executives and managers so soon after the first production shipments of NonStop X have begun should be more than enough enticement to justify the trip to Bavaria. Yes, just one more aspect of the way the message of NonStop is communicated these days – directly by all those involved.
The arrival of NonStop X will not leave any page on the topic of enterprise data centers blank for very long. Will it be deployed as part of a hybrid or be positioned as a controller deployed regionally or even as a hub at the very heart of the data center will all be revealed. The fact that NonStop still finds appeal with solutions vendors will also be given a lift as well, and will be something to watch. As for going to Munich, I know many will find the venue too hard to ignore so I encourage you all to start making plans. After all, it’s simply not possible for a page to remain blank – wouldn’t you like to be an active participant in adding your content to the latest page on NonStop?