2021. What an interesting year. With the world turned upside down by a pandemic that seemingly had its sights set on...
HPE Business Critical Dialogue 2018 conference held in Goa, India
I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend the HPE Business Critical Dialogue 2018 conference held in Goa, India, in March. This was a gathering of around 140 customers running HPE Mission Critical systems, around 30 of whom were from the NonStop world. The location for the venue was the plush Hyatt Plaza with its sweeping grounds and private beach, and the conference had an excellent combination of informative sessions and fun activities. And of course there was some sensational feasting, the highlight of which to my mind was certainly the Goan fish curry; a local specialty.
Randy Meyer was in attendance and he kicked things off with the keynote address to all participants, detailing the future direction of HPE in regards to mission critical computing, the close alliance that HPE now has with Intel who were a co-sponsor of the event, and the future demands for computing to which HPE would need to respond. The main day of the conference had participants split into their technology streams and the presentations in the NonStop track were all interesting and well delivered. These included an excellent presentation by Munish Muittal from HDFC Bank who presented on using cloud technologies within their organization to provide new functionalities, enabling them to adapt and keep up with the latest consumer technologies and demands. The general themes in the NonStop track were NonStop cloud computing, converged infrastructure, security and web services, with talks provided by HPE personnel and the few vendors in attendance; Knightcraft Technology, XYPRO and NuWave.
The highlight of the extracurricular activities was the Holi celebration. Holi, also known as the festival of colors, is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated throughout India. It involves much singing and dancing, and eating and drinking of course. The particularly distinctive characteristic of this celebration however is the participants dousing each other with brightly colored powders and smearing each other’s faces with colored powders and pastes that seemed to go on very easily, but took a substantial amount more effort to remove. It was a lot of fun and a great way for the participants to mingle in a relaxed environment. Thankfully, HPE provided everybody with long plain white shirts to wear as protection so that our own clothes didn’t get completely trashed.
Figure 1 – Happy Holi from Sriharsha Narasimhan (HPE India),
Ken Scudder (XYPRO), Andrew Price (NuWave), Greg Swedosh (Knightcraft Technology)
Another highlight of the conference was the final event on the program. This was a motivational talk by Colonel Lalit Rai, a former officer of the Gorkha Rifles regiment in the Indian army and a hero of the Kargil War in Kashmir. He described the extreme adversity that his troops had faced in regards to not only their opponent, but also the extreme weather, zero visibility and treacherous mountain terrain. Many lives were lost but despite all odds they succeeded in their mission and had an improbable victory. While it is difficult for me as an Australian, a country with no hostile neighbors (in fact no neighbors at all) to truly comprehend the situation between India and Pakistan, this was a highly moving account of human endeavor and sacrifice.
I had gone along to the conference to connect with the Indian NonStop community and to discuss how Knightcraft could help them ensure that their system security was as it should be. With three high profile security breaches in the Indian banking sector in 2017 and subsequent directives by the Reserve Bank of India, security was high in the minds of all who were there. In partnership with HPE, I expect that we will be quite busy over the coming years assisting Indian customers in getting their security right and keeping it right. On a personal level, having been to a NonStop user group SIG in 2005 and then the INUG conference circa 2009, it was great to reacquaint myself with a number of people that I knew within the Indian NonStop community and also to see what a fabulous conference had grown from the foundations of INUG all those years ago. And it was great to once again be immersed in the Indian community, its people and its culture. Always fascinating and always welcoming. And the food. Did I mention the food?
Figure 2 Greg Swedosh presenting on the need to review your NonStop security