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TCM – The event season for 2023 draws to an end, but for the NonStop Community 2024 is shaping up to be even more eventful

From your TCM Marketing Team



If we can say one thing about all that transpired in 2023, when it came to conferences and events held worldwide it marked a time when confidence in all things HPE NonStop related truly peaked. Whether you gathered in North America, Europe, Asia and as far away as Australia, you would have been given an opportunity to see and hear about just how well today’s NonStop systems meet the needs of business. Whenever there is a need to interact directly with customers, it was those businesses relying on mission critical solutions on NonStop that successfully navigated their way through and around the many pitfalls that befell many of their competitors.

The NonStop focused events held a special place for TCM as we continue with our program to shine a spotlight on the services we provide. As with the events held around the globe so too did the presence of TCM likewise further enhance our global presence. TCM readily acknowledges that there is no better way to serve the NonStop community than to be visible, working to better enable NonStop customers realize the maximum value NonStop can afford them. However, for many NonStop customers, this doesn’t happen naturally but rather requires assistance from those who are already further along on their own journey. With the global presence TCM enjoyed in 2023, there isn’t all that much that cannot be positively addressed by your TCM team members.

The BITUG Little SIG for 2023 has just completed. And before that, VNUG took place in Norway. Once again, it was TCM’s Shiva Subramanian that provided further updates on NonStop Evolution through Modernization. This represents a continuation of a program that might be described as educational, even though it includes an element of evangelism as TCM encourages the NonStop community to continue to step up their investment in modernizing their NonStop development, deployment and operations of applications. No longer a realm of proprietary tools and utilities but rather, able to leverage the skills already in place across NonStop IT professionals and familiar to those performing similar tasks on open platforms. NonStop now “belongs” and as such, we at TCM believe we shouldn’t be hiding how easy it is to turn to NonStop.

In a recent update provided to the community, Andy Vasey, Services Business Consultant, TCM Solutions, was quick to highlight the focus of TCM in the year ahead. “We see a push for our NonStop customers to align application management across multiple platforms. Using modern opensource tools, this standardization approach is possible. Furthermore, TCM has also been recognizing availability of resources for ageing programming languages e.g., Cobol, decrease significantly, where the risks associated with obvious skillset shortages cannot be ignored. Using a standard aligned approach, reduces this business risk of reliance.” As TCM takes a look at the business potential in 2024, we believe we will see an increase of NonStop customers struggling with the management of ageing applications that together with the diminished skillset presence, it presenting opportunities for TCM.

Working as closely with HPE as we do, there is the issue of alignment that many of the NonStop partners face. Better stated, this actually refers to being better aligned with NonStop customers which our work on modernizing applications is highlighting the consistency with which we engage in initiatives where our own skillsets help the NonStop customer move more quickly in the direction the NonStop team is already headed. It is important to realize that the value proposition of TCM is all about ensuring that the messages we all hear from the NonStop team are backed up with actions that accelerate the take-up by the NonStop community. Perhaps there is no better illustration of such alignment than is on display as the direction of NonStop increasingly trends towards a virtualized NonStop (vNS).

Virtualization is not a call to build your own NonStop system. While the NonStop community is familiar with a major IT vendor having pursued this, it is not something to be entertained lightly. Recall the times when it was the practice of hi-fi aficionados to walk into their local audio supplier and select a pre-amp, multiple amplifiers, possibly a graphic equalizer, a set of speakers and yet another amp to power a subwoofer. Adding to the list speaker and interconnect cables and then with money left over, probably an equipment stand. The next couple of days would be spent cabling the system together and then tuning it meet a desired output level. When troubles developed there was always third parties that could be called in to help and that might be able to warrant the final set up.  Not for the faint of heart was such a practice and so it is not today with vNS.

Building your own platform on which you can then deploy vNS might exist as a possibility and may solicit considerable investigation but a program aimed at modernizing the application that then drives a conversation to virtualization calls for an experienced hand to oversee the initiative and this is where TCM has spent considerable time investing in the acquisition of such knowledge. This investment is being made to ensure we are well positioned to support any moves to vNS and even as the progress towards vNS is still very much in its infancy, it has to be said that TCM is perhaps the best positioned managed services provider to help with a smooth transition.

“We are starting to see traction with vNS, but again, as previously mentioned, is slower than I anticipated,” said Andy Vasey, “However, perhaps even more telling is that the changes driven by modernization are happening such that NonStop customers are largely unaware that the NonStop platform does not need to be standalone anymore. The need for dedicated NonStop personnel is lessening with each move made towards leveraging industry standard tools. Take for instance, the modernization presentations that TCM team has delivered this year that for many NonStop customers has come as a surprise. The upside for TCM fortunately is that directly off the back of this we are now engaged with a few PoC and confirmed projects.”

Costs and more precisely, cost management including cost cutting continues to be prevalent across the NonStop community. While it is easy to bracket cost cutting with what is driving modernization and the lessening of any need for additional skilled personnel, TCM understands that any aid that the NonStop customer can access to help him better optimize his NonStop system warrants further investigation. TCM has seen its TCM InSight tool fall into this category and we are pleased with the interest being shown by the NonStop community.  For some time now InSight has been a valuable tool for our TCM consultants when they are on site, but productized and fully supported by TCM, it is a simple way to view a snapshot that quickly and accurately visualizes existing configurations that gives the NonStop user a better understanding of what their NonStop system is doing.

With the move to the Intel x86 architecture and the progression from proprietary ServerNet to InfiniBand and to Converged Ethernet, an enterprise might consider assembling all the hardware needed to run a vNS in the manner of how they might have once assembled a hi fi system. But for the NonStop user, this surely would be the exception. What is the reality we see when working with NonStop customers is that taking the latest NonStop system configuration directly from HPE represents a good starting point, but it is just a beginning. To maximize the performance and to manage the costs as effectively as possible, TCM believes it can provide assistance and can be relied upon as you continue your journey with NonStop.

Conferences and events are moving quickly from conception through planning to promotion and already, we can see the event calendar for NonStop filling in quickly. We hope to get to as many as is possible just as we hope to see more of you as we provide updates on our products and services. We know that there are likely to be many more conversations to follow about the individual journeys of NonStop users, whether focused on modernization or virtualization or simply coming to better understanding of their NonStop systems and settings, and rest assured, TCM is only too happy to join you on your journey wherever your path might take you.