December 2008 Newsletter Sponsored by      


Tandemworld Newsletter for December 2008


Spectra and S88000's

Seasons  Greetings   +  Connect  Update

A very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year from Insider Technologies to all our past, present and future customers.

A very

Availability Digest Explores One Bank’s Horror Story

New Performance Levels for ETI-NET’s Tape Replacement Products on NS Blade Systems

Shadowbase Helps a Major ISP Migrate from Sybase to NonStop with No Downtime

NonStop - A Running Commentary - November, ‘08


Online Version

Current Subscribers 11,146

Spectra and S88000's

SPECTRA is an international dealer that trades “globally” in commercial use, Enterprise level, mainframe/midrange servers, disk/tape storage and network equipment.

In our over 25 years in business, we have many customer relationships with companies utilizing Tandem NonStop Systems; many of which have migrated to… or are migrating to… the new NonStop Itanium series. However; much of our NonStop customer base has not yet opted for the new Itanium and in fact, require system upgrades and peripherals from the now legacy, NonStop S88000s, S86000s, S7800’s, S7600’s and the like.

We currently have a high demand for S88000's. Please contact us should have equipment available.

That said, should you have any of this equipment available for sale, now or in the future, we ask that you contact us at your convenience, such that we may organize a generous purchase offer.

In closing, should you have any questions, please feel free to call or email. Otherwise; we thank you for your time, your consideration, your interest in SPECTRA, and look forward to future opportunities to do business with you.

All the Best!
Johnny Tourino, VP
4420 East Miraloma Ave, Suite M
Anaheim, CA 92807
(800) 745-1233, x-309
(714) 970-7000, x-309
(714) 970-7095, Fax


Seasons  Greetings   +  Connect  Update 

CAIL is proud to be a contributor to the European Community, Connect and Tandemworld.

The recent Community Connect Europe show in Mannheim was a success in providing NonStop updates to attendees by HP and NonStop Partners, plus a number of informative sessions highlighting Customer experiences.

In particular, the conference was a great forum to learn about improving information services.  This included CAIL Studio for Web Services / NonStop SOA and new capabilities with Base24 to leverage the investment in current systems, open up the environment and simplify information services for users -  with no added software or changes to the  application.  To learn more,  please visit    or contact CAIL at

In closing, all of us at CAIL extend Warm Wishes and Seasons Greetings to our valued Customers and colleagues in the NonStop community.  All the best in the New Year.

CAIL        …. improving NonStop information access and system security  -  with more power, more choice, more value ….

A very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year from Insider Technologies to all our past, present and future customers.

RTLX Reactor new version

Early 2009 will see the release of the next version of RTLX, the class-leading, real-time transaction monitor for ACI's BASE24 product.  Expect exciting new features, including parallel time-lines for transactional and EMS event data, and a major new subsystem to enable XML-based data schemas.  See the full press release in January."

New Insider Technologies website

Development is nearing completion, where Insider will soon be able to announce our new website, containing a new look & feel; new products, datasheets & flash demonstrations; updates of latest news and links to our new partnerships.

Blade Accreditation

Insider are due to test their MultiBatch (9.3F4) and Reflex 80:20 (4.7L) products on the new HP Integrity NonStop Blade system NB50000c, running J series operating system. Code changes have been made to accommodate recent Measure changes to monitor dual-core CPUs (IPUs) from within the Reflex product.  

Testing is due for completion by the end of December and Insider will announce the results in due course.

For any information on any of our products, please contact Or visit our website at

Insider Technologies Limited, Spinnaker Court, Chandlers Point, 37 Broadway, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 2YR, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 161 876 6606.

Quality Certified to ISO9001 / 2000 (DNV). All Trademarks acknowledged


Availability Digest Explores One Bank’s Horror Story

The Availability Digest’s December issue includes a Never Again of horror story proportions when an innocuous fault on one node took down a bank’s entire three-node, geographically distributed system. 

Also in the Digest’s latest issue is a review of Google’s new extreme-green data centers, powered by the movement of ocean waves.  Our Geek Corner begins a three-part discussion on “Configuring to Meet a Performance SLA.”  And we spotlight that confusing word “redundant” – how making something redundant in the U.S. may be a good thing but may not be so good in the U.K. 

Our November issue included articles on “Major ISP Migrates From Sybase to NonStop,” “Choosing a Database of Record,” and “Scaling MySQL with Continuent’s uni/cluster.”

Availability Digest Editor Dr. Bill Highleyman presented “Active/Active Systems:  Theory and Practice” at Community Connect Europe in November.  Complimentary copies of that presentation are now available.  Contact Bill at

The Digest is free online and focuses on continuous processing architectures, with particular attention given to active/active technology. 

New Performance Levels for ETI-NET’s Tape Replacement Products on NS Blade Systems

ETI-Net has completed certification of both its BackBox™ and BackHome/TSM™ products for operation on HP NonStop Blade systems. Not only are the products fully NS Blade-compatible, but benchmark testing of both has demonstrated performance significantly higher than on prior generations of NonStop systems.

Improved TCP/IP offloading to IP CLIMs contributes to higher BackHome/TSM™ backup and restore throughput to and from Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM). And use of 4 Gbps Fibre Channel interfaces on Storage CLIMs results in higher virtual tape transfer rates to BackBox™ Virtual Tape Controllers. Performance of both products benefits from the new NS Blade’s dual-core Itanium processor implementation.

In the benchmark tests both BackBox™ and BackHome/TSM™ achieved backup transfer rates exceeding 3 TB per hour per NonStop Blade system. Even higher throughputs are possible with the linear expandability of both ETI-NET products, as well as with higher-performance target storage subsystems.  Perhaps equally important as throughput, these transfer rates are achieved with less NonStop CPU overhead, so that users can confidently run backups and TMF dumps without impacting production applications.

Legacy tape support issues affecting many NonStop Integrity and Blade customers are also addressed by the latest version of BackBox™, which enables backup and archive retrieval from legacy NonStop tape drive models. This eliminates the need for massive tape conversions, as well as providing a convenient data migration tool when moving to NonStop Integrity or Blade systems.

NonStop-Blade-compatible versions of BackBox™ and BackHome/TSM™ are available now.

For more information call 1-650-888-8949, email us at, or visit


Shadowbase Helps a Major ISP Migrate from Sybase to NonStop with No Downtime

A major international Internet Service Provider (ISP) offers email services, internet access, and other functions to millions of global customers. Several million of these customers may be logged in at any one time. Maintaining continuity of service to its customers is a mandatory requirement for the ISP.

Its rapid growth has led to capacity strains in its IT infrastructure. One such issue recently occurred in its login subsystem. When a customer logged in, his login request was sent to the ISP’s Login Request Complex, where his user profile was accessed and validated and his session established. Though comprising a large farm of redundant servers running many instances of Sybase on Linux, this login subsystem had reached the limits of its capacity. Further additions to capacity were going to be very expensive.

The ISP therefore decided to architect and build an entirely new login subsystem using NonStop servers in an active/active configuration. Not only would the single-system image presented by the active/active system make the Login Request Complex significantly more manageable, but the rapid failover time offered by the active/active system (seconds) would also ensure that the loss of a node would not be noticed by the users that it was servicing at the time of failure. Furthermore, if capacity were added in the future, only the capacity needed would be purchased, rather than twice the capacity as required by the redundant Linux/Sybase arrays.

The problem then became how to migrate from the old Login Request Complex to the new NonStop system without impacting the ISP’s customers. The goal was to perform an online migration of the application with zero (or minimal) application downtime, often referred to as Zero Downtime Migration, or ZDM. By the judicious use of the Shadowbase data replication engine from Gravic, Inc. (, the ISP was able to gracefully migrate all of its customers over a period of time to the new NonStop system with no interruption in service. Please visit for the all of the case study.


Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year!

 Gravic, Inc.


NonStop - A Running Commentary - November, ‘08

The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author
and shouldn’t be viewed as reflecting any views
of his current or past employer

I have been catching up on my reading this week and I was a bit surprised by how far I had fallen behind. Along with skimming the headlines, I always check the major advertisements as a kind of “litmus test” on those subjects being viewed as topical by the major vendors.  Imagine my surprise when I came across an IBM advertisement in Fortune Magazine (Nov 24th, ’08) that heralded “Decrease Costs. Increase Growth.” Wow!

Could IBM be onto something here? It’s hard to believe that this has only just come to their attention, and even more surprising to see IBM highlight it in an advertisement. IBM then goes on to add “Legacy apps. Faulty data. Redundant silos. In banks all around the world, millions of dollars are tied up in outdated, patch-worked systems.” And then it hit me, this has to be a message for their customers - who else could they be addressing but their own user community? After all, it’s been more than four decades of overlapping systems, with highly confusing product roadmaps, that have contributed to the “patch-worked systems” that IBM sees deployed. And are they only now surprised?

There was a time when IBM faced the prospect of being split into three independent companies. According to papers I found in the Hagley Library, a group that collects, preserves, and interprets the unfolding history of the American enterprise, the success of the System/360, and the practice of ‘bundling,’ led to the US Government filing charges on January 17, ’69  “…that IBM had hindered the development of service and peripherals competitors by maintaining a single price policy for its machines, software and support services (bundling) … and that IBM had introduced underpriced models knowing that they could not be produced on time and did this to prevent the placement of competitors' machines.”

For those readers interested in the full story, check out the paper:

Uncertain of the outcome of these filings by the US Justice department, IBM quickly created the Data Processing Division (DPD), General Systems Division (GSD) and Office Products Division (OPD), with each of them offering their own computer lines. There was no way that overlapping technology silos wouldn’t develop, given this organizational structure and the competitive nature of each division’s sales force.  


And compete they did.  Ellen Hancock of the IBM Communications Group, and part of DPD, introduced the Series/1 minicomputers that were aggressively sold to banks as ideal branch concentrators. And then DPD developed the 8100 minicomputer to compete with the S/36 and S/38 minicomputer from GSD. As the ‘70s finally came to a close, DPD even added a small, distributed mainframe – the 4331 / 4341 – into the mix, for good measure!  

Entering the ‘80s, data center managers that had stayed loyal to IBM found themselves overseeing mainframes running MVS, surrounded by System/1 communications computers, networked to 8100 minicomputers, as well as System 38’s, with their tightly integrated data base centric stack, and even regional, distributed 4331 mainframes running VSE. Not forgetting the 3600 / 4700 in-branch controllers that were essentially separate lines of minicomputers commonly deployed by banks and retailers. Altogether an ugly mess that no measure of lipstick could ever disguise!

In other words, IBM business plan of the ‘70s and the ’80s was instrumental in the emergence of redundant silos – in part because it wanted to make sure the company had multiple viable product lines should the business be divided into three independent corporations. But driven, just as much, by the competition between the divisions that was left unchecked by a succession of IBM CEO’s which were reluctant to reign-in and rationalize the many product offerings. 

When the Reagan administration came to power, the suite against IBM was dropped and the justice department elected to keep IBM whole, and break apart AT&T instead – an outcome that caught many industry watchers by surprise. From the Hagley Library papers referenced above, “William F. Baxter, as the assistant attorney general in charge of the Antitrust Division, Department of Justice, ‘82 signed a Stipulation of Dismissal on January 8 that stated the government's charges were ‘without merit.’ It was later discovered that Baxter had failed to disclose that he had been retained as a consultant to a West Coast law firm defending IBM in private antitrust cases.” Ooops!

Dodging a major bullet and grateful that it could continue in one piece, does IBM then restructure and rationalize its product offerings? Well, actually no! It seems to have fallen in love with having many overlapping product lines – with each of these products supporting an overlapping mix of operating systems, transaction and application processing infrastructures, and data base management systems. Faulty data? Redundant silos? Should we be surprised given IBM’s history! And should IBM users view this as anything extraordinary?

One of the more impressive aspects of the NonStop architecture has been it’s scalability and data integrity – two very key attributes of NonStop that are so often overlooked. The energy expended by the development teams within NonStop in the design of the hardware and microcode, in support of redundant paths and data checking, to make sure data is never corrupted cannot be overlooked these days. So, faulty data is not a charge you can level at the NonStop user.

And even more important to me is the issue of scalability. No matter whether the need is for an expand-connected four, or six 16 CPU cluster or a single 4 CPU node, the architecture, infrastructure and manageability remains the same. Add another couple of CPUs, or even a complete node, and it can be done without interruption or an outage of any kind. So, the ability to size by transaction demand gave many companies the option to size NonStop servers differently per location and lessens the need to add different technologies or solutions to the mix. No redundant silos to be found anywhere with such an attribute.

Overall, I give HP good marks for reigning in the potential explosion in product offerings following the acquisition of Compaq. For the NonStop community there was certainly relief to see the Integrity line include support for NonStop. With the arrival of blades, a quick check of the HP web site lists support for NonStop and OpenVMS alongside of Linux, Windows, and Unix. And I am convinced that further blade rationalization will appear in the future which will drive hardware pricing even lower.

IBM concludes it’s advertisement in Fortune by stating that “with a wide range of services and technology offerings ... IBM can manage your entire (application) operations or help optimize individual parts of the process.” But comes up short of identifying exactly what mix of hardware or software it is promoting – and again, leaving the door wide open for legacy apps, faulty data, and redundant silos remaining with us indefinitely!

Today, IBM is a technology services and software company, and perhaps there never will be any attempt to reduce the complexity inherent with its product offerings. After all, you have to wonder if IBM would ever back away from offering services directed at its user community left with the legacy apps, faulty data, and redundant silos that they have invested so much energy in producing for close on half a century! It’s a risky and somewhat flawed strategy but they seem content and oblivious to the absurdity of it all. Quick, I think we need more lipstick … 

Richard Buckle

HP – ITUG:            Board of Directors (2000 – 2006)    Chairman (2004 & 2005)

IBM – SHARE:      Board of Directors (2007 – 2008)

Real Time View blog: 



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