Friday, July 8, 2011

Hiding in plain sight!

In this second part I will change gears and revisit the theme from a webinar provided by Thomas Burg earlier this year and where he rejected the belief the steps taken towards modernization of NonStop are expensive or even risky …

In my post last week, Alive and Kicking, I provided as firm a rebuttal as I could concerning any perceptions that may still be present in the marketplace about the long-term prosperity of the NonStop platform. In looking at what users rely on NonStop to provide, I not only suggested the HP NonStop server was prospering but that from the feedback I’m getting from users, it continues to kick aside all usurpers to its premier position atop the availability stack with relish!

However, when systems such as the NonStop server are rarely the cause for headlines, if you are not at the center of outages and services no longer available, as is occurring more often these days, then a platform like NonStop can be taken for granted. When there’s an economic downturn, as we see today, this absence from the limelight (as welcome as it is for those actively in support of the platform) may have unexpected consequences. NonStop may simply be forgotten and be bypassed when there are new business solutions under consideration.

In the previous post I related the steps taken by a UK payments processor to ensure NonStop remained at the forefront of CIO attention but for many others, as efficiently as NonStop processes mission critical transactions, CIO’s may view NonStop as a costly legacy from a time when specialized systems were relied upon by the company to simply stay in business.

For many CIO’s it is hard to consider the NonStop server as modern or to appreciate just how easy it is to integrate NonStop with the rest of the applications supporting their business. Perhaps the NonStop server has been simply hiding from these very same CIOs in plain view! Data that is accessible from a browser, business logic that’s developed in Java, web and application servers from the open source community, relational database management systems searched via ANSI-standard SQL commands – there’s very little that today’s modern NonStop server cannot do.

Modernization is all about reducing costs and in the process, better aligning with the company’s business and IT strategies. The process of modernizing is to help bring focus back onto innovation and with innovation, to become more responsive in a changing global economy. We know all too well that simply surviving and weathering the severest economic downturn many companies have ever witnessed has seen CIO’s budgets pulled back to levels more like the early 1990s than what we saw only three or four years ago.

And yet, modernization may not be the expensive proposition many CIO’s fear. It’s not about rip-and-replacing, throwing away what is in place in favor of something newer, but rather a process that is best pursued in evolutionary steps. Cost cutting and modernization can be compatible and for those CIOs aware of the value NonStop provides, there’s awareness that through simple, manageable changes, the NonStop server can anchor their drive to modernize.

In the webinar Thomas Burg gave a few months ago he did a highly effective job in driving home the message that NonStop can be as modern as we need to make it and that the perception many CIOs share of NonStop applications being inflexible and costly no longer has merit when you consider just how many users have successfully modernized the connectivity and access processes on their NonStop server.

Hiding in plain sight may be a standard routine for fugitives or conspirators and is something we are all familiar with as a popular ruse in today’s movies. However, this should never be a practice our CIOs become conditioned to accept. As my exchanges with Thomas Burg have reinforced, there really is no time like today to turn this all around. Scale-out! Scale-up! Secure, and permanently available – it’s nice to be this inexpensive while impressing cost conscious, risk –averse, CIOs the way NonStop does.

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