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Recap of European NonStop Events BITUG and GTUG

- Craig Lawrance




BITUG was interestingly spread over 3 days, or 3 afternoons, 3 mini-afternoons to be brutally honest, in an attempt to spread the joy and impact people’s working days as little as possible , and as it turned out, perhaps to give those HPE folks in California an opportunity to join the session in their working morning.

The event attracted attendees across the western world from Canada to Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany and Slovakia. This online forum had the benefit of enabling parties from all over the world to join in, and given the sun-setting nature of other fading NonStop country groups, it was good to see the 70 or so attendees join in.

HPE featured quite dominantly in the schedules being the only organization that held the full quorum of attendees. Other vendors were limited to one of the two competitive breakout rooms.

The most notable for me was the data visualization presentation from Nets in Norway, where they have built their own NonStop Ops environment using visuals derived from all the utilities that normally spit out lines of data to be decoded and interpreted. All their disks and disk consumption can be seen in one simple display.

In another of these, Paden introduced Paul Holenstein who launched into the Gravic presentation with rather quiet audio, turns out it was just a recording of Paul doing 27 minutes of exactly what he’s presented before. They promoted a “sophisticated repair function” to complement their data compare utility. Great to hear! Even came with English Subtitles to help those struggling. So many acronyms that the world may not need, including an ECD, Early Code Drop. Sounds painful!

Eventually once the tech had been mastered, David Ward gave an MQ Series update, which must have been a great comfort to those that use it. I think he dialed in from OZ, locked down somewhere remote with blue flashing lights outside. David covered the releases spanning 2020 and 2021. They continue to work on the NS4 and NS8 releases, still not yet unavailable till 2022.

Zoom issues meant we were in and out of the breakout rooms a few times. Fun; fun; fun! In my opinion, we did lose an inordinate amount of time though struggling with the tech. The GTUG of three weeks earlier was much better run, it has to be said.

Personally I gave the NTI presentation in person to the audience “live”, for which the topic was so well covered there were no questions. Equally Jack di Giacomo did an excellent presentation on this slides.

Looking forward to the resumption of these face-to-face meetings when and if our governments have the audacity to allow it! However, if this is the nature of our NonStop community having to share stories for the foreseeable future then at least we have the option to go virtual and perhaps, when all is said and done, there remains a community that values networking no matter the format.