2021. What an interesting year. With the world turned upside down by a pandemic that seemingly had its sights set on...
ETI-NET – NonStop ascendance as the NonStop community benefits from NonStop traditional and virtual
2019 is coming to and end and for ETI-NET focus is definitely being drawn to what we anticipate happening in 2020. From the conversations we have had with our customers and prospects as well as from the input the HPE NonStop team has provided of late, it looks like it will be very good year for migrations to NonStop X systems. Globally, there is encouraging signs coming from almost every country where we have customers that migrations off Itanium on to x86 will be the primary focus of our customers. With numerous reference sites already in production with BackBox (BB), it will be good to see NonStop once again becoming a “priority” for many enterprises.
However, before delving any further into what we are anticipating occurring in 2020, it’s worthwhile to look back at the highlights of 2019 and for ETI-NET there were many. Our support of the NonStop community Regional User Group (RUG) meetings as well as major NonStop Technical Boot Camp (TBC) held regions wide are important venues for ETI-NET. “We recognize our participation in them all is an opportunity to talk directly to the NonStop user community and meet the HPE field,” said ETI-NET COO, Sylvain Tétreault. “In 2019, we covered a lot of territory from the Americas to Europe and on through Asia. And the results were consistent – there’s now a lot of interest in NonStop and in particular, NonStop X and virtualized NonStop (vNS). Having now added support for vNS as part of virtualized BackBox (vBB) our products are supported whether the NonStop user community plans on migrating to traditional NonStop or virtualized NonStop. All of which is to confirm for us here at ETI-NET that HPE has mapped out a strategy for NonStop that is meeting customer needs”
As the year began, we travelled to Bangkok to participate in the APAC Mission Critical Bootcamp (MCBC) 2019. ETI-NET was an invited guest of the community joining a number of other members of the NonStop community and it proved to be time well spent. “We are seeing considerable uptick in interest in BB and vBB in the AsiaPac / Japan region and we are especially pleased to see that our partnership with HPE is enabling the NonStop community to readily benefit from access to the ETI-NET product suite.” Asia/Pac / Japan (AP/J) Mission Critical Systems (MCS) Boot Camp Bangkok, Thailand was another highlight of particular interest to ETI as we were an invited guest of the HPE Mission Critical Systems team.
In additiona to AP/J MCS Boot Camp, there were the European Technical Boot Camp (ETBC), Edinburgh, Scotland, and the NonStop Technical Boot Camp (TBC), Burlingame, California. These major GEO events proved popular with the NonStop community and were all well-attended. On each occasion, ETI-NET had the opportunity to not only provide updates on the ETI-NET product portfolio but education as well – HPE of late is looking to the NonStop vendor community to provide educational updates and this is a subject of interest to ETI-NET as our presence in major NonStop customers continues to expand.
“Today, we have BackBox offerings validated for deployment on the more traditional NonStop X systems as well as vBackBox (vBB) for the new virtualized NonStop (vNS) product lines and the new NS2.” This has been a message we have been reinforcing at every opportunity that has arisen at these major regional events. More to the point, it hasn’t just been a case of supporting NS and vNS as it has led to ETI-NET delivering much more; “we have tested vBB in the cloud, and it is transparent to vBB .” For those within the NonStop community where the presence of private clouds is already being seen we can say, “BB is CLOUD ready” and, as Tétreault reminds us with every opportunity that he gets, “there is still more announcements to follow!”
As for the RUG events, we attended SunTUG, Florida, as well as N2TUG, Dallas, and SoCal, California, When it comes to events further afield, then we attended CTUG, Mississauga (Toronto) as well as the Santiago NonStop Customer Event in Chile and the MexTUG event in Mexico City. We even made it to LATUG events that were held in Chile for the Santiago NonStop Customer Event, and Mexico (MexTUG) – ETI-NET made sure all of the Americas were covered. At each event we continued to announce new features and capabilities of the product. Even as we took time away from the office to listen to the needs of the NonStop community, our development team was hard at work responding to industry trends as they emerged and in 2019 there were numerous upgrades and additions completed and released for our primary product, BackBox.
It was at the ETBC in Edinburgh where we announced “the support for much larger buffer sizes (Large Block Mode) that expedite faster data transfer to backup media,” said Tétreault. And at this event we asked the NonStop users we encountered whether they were “ready to take advantage of this latest improvement to BackBox and we were pleased to hear a number of positive responses.”Overall, we have been pleasantly surprised and indeed encouraged by the prositive responses coming from our community that have been received to date.
In other news, ETI became one of the first vendors to capitalize on the NonStop team providing the Infrasoft uLinga product as a replacement to legacy SNAX offerings on L-Series deployments including NonStop X and vNonStop. The ETI HCOM product offering requires SNA support in situations where IBM mainframres are involved. “With uLinga, HCOM customers that are planning to move to NonStop X systems don’t have to worry about SNA,” said Tétreault. “uLinga will address that totally transparent to HCOM.” Today, HCOM continues to work with CICS, IMS and IDMS and “following extensive testing, we have certified HCOM with uLinga on NonStop and to date, we have a customer that is already up and running with HCOM interacting with a mainframe IMS application.”
And these enhancements and updates were just the beginning as later in the year, we delivered Data Domain BoostFS support for NonStop servers. Where data centers already have licenses for DDBoost they will have access to Boost File System (BoostFS) which, out-of-the-box, supports Windows. Today, ETI is extending this capability to include NonStop as ETI provides a NonStop resident plug-in for BB and vBB users. BoostFS gives backup applications on a domain the ability to dedup the data to be backed up and transport directly from the domain to the corporate storage system.
“The client – in our case, the BackBox Virtual Tape Controller (BB VTC) – performs the dedupe before sending data to the target unit,” said Tétreault. “This is the latest backup technology and as of today, the target unit can do tiering on different type of storage technologies including Cloud.” Looking further ahead and at the possibility of yet more functionality to be provided in 2020, given that this is the latest backup technology and as of today, the target unit can do tiering on different type of storage technologies including Cloud, this in all likelihood will prove to be additional opportunity for ETI.
Finally, after considerable positive feedback from our NonStop customers all our products now have front-ends that are GUI based, BackBox will become available with a brand new UI that is browser. This too was featured in our presentations at TBC 2019. “Accommodating recent client requests that we have received over the year was an opportunity we were only too happy to leverage,” said ETI Director of Product Management, Benoit Caron. “For example, in this new release customers will be able to assign roles for the NonStop user using BackBox.” When you consider that we delivered Large Block Mode, added support of Data Domain BoostFS support for NonStop servers and are now providing a new, more operational friendly UI, there should be no surprises to read of how positive we are viewing outcomes for the coming year, 2020.
Should you be making plans to attend upcoming user events whether RUG or the bigger TBC events, you will find further participation from ETI in 2020. And as we have throughout 2019, we would welcome any inquiry you happen to make even as we would welcome any opportunity to further explain the benefits of BackBox and vBackBox – again, thank you for all your support this year and can only add, on to 2020 – a year of further NonStop ascendency!
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