Monday, October 1, 2012

GTUG and the Pan-European GTUG/CONNECT – well attended and very successful!

GTUG / Connect event proved every bit as good as it had promised and the NonStop community supported it in numbers. From Finland to South Africa and all points in between, this Super RUG was a hit!

I am often the first to complain about travel – its discomforts, and the time it takes you away from your desk, but on the other hand, when the destination is as attractive a venue as Dresden, it’s hard to knock back. And yes, there was a time where I let the organizers know that perhaps it wasn’t something I needed to support at this time. However, I have to admit, I am pleased that I made the trip.

The venue was spectacular to say the least. The
Westin Bellevue, Dresden, flanked a substantial strip of the Elbe River directly across from the old town, and our room took full advantage of this location – there will be a collection of photos posted shortly to Facebook for those who might be interested, and a couple will end up framing posts to the NonStop community blog, Real Time View. If it was just to visit a typical European river-side township the trip would have been worthwhile, but this was just window-dressing, as it was all about meeting with HP, vendors, and the NonStop community from this part of the world, and the stakeholders turned out in numbers. It was as well attended an event as I can recall looking back over the last couple of years.

In my post of September 20, 2012, “
RUG time – are you ready? Just can’t wait?I made the observation about how, for me, given the time I have been associated with RUGs of the past, particularly those associated with ITUG, the return of these types of events is particularly pleasing to see. I then closed the post with the further observation that surely, one of the main reasons we all attend RUGs is for the surprises, and perhaps this event will prove once again that RUG meetings remain the true indication of just how prosperous the NonStop community continues to be!

And for me the surprise was just how much content was provided on Clouds. Who could have imagined connecting NonStop with Cloud computing this early in the technologies lifecycle, and who could have imagined only a year ago that we would see our first user presentation (yes, a repeat of the one given at HP Discover 2012, only three months ago) following a successful Proof of Concept (PoC) and that it would be from someone as prestigious as Bank of America – a fact that was hard to be kept hidden, considering how prominent a place the presentation had in agendas posted to the event’s web site.

And the surprises kept coming. When it came time to wrap-up the event, the conference chairman, comForte CEO, Dr. Michael Rossbach, asked if I would speak and pass on my own observations of the event as part of the conference closing and farewell. In the coffee break before I was to step to the podium, I made a few notes and based on the comments I received as participants gathered for the final time over coffee, it seems appropriate to share a couple of my observations as part of this post.

I began with stating that it really doesn’t take a lot to change perceptions – but that it does take our engagement and our active participation within our companies. When it comes to NonStop, this is particularly the case, and what amazes me most these days is to see just how engaged some within the NonStop community are within their own organizations, and the greater role NonStop is playing as a result. I then reiterated how I have stopped referring to the need to modernize NonStop as this is definitely behind us, with the changes coming, particularly in respect to Java and the support of applications written in Java, and if you want to read more of my opinions on this subject, check out the July 9, 2012, post to the NonStop community blog, “
Surprised? NonStop made it big at HP Discover!
It was that first day that set the tone for all that followed. Following the B of A presentation “NonStop in the Cloud”, HP’s Peter Hadler gave the Keynote presentation “NonStop in the Cloud (?)” and then only a short time later, Karen Copeland (standing in for Randy Meyer) gave the main NonStop presentation “NED today and tomorrow” that included several slides (some of them corporate HP slides lifted directly from the HP corporate presentation) depicting future roles for NonStop in Clouds – both as a product on the edge of a cloud as well as providing technology within HP that may be shortly leveraged by other products within the BCS portfolio.

And we had a number of discussions on Big Data as well. Altogether, a conference where there were discussions on Java, NonStop in Clouds, and the need to integrate transactional data into Big Data – who could have guessed? My response to seeing these topics covered, as aggressively as they were, was to simply remonstrate with the audience of how, yes, we can change perceptions. Yes, we can “educate” our IT departments and our business managers that NonStop should be involved in strategic discussions on any or all of these topics. The only barrier that I could see for even greater involvement of NonStop was whether we were prepared to raise our hands and say, yes, we can do that!

In his opening remarks during the official welcome, Dr. Rossbach encouraged us to think about the event as the sessions unfolded and to think about what we should consider doing next. The question that anchored this request was whether as a community we liked what we saw and wanted to hear more. And as I finished my remarks at that last session I simply responded that yes, let’s do it again! With that, I have to admit, I sure am glad I didn’t stay away and that I did make the trip across. NonStop matters (to use the HP phrase introduced at HP Discover 2012), and any perceptions to the contrary simply require more engagement from us all.

I look forward to seeing you all again, next year!


  1. @Richard. Any of this presentations like "NonStop in Clouds," and " Big Data" available to the public? Please provide links. We need this info, not just talk about it :-)

  2. I gave a presntation on uLinga that inlcuded a slide on uLinga for Clouds but it's very early days. As for slides in general on both of these topics I suspect that apart from HP's slides in support of Persistent Cloud Services as well as some from B of A that I have seen, I don't know of many others ....

    But I have written a couple of opinoin papers of late on Big Data and one is available for download from the web site but expect to see more shortly.