NTI: A NonStop Vendor’s Resurgence to Prominence

NTI has been doing business with the NonStop community for almost four decades. It achieved an initial breakthrough with the first implementation of a data replication product to better support business continuity through leveraging Change Data Capture (CDC) methodologies. It also gained universal acclaim when it supported all databases and files, whether audited or not. No need to deploy TMF, NTI had you covered with DRNet® business continuity solutions.

However, doing business with the NonStop community for all this time didn’t always result in market awareness. For some time now, there were segments of the NonStop market that hadn’t fully realized that NTI had a presence or that NTI provided yet one more option when it came to business continuity. It was almost as if initial market success led to assumptions being made that NTI was happy with their achievements up to that time and wasn’t pursuing anything further, but nothing could have been further from the truth.

“When I joined NTI the number one objective I was given was to rejuvenate our place within the NonStop Community as we identified this was an area of opportunity. We knew we had the people, products, and support to back it up but were lacking the full visibility and an accurate reputation by some in the community,” said Tim Dunne, NTI’s Global Director of Worldwide Sales. “NTI has seen steady growth and performance since its birth in 1985 but within the past five years I believe the objective has been achieved rejuvenating our place in the community and with that propelling even greater growth.”

It was five years ago when NTI first launched its initiative under the guise of PROVisioning: Excellence in Data. The emphasis on PROVisioning was twofold: It was as much the message of being prepared for any disaster as it was a message about NTI providing a PRO-Grade expertise together with our PRO-Grade solution. This was just the start of messaging that followed that was part of the initiative to gradually move DRNet® beyond just data replication in support of business continuity to where the focus was on data beyond data replication. With a focus on data it quickly became a story of unity – one model, one technology, one product providing a unified single source solution for all your data needs.

It was out of PROVisioning: Excellence in Data that the foundation products were rebranded to better reflect their capabilities – DRNet®/Core as the base product, DRNet®/Open as the vehicle to support replication to third party and open databases via JDBC and DRNet®/Vision in support of processes and messages via JSON. It was following this rebranding process that new solutions emerged. Product Packages appeared under the umbrella of DRNet®/Unified. The goal of rebranding was to introduce to the NonStop community an expansion of capabilities built on the simple execution of replication based on access via CDC. Simple and appealing to not just the current NTI users but able to be deployed at sites where other data replication products were already in use.

“Right from the outset we could see that with DRNet®/Unified we had all the components to address all the data needs of NonStop users,” said Tim Dunne. “We have been able to establish a prominent position as the go-to NonStop vendor, capable of meeting the most demanding of challenges facing the NonStop community as they embrace hybrid IT.”

Considering how the main focus of NTI had been the replication of data between remotely networked NonStop systems for the purpose of ensuring transaction processing could continue no matter the disaster, it became the next step to build out support of hybrid systems. Replicating from NonStop to Oracle or DB2 or any database supporting JDBC made sense and we had customers looking to us for this support. Out of the early prototyping emerged product packages that could readily support data integration, data distribution, and data transformation. In combination with traditional data replication support, this elevated the creation of DRNet®/Unified to where the focus on data by NonStop users meant NTI delivered on the promise of one product, one vendor.

With this recognition, NTI launched DRNet®/Unified for HPE Customers. This wasn’t an accidental choice as when it came to NonStop, the reach of DRNet®/Unified involved more than just NonStop. Whether it was to Microsoft servers or HPE Apollo systems, there was no obstacle in the way of DRNet®/Unified meeting NonStop user’s data needs. DRNet®/Unified for HPE Customers gave NonStop users access to all three NTI products – DRNet®/Core, DRNet®/Open, and DRNet®/Vision. What followed in short order was DRNet®/Unified for Business Integration. Again, this package was created in recognition that access to DRNet®/Core, DRNet®/Open, and DRNet®/Vision could be licensed such that business continuity properties didn’t need to be activated.

“Over the years, NTI has recognized that not every member of the NonStop community needs the full product suit,” said Tim Dunne. “And our perseverance in this regard is paying dividends as we can now address NonStop users’ needs to do more than just replication when they have already committed to competitors products. Having options has always proved beneficial to IT and is the cornerstone for maintaining flexibility and independence.”

In the wings is a completely new initiative now underway, one to which we have applied the branding, DRNet®/Unified for Social Good. Expect to hear a lot more about this in the coming months as it develops more of a presence in 2023 but those who attended this year’s NonStop Technical Boot Camp they will already have picked up on where this initiative is headed.

In more recent times, it has been NTI that has in turn recognized that it cannot do all things for all NonStop users. Whether it is the need for additional tools and utilities, or simply looking for greater security, it has proved beneficial for NTI to engage partners. Building out a thriving partners ecosystem simply made sense and it has been encouraging to all of us that as many NonStop vendors have elected to partner with us as has happened to date. Looking ahead there are still more NonStop vendors to follow that together will ensure a fabric of willing partners that will provide all NonStop users an alternative to consider when making decisions about hybrid IT and the integration of NonStop within an enterprise IT organization.

“Connect has always been the premier organization for NonStop vendors to communicate their message in a way that is neither diluted nor even truncated,” said Tim Dunne, “Connect gives everyone in the NonStop community a voice.”

Perhaps there has been no better indicator of the commitment by NTI to NonStop users than NTI sponsoring events at the highest possible level. This past NonStop Technical Boot Camp, TBC22, saw NTI sponsor at the Diamond level joining only HPE in doing so. The relationship with Connect has also led to NTI becoming a driving force behind a cross-vendor and all-encompassing users Tech Forum, Business Integration and Analysis. While in its infancy, this is simply a vehicle that recognizes that NonStop is not alone in supporting an enterprise even as it recognizes that NonStop needs access to a variety of solutions to make future hybrid IT participation a reality.

The signs began emerging five years ago. The energy level within NTI began to climb even as its enthusiasm to support the NonStop users gained momentum. Today, NTI may have surprised many within the NonStop community with its apparent rejuvenation but it has always been about the NonStop users. Their data requirements as expressed to NTI have been the catalyst for such a rejuvenation and the upside is that what can be seen today is just the beginning. NonStop systems are heading towards a highly valued role in the virtualized world of IT, where deployment options are as varied as the solutions themselves. Viewing the work NTI has done through this lens only goes to illustrate how in step the company is with the ambitions of all NonStop users. And for that, it is the NonStop community itself – users, vendors, associations, and HPE, that deserve all the credit.

Author

  • Richard Buckle

    Richard Buckle is the founder and CEO of Pyalla Technologies, LLC. He has enjoyed a long association with the Information Technology (IT) industry as a user, vendor, and more recently, as an industry commentator, thought leader, columnist and blogger. In the 1980s, Richard was a regular contributor to Computerworld Australia. Well known to the user communities of HP and IBM, Richard served on the board of the HP user group, ITUG (2000-2006), as its Chairman (2004-2005), and as the Director of Marketing on the board of the IBM user group, SHARE, (2007-2008). Richard has over 30 years of experience with HP’s NonStop platform, including eight years working at Tandem Computers followed by just as many years at ACI Worldwide and GoldenGate Software where he has focused on payments solutions with emphasis on ever-evolving communications and networks.