With his opening words, “It’s not where we are headed but how fast we will get there,” the boss of all things NonStop, Jeff Kyle, set the tone for the latest NonStop Technical Boot Camp (NonStop TBC 22). “We are a platform and not a server; the platform we are perfecting for mission critical applications. We create the data and we transact the data!”
As I began to write this article for some strange reason these words came to mind. First heard on the Disney pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair, the song, It’s a small world after all continues to captivate audiences worldwide. It was back on this month, April of 1964 that the Fair opened with Disney supporting four exhibits and even as I was living in Sydney, Australia, my father captured the spirit of the Fair in photos he took when visiting New York in 1965.
Connect, together with members of the Connect community, is pleased to announce the creation of a new Tech Forum, Business Intelligence & Analysis (BI&A). We have all heard senior HPE executives refer to how data is created on NonStop but what comes next? To be valued by the enterprise data created on NonStop needs to be moved. It needs to be analyzed. It needs to lead to better business insights.
This year, as was the case last year, the annual NonStop Technical Boot Camp 2021 (NonStopTBC21) became a virtual experience. No surprises really about this even as many members of the NonStop community held out in the hope that it would be a return to an in-person event. No surprises too that even with the lateness of the transition to virtual, along with the promotion of the event being free of charges for attendees, there were 1,000 participants maybe more.
Perhaps the most enduring character from the fictional Star Trek franchise just happens to be Data. With his positronic brain he could out-compute the likes of Vulcans and in so doing, endeared himself to viewers worldwide, given his total lack of emotion. Before Data, there had been Spock, but in Data we saw a significant upgrade albeit one with absolutely no understanding of humanity. In many ways, the mere thought of having someone like Data onboard the spaceship USS Enterprise, gave the scriptwriters that all-important way out whenever situations escalated beyond belief. With Data, there was always an option.
Virtualization, and the support of virtual operating systems, has been a part of IT for a very long time. The concepts are pretty simple; I/O has been much slower than main memory so actions taken by the processor have happened more quickly than actions directed at storage. This resulted in a lot of processor wait time and processor time was viewed as expensive; what could we do while we waited? Initially this lead to the creation of a number of partitions all sharing virtual storage (VS) so much so that it wasn’t unusual to find large systems running five, seven, twelve and more partitions that, in the case of IBM mainframes, broke processing down into online and batch.
Before we begin to look at HPE NonStop platform updates becoming available in 2021 it’s probably a good idea to take a step back and look at exactly what constitutes a platform. Like with every opinion, everyone has their own take on what constitutes a platform. It was so much easier when we all understood what was a computer, an operating system or an application but of late, the lines have become less clear. Can we still draw meaningful lines or have they become lines in the sand, subject to change every time a breeze disturbs their presence.
Let’s get definitions out of the way. If you have been wondering about the difference between IT Transformation and Digital Transformation (DX) then you are not alone. Many IT professionals and business commentators have stepped in to clarify what these differences boil down to, but in many cases, they have only raised more questions. As we move into 2021, enterprises are deep into projects that are designed to better align technology with business outcomes and as they do so, the idea of transformation appears with almost regular monotony.
We have always heard the role of NonStop described as being best-suited platform where 100% uptime is mandatory; where the customer’s business cannot tolerate any exceptions; where nothing can be allowed to interrupt the works of the solution and where the application’s failure means the customer’s business fails.
When you consider the mileage, you oftentimes forget the passage of time – wasn’t it Harrison Ford’s character, Indiana Jones, in the film Raiders of the Lost Ark who responded to the question from the leading lady, “You’re not the man I knew ten years ago” with, “It’s not the years, honey. It’s the mileage.” When it comes to 2019 my travels reached new heights. As for someone who advocates travel by car, I spent time aboard ships, trains, planes and yes automobiles too. It was all in the name of spending quality time with the NonStop community.
Insider Technologies is a leading software development company developing mission-critical applications for the world’s most demanding customers. The firm’s DNA is in NonStop, with products like MultiBatch and Reflex firmly cemented in its client infrastructure. Now celebrating its 30th year of operations, Richard Buckle stopped by to chat with new and veteran members of the team to hear their reflections on the past and what they anticipate for the future of NonStop. Karl Gilbank (MD), Karl Todd (Product Owner), Dave Shields (Principle Consultant) joined in the discussion.
Let’s talk about simplification. If you have as yet not had a chance to attend major HPE events and have missed the opportunity to hear HPE executives talking about strategy, you may have missed the emphasis HPE is placing on Hybrid IT. More importantly perhaps, you may have missed the further focusing of that emphasis to where HPE today talks about the need for IT to simplify the transformation to Hybrid IT. Almost by definition, hybrids represent more than one platform and equally by definition, complexity increases.
It has been quite a while since I was given the opportunity to spend as much time as I have of late in my office. There is a nice feeling about having an opportunity to follow routines. We all live busy lives and there’s no doubt that having time to kick-around ideas with colleagues represents time well spent, but even so, there really isn’t any substitute for networking with those working with the products you cover in presentations and in articles, commentaries and blog posts. Shortly, the pace picks up considerably as with the arrival of the fall late in September, the number of gatherings of NonStop user groups kicks into high gear.
This issue will be all about the processing of data – developing and implementing those all-important programs in support of mission critical transaction processing. In particular, the languages, tools methodologies, frameworks and much more that all play a role in creating the business logic necessary to process the data created by transactions. The two, data and processing have been linked since the very first computer was built and even today, there are those in the NonStop community that can recall being recruited to work in “data processing.” Of course, in the intervening years, so much has changed that, in order to remain competitive, businesses have long ago foregone the five and even three year planning cycles to where development and testing of business logic is now continuous.