19th November 2016
It’s that time again: the temperatures are dropping, the leaves are falling and NonStoppers from around the world are flocking to their spiritual, silicone home… it’s time for the NonStop Technical Boot Camp!
Should anyone ever question what it is that makes NonStop so hard to replicate then they should take a stroll round the charming squares of San Jose in mid-November. They’ll be drawn by an imperceptible buzz to the grand ballroom of the Fairmont Hotel whereupon they will be greeted with masses of bright, industrious individuals all espousing the same relaxed, genuinely happy-to-be-here candor. And it’s this very human element, which makes our beloved NonStop what it is – there’s more to it than 0s and 1s (admittedly some fairly clever 0s and 1s).
For the longest time, NonStop has remained stoically at the top of the Mission-Critical Mountain. Why? Well, of course it is because as a technology solution it delivers the highest levels of availability and fault tolerance, we all know this and almost take for granted that NonStop will continue atop the pile without breaking sweat. But surrounding this incredible technology is an equally incredible network of committed, impassioned people who have devoted their lives to a cold metal box with flashing lights and noisy fans. They give it a heart and at TBC you can feel its pulse, reverberating sure and steady through the mix of colleagues, customers, acquaintances, and friends. Indeed, it’s not uncommon (at times it feels as if it’s the norm) to speak to people connecting again at TBC whose relationship stretches back 30, maybe even the full 40 years.
It’s not just the length of these relationships that calls for pause and comment; it’s also the prolificacy. With the sense that everyone seems to know everyone, it would be an interesting challenge to play ‘Six degrees of Separation’ in the big ballroom. Quite possibly it may be necessary to cut this to two degrees just to make it an actual challenge.
Something was sown in with the seeds of the early-days of NonStop; something organic linking man and machine. We now see this as a ‘culture’ or a ‘community’, but whatever it is, we can all agree there is something ‘there’, something which makes NonStop special. The same thing that has protected, incubated and sustained NonStop amidst years of uncertainty and stiff competition. A network of people all pulling together to maintain NonStop’s reputation, who held onto the belief that NonStop would see out the night.
It’s this idea of survival that we will discuss in our presentation at Boot Camp ‘Adapt or Die’, in the Empire Room at 11:30am on Tuesday 15th November. Ignoring the rather amateur-dramatic title, the sentiment to take away is this: HPE is focusing its efforts on the provision of leading edge technology solutions, divesting itself of everything non-essential to this core offering. NonStop is a big part of this. We in the NonStop community however must fill in the voids, the spaces purposefully vacated by HPE to encourage others with more focus in these fields to take up the reigns.
At TCM we are focused on the issue of managing the day-to-day requirements of NonStop. E have been doing this for over 20 years. From design and implementation through to operations, performance and systems management, our core concern is in the application of NonStop to serve the real-life needs of its customers. We specialize not only in the 0s and 1s of the NonStop but in the equally important operational and management requirements that take these incredible machines and make them effortless and indispensable. We are able to achieve this by marrying expertise in NonStop with expertise in service management. A lot of this comes down to the simple act of listening, understanding and considering. The more we have listened to our customers over the years, the more we have challenged ourselves to solve new problems, things which we have uncovered through conversations with our customers, which we know will have a major impact on the NonStop environment – either making things easier or better. The more we listen, the more we learn.
But we don’t do this in isolation. We are connected to our various networks of NonStop experts and we lean on this community for support when required, in turn offering the same reciprocal support. We understand the value of ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ – it’s an approach used both internally and externally and underlies the basis of our NonStop Community LinkedIn Group: TCM – The NonStop Experts. The idea behind the group was to provide a space for engaged NonStoppers to share their problems and ideas in a collaborative environment. We are delighted with the uptake in support for the group and while it may be early days, we really hope it will become a go-to resource for people with a NonStop question or query. If you haven’t already joined the group, then please do, we’d love to see you there.
We are so committed to this that we are devoting half of our Vendor slot to the group in the form of a Q&A session, graciously hosted by Richard Buckle. This session will build on the topics discussed in our group so far, but we welcome anyone to submit questions to the group for consideration, or indeed to cut out the middleman and come along to ask in person. It’s not just a chance for TCM to talk either, we encourage everyone to contribute, to join in and add their experience to the issues at hand.
So aside from a NonStop community call-to-arms and a no-holds-barred grilling session, what else is TCM bringing to the table? Well, quite literally, we’ll be breaking out the single malt whisky once again, from our very own home-based distillery – Glenrothes. So if the autumnal chill is getting too much for you, be sure to stop by for a little ‘nip’ of Scotland’s answer to central heating.
As you can tell, we at TCM are looking forward to TBC. We had a great time meeting everyone last year and hope for the same again this year. Whether it’s to talk about the NonStop community, a question for the experts, or a nip of Scottish hospitality, come by the TCM stand or presentation and we’ll be more than happy to indulge! Oh and of course, we will again be giving away a lovely bottle of that Glenrothes Single Malt and set of tumblers in the traditional ‘Passport to Prizes’ competition!