From start to finish, the NonStop Technical Bootcamp 2016 (NonStop TBC 2016) was jam-packed with interesting topics and relevant sessions - overall, it was well worth attending!
The opening day keynote speakers included Randy Meyer and Andy Bergholz from HPE. But before their presentations, the Connect Worldwide committee presented the “volunteer of the year” award to Michael Rossbach, retiring-CEO of comForte. His efforts with GTUG and his many decades of sponsorship with Connect and past TUG events, led to this wonderful gesture - and Michael certainly looked surprised receiving this award!
Randy Meyer, Vice President & General Manager, Mission Critical Systems at HPE, took the podium and spoke about his department, and how the NonStop sales contributions have helped support the mission critical product line. Randy mentioned that much of this is attributed to customers continuing to upgrade to NonStop X resulting in ‘double-digit’ growth for NonStop this year.
Andy Bergholz, Senior Director at HPE, went onstage afterwards, and spoke about vNonStop and outlined the future vision of “NonStop Cloud.” Andy said to imagine NonStop operating systems working with VMWare or HyperV and Microsoft Azure. He also said that further development will be made with SQL/MX (more detail was given in Roland Lemoine’s session) and he eventually sees vNonStop systems with in-memory databases in the future. Andy shared a funny story where his developers have successfully started the vNonStop operating system on a desktop server… so they can now say they have NonStops literally sitting on their desks! The vNonStop product roadmap shows a planned release date in Q1 or Q2 of 2017.
The keynote speaker for the second day was Dr. Timothy Chou – author, and professor at Stanford University. Well-known to parts of the NonStop community, as he used to work on Tandem computers back in the 1980’s, so he was very familiar with the birth-roots of NonStop systems. Dr. Chou spoke about the Internet of Things (IoT) and presented some powerful concepts from his book “Precision: Principles, Practices and Solutions for the Internet of Things.” He provided an example of a company that lends heavy equipment to people (around $6B in annual revenue). They pay close to $1B annually in maintenance costs to upkeep the heavy equipment. What if the IoT can help them reduce the $1B by providing sensors, analytics, and artificial intelligence to help with the maintenance costs? These are the models people in IoT are working on.
After the keynote speeches, the day was full of break-out sessions and vendor exhibitions in the Partner Pavilion - a ‘non-stop’ day of activity for the attendees. The three-day agenda was filled with topics covering a mix of Security, SQL, NonStop X systems and much more. “Intro to Python on NonStop” was also on the agenda, which represents yet another excellent example of the convergence of newer, relevant technology on NonStop systems.
In the area of what’s new, comForte launched SecurDPS, its newest product with a full house presentation by Henning Horst, SVP Security at comForte. After the launch presentation Michael Deissner, incoming-CEO of comForte said the comForte team was very excited about the launch of the new solution and was looking forward to talking with potential customers about their specific requirements. SecurDPS is a powerful Data Protection Suite using tokenization and encryption to protect mission critical data. Its roots are from the well-known SecurData product, extended to protect data from NonStop systems to other systems within the Enterprise. comForte is positioned to provide NonStop customers with more choice than other providers when it comes to data security. Many TBC attendees were seen talking with comForte about SecurDPS regarding its capabilities and functions. The comForte team (hard to miss in green polo shirts) were extremely busy talking to customers, prospects and partners alike to discuss, agree and progress many joint business opportunities. A great event for networking and catching up on everything NonStop.
A very interesting session was the NonStop Special Interest Group (SIG) for people under the age of 40, which I attended – the idea started by Navid Khodayari with Idelji. He said he wants to see how many people are involved with NonStop, under the age of 40, and what their perspective is on the event and the industry. 80% of the attendees were from vendors, so the question was asked how to attract more customers to the SIG, as well as to the NonStop platform in general.
Graduate Programs at various vendors have lost a few potential NonStop people because they want to work on platforms that help grow their careers and they perceive NonStop wasn’t one of those. This brought up the main concerns from the group, which were education availability on NonStop systems (RAIL was said to be outdated or not functional), as well as marketing of NonStop to the younger generation (doesn’t seem to exist).
Other ideas were to host Hackathons or BugBounty programs, and it was suggested that vNonStop may provide the ideal platform for these. There was unanimous interest to keep the Under 40 SIG going and HPE (and the Connect Group) were there to take notes and make recommendations to the HPE management team.
The final day included many technical sessions across the various topic ranges. For example, Wendy Bartlett, Distinguished Technologist in HPE’s NonStop Enterprise Division, provided an update on NonStop Security and also co-hosted another session on ‘the State of Tokenization and Encryption on NonStop systems’ with Henning Horst, SVP Security at comForte.
Brad Poole, Senior Solution Architect at comForte, also presented YUMA/NSADI in practice, highlighting a use case scenario of High Speed Data Transfer based on the YUMA/NSADI technology which was developed together with comForte’s partner DataExpress.
Other agenda items included NonStop SQL/MX release 3.4 update, IBM MQ v8 for HPE NonStop update, HPE Moonshot 4000 and the Internet of Things, Real-world Java Application Tuning, and a whole lot more!
With 140 attendees, representing NonStop customers from around the world, including the US, South America, Scandinavia, Asia, and other countries, you could certainly understand why the NonStop TBC 2016 is considered a resounding success. Many social events like the traditional Beer Bust, the Vendor Reception at the Silicon Valley Club, and Casino Night certainly provided the busy days with a way to unwind.
Planning for next year’s TBC location has already begun and if it is expected to have the kind of agenda as this years’ TBC, I’m sure NonStop customers from all over will attend again!