January 2009 Newsletter Sponsored by      


Tandemworld Newsletter for January 2009


I’m so happy it’s a New Year

Computer Services Inc. turns to comForte for Security and PCI Compliance

BAN BOTTLENECKS® - We show you how to process the future

A very

NuWave Returns From BITUG After a Great Trip

Ascert Makes VersaTest Automator Available for General Release

Gravic Celebrates Thirty Years of Innovation

NonStop - A Running Commentary – January, 09

Availability Digest Probes Dangers That Turn Networks into Notworks

    Insider Technologies Limited – A New Year, A New Website and New Solutions

Extend Retrievability of Tape Archives
with BackBox® Legacy Tape Server


Online Version

Current Subscribers 11,146

I’m so happy it’s a New Year

2008 was definitely a roller coaster year for everyone. The year started out pretty typical. World financial markets were strong. Our jobs were secure. We all had established plans in place to grow our businesses. Life was great!

Then the world financial markets crashed. Housing, banking, credit, savings, and employment all took a major hit. By September we were hiding under our desks, scrambling for a safe place to be.

I’m sure glad I work in a mission critical industry. Credit may be thin, but the world has definitely gone electronic. We are all using our credit cards, debit cards, and atm cards with increasing frequency. Transaction sizes are smaller but more frequent, leading to record transaction growth. Consumer patience is thin, so we are demanding faster and more reliable services. Many of us insist on being able to process a transaction, 24 hours a day, within a few feet of wherever we are at any moment in time.

The NonStop Customer base consists primarily of high value mission critical services. These services tend to be more intertwined within our everyday lives, and are absolutely required. As a result, while some of these Companies have consolidated, the services they were offering are still being offered. Although banks and brokerage firms are consolidating, the network terminal population remains about the same. Fewer firms are processing more transactions from the same number of consumer endpoints.

I see a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Midway through 2008 HP introduced the new Blades platforms. With more powerful processors and a more economical support program, Blades seems to be enjoying a lot of customer interest. Worldwide, many NonStop customers have been making plans to upgrade their existing S-series platforms to either Integrity or Blades. More power for less money seems to be the right message at the right time. NTI’s Customers are coming to us in record numbers, considering upgrades and inquiring about the impact on their platforms.

As for NTI, our balance sheet is strong, our Customers remain loyal, and 2009 promises to be another solid year for us. DRNet has been around for over 20 years, protecting NonStop transactional data. We provide a comprehensive Disaster Avoidance solution for NonStop Enscribe and SQL. One of our customers has been in production with Active/Active replication for over a decade, never missing a transaction. DRNet is a proven trusted Disaster Avoidance solution.

Send me an email and I will send you a paper explaining how DRNet can be used for “Zero Downtime Platform Migration”.

James McFadden

Director of Business Development

Network Technologies International - Proven data protection

Mobile:  +1 (402) 968-3674

Office:   +1 (614) 794-6000

Email:   Jim.McFadden@Network-Tech.com


Computer Services Inc. turns to comForte for Security and PCI Compliance

Computer Services, Inc. (CSI) provides services and software solutions to over 4600 financial institutions and corporate entities across the United States. These financial institutions rely on CSI for such business-critical services as compliance, security, fraud prevention, e-business, and payments. When it comes to securing the NonStop systems used to handle vital payment authorization services for customers’ ATMs, CSI turned to comForte.

You can read the full article here:


For more information about comForte products and solutions, please visit www.comforte.com



We show you how to process the future

Free Webinar: Managing The Customer Experience

Transaction Design will offer a free one-hour webinar on Tuesday, January 27, at 11 a.m. Pacific time.  "Managing The Customer Experience" will discuss how to monitor and manage the service the customer is receiving. 

ATM, point of sale, ecommerce, loyalty, and other customer-facing systems are critical to a company's success. 

These systems also may be very complex, and dependent on other systems inside and outside the organization. 

 Jon Schmidt, creator of Transaction Design, Inc.'s Ban Bottlenecks(R) service, will discuss how to manage the service provided to the end-user as well as the service received from back-end systems and services.

To sign up, please send an email with your name, address, and phone Click Here


NuWave Returns From BITUG After a Great Trip

Last month, NuWave Technologies exhibited at the BITUG Big SIG in the British Isles. It was NuWave’s first time participating in this event, and President Ernie Guerrera reports that it was a “great event at a very interesting venue.” He recommends the event to other vendors and HP NonStop users. In accordance with British tradition, the event was an example of elegance. It was held at the Trinity House in London and was an enjoyable experience for all in attendance.

NuWave develops innovative software solutions for NonStop systems. If your SOA strategy requires your NonStop applications to be active participants, then  SOAP/AM products may be of interest to you. You can download a 30-day trial of the fully functioning product on the company website.

NuWave also offers professional services for businesses in need of technical expertise. They can help with everything from application design and system integration to project management.

“We were delighted to see some of our European clients at the exhibition,” says Ernie. For those NonStop users interested in learning more about NuWave and its offerings, feel free to visit their website at http://www.nuwave-tech.com or send an email to info@nuwave-tech.com.

Ascert Makes VersaTest Automator Available for General Release

Ascert, a leader in supplying testing software for Tandem/HP NonStop based computing systems, announced the general release of VersaTest Automator.  The product was first unveiled last June 2008 at the Annual Meeting & Expo of the Electronic Transactions Association in Las Vegas, NV.   Since then, several U.S. and European financial institutions have implemented early versions of the product as their new testing platform. 

The VersaTest Automator product is a powerful end-to-end test automation tool for use in enterprise environments that support multiple devices and interfaces.  “The beauty of Automator is that it significantly reduces many of the manual steps that are inherent in the testing process,” said Rob Walker, Ascert’s Managing Partner.  “Early adopters of the product are finding that complete automation of testing scripts leads to significant time savings which enables them to move products/services to market in a much more rapid fashion.”

Users of VersaTest Automator have been able to increase the number of tests conducted while decreasing total testing time, thereby achieving significant ROI in a very short time.  These results are achieved through the use of automation in both the test execution and test validation phases of testing. “One of the early adopters of the product in the banking industry was able to decrease their testing process from twenty-three days down to four hours,” said Walker.  “It’s not hard to see how companies using this technology can quickly increase efficiencies and save substantial amounts of money.”

VersaTest Automator utilizes a new generation of device and interface drivers based on the product’s new Driver Framework Standard (DFS).  DFS drivers are built on a framework of core components shared by all drivers, combined with task-specific components that implement the unique characteristics required for a specific device or interface.  “This means that drivers are easier and faster to create, which increases the flexibility and capabilities of our products,” says Walker. 

Other features provided by VersaTest Automator include automated test result capture and recording, and the ability to integrate third party tools, such as HP’s Quality Center.  A web-based user interface allows VersaTest Automator users to drill down into the captured data for test diagnosis or audit purposes. To find out more about VersaTest Automator, visit http://www.ascert.com/pdf/VersaTestAutomator.pdf.


Gravic Celebrates Thirty Years of Innovation

Thirty Years of Innovation” is the byline for Gravic’s 2009 thirty year anniversary celebration. Following our tradition, we will be introducing several new products and a significant option to our flagship data replication product suite, Shadowbase®.

First, SOLV V&V, an innovative verification and validation product, is being introduced after significant field testing in 2008. SOLV V&V will enable customers to verify that the target’s contents match the source, and where discrepancies are found, it will detail the differences down to the column level. This product will optionally create the commands to resynchronize the target to the source. We have had a great deal of interest in this technology from the financial services markets, particularly for heterogeneous replication environments, and expect it will be equally important to others. Check with Shadowbase Support (sbsupport@gravic.com) for the availability of specific replication configuration scenarios.

 Another new SOLV product, SOLV ETL, will enable customers to do snap-shot or point-in-time replication of audited and non-audited tables and files (or subsets thereof) using the full transformation, mapping, cleansing, and filtering capabilities available with the existing Shadowbase replication solution. We expect this feature set to be of particular interest to those building data warehouses, data marts, operational data stores, and business intelligence systems.

We are most excited about the introduction of our synchronous replication option for Shadowbase, Shadowbase Plus SR. Shadowbase Plus SR extends the functionality of the existing asynchronous architecture of Shadowbase data replication to provide synchronous replication capabilities. The benefits of Shadowbase Plus SR include zero data loss in the event of a catastrophic disaster at the source system, and collision avoidance for active/active business continuity architectures.  We are pleased to be working closely with HP to utilize their new HP NonStop Synchronous Replication Gateway product to provide this solution on HP NonStop platforms. We expect to have early adopter implementations of Shadowbase SR running in 2009 and encourage companies interested in this technology to contact us for details concerning the applicability of Shadowbase Plus SR to their replication requirements.

We are also actively working on volumes IV and V in our Breaking the Availability Barrier series (www.gravic.com/shadowbase/books). Volume IV will focus on important topics for achieving continuous availability, and Volume V will focus on the important aspects of synchronous replication, including Shadowbase’s upcoming debut of Shadowbase Plus SR, our patented coordinated commit approach to synchronous replication. Feel free to contact us to obtain copies of the existing works, or to register interest in the upcoming volumes.

During these cold North American winter months, we are eagerly looking forward to seeing our customers and prospective customers at various trade shows and customer visits, including the SATUG show in South Africa in February, the HPTF conference in Las Vegas in June, or any of the local regional shows. Thanks to all our customers for making 2008 a very successful year and for being part of our “Thirty Years of Innovation.”

For more information please visit: www.gravic.com/30th.

Dick Davis

Shadowbase Sales Manager




NonStop - A Running Commentary – January, 09

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

The holiday season is now firmly behind us and the new business realities we all see so clearly need to be faced. Industries are consolidating, with many businesses struggling just to remain viable, companies are downsizing on a scale we haven’t seen since the dot.com crash, and capital investment has dried up completely. My inbox contains many CVs from recruiting firms on a scale I haven’t seen before. Yet, through all of this, I do see several developments that will generate interest for many of us.

Last year, it seemed that whenever I wrote an opinion article on user groups, or on the imminent arrival of commoditization (software and infrastructure as well as hardware), or even about solutions providers (ACI specifically) these topics generated the most interest. Now that the New Year has arrived, and the times have so radically changed from when I began writing for this newsletter, I see no reason to change the focus. And there is a common thread present across all three topics.

With solutions vendors, there is an increased user demand to reduce costs and to simplify, often pushing them to embrace standards and open source. All while minimizing risk! As for vendors like HP, wringing out every imaginable cost remains fundamental for every approach they take, and at the same time maximizing technology and product re-use! When it comes to user groups, the communities are intently focused on staying employable and on developing marketable skills. All while avoiding marginal “niches” and improving individual productivity better than just about any other field of endeavor!

Recently I posted a blog where I quoted executives of General Motors. It may surprise many readers that anything newsworthy could be coming out of Detroit, but even with the auto industry in the tail-spin they are in, there’s smart minds evaluating the marketplace and trying to come to terms with the tectonic shift that is under way. In the posting of January 13, ’08 The game changes .... (http://itug-connection.blogspot.com/2009/01/game-changes.html) I referred to an article published in the LA Times of that date where the writer opined “the auto industry is not unlike the computer business which was once led by hardware makers but now is dominated by software and services.” The reporter then quoted Larry Burns, GM’s head of Research and Development and Strategic Planning, who said “If you look at the major industries that have been transformed … not many of the incumbents came out of that transformation strong.”

The software and services companies, on the other hand, could just as easily be quoted as having said “the IT industry is not unlike the auto business that was once led by a few large, integrated, manufacturers, but could become dominated by commodity and standard platforms with reduced energy-consumption needs.” In other words, as the auto industry struggles to reduce the number of models they make, while switching to power sources other than the many variants of the internal combustion engine they rely on today, so too is the IT industry pursuing consolidation on fewer servers with ever decreasing Operating System (OS) and infrastructure options.  

Last year I wrote about the plans for NonStop being supported as part of the then-upcoming bladed architecture product-line. I briefly wrote about the potential upside from a deep port of SASH that would complement access to NonStop from open-source clients with a powerful run-time environment put right on top of NonStop. Yet I also gave HP good marks for reigning in the potential explosion of product offerings that could have developed following the acquisition of Compaq – and neatly sidestepping the deep-seated problems so bedeviling the auto industry today. And this is incredibly important for the user community.

While most of us do not like to see our options reduced and our choices limited, when it comes to the basic platforms themselves, consolidation is not a bad situation to face. After all, at the very core of all products are the chips and with the competition between Intel, AMD and IBM Power showing no signs of letting-up, there’s critical mass at this level to ensure competitive products continue to make it to market.

However, today’s solutions are based on an up-ended triangle (or pyramid) with the widest choice existing at the interface between the user and technology. And this is the right model for the IT industry. The auto industry would love to be in a market where they competed on the basis of essentially subjective and somewhat cosmetic features – as a commercial by one of the Japanese manufacturers suggested a few years back, even at a dealer’s showroom, it still wasn’t too late to change the vehicle’s color! In IT, perhaps we will see the development of support for simple templates so that changing interfaces, programming languages, and underlying infrastructure may be as easy as checking a couple of boxes within the template.

What was driving the GM bosses was the shift from being solely reliant on propulsion from the ever-reliable internal combustion engine, to battery-powered engines in both hybrid and native modes, and the need to develop core competencies in battery technology. In fact, one industry leader mused how the future of the automobile may transition away from old style heavy manufacturers to a smaller core of manufacturers owning the best battery technology. I am not so sure of this eventuality but I couldn’t rule it out entirely with the current leadership all lacking deep pockets these days. Should the auto industry, in the coming years, adopt the up-ended triangle model, then anchoring it will be a much smaller group of companies and those with the best energy-usage solutions could end being the only survivors.

For the foreseeable future, we will watch HP and IBM battle it out at the lowest levels. And commoditization will proliferate more broadly with a choice just two or three commodity blades, pizza boxes, books, or whatever the future packaging flavor-of-the-month becomes most likely. I get the sense that we will see the Java, .NET and just good old native C/C++/C whatever remain underpinning our business logic instructions. Oracle, SQL_Server, as well as a couple of open source SQL implementations will continue to address users needs to store and retrieve data but probably not much else. No matter who wins and who falls away – at this level there will only be a small number of winners. 

Solution vendors will need to be very careful about favoring anyone of these technology companies – there will be nothing to be gained from siding with one over the other as even here, there will be no guarantees of longevity and customers will always call the shots. After all, as I have written often, the customer is king! And leveraging the colossal investments these technology companies will be making in their pursuit of our business will compel solutions vendors to keep their options open – after all, tying a solution to just one data base or to just one run-time environment doesn’t make sense these days with the underlying chips as powerful as they are today.

While I applaud HP for the steps they took after the acquisition of Compaq, and I am pleased to see NonStop depicted prominently on the product roadmaps that I have seen, I also get the sense that what we will see in the future may not be what we are familiar with today. OS’s with significant user patronage today may find functionality that differentiates them from other implementations creep into more broadly-accepted OS’s as features.

Notwithstanding something extraordinary happening, OpenVMS, zOS, and even NonStop could fall into this category, as features are leveraged by those responsible for Linux, Windows, and Unix. Perhaps in combinations - zOS with zLinux, NonStop with Linux or HP-UX, etc. as larger system complexes take on more hybrid appearances. But this cannot be interpreted as any lessening of the investment in NonStop by any means – and should be welcomed by most users of NonStop. After all, having the option to run the most crucial of business-critical applications on NonStop will remain valuable and if the ability to do so becomes transparent, which I think over time it will, then sensitivity to maintaining NonStop within the data center may be lessened significantly.

The coming year will hold many surprises and the economy will turn the tables on many of our plans. Commoditization and energy conservation will only grow in importance. Capital budgets will disappear and we will face doing a whole lot more just to stay in business with a lot less. Legislation, and regulatory mandates, are all going to take a huge toll on what we can and cannot do – with security topping the list. After all, if the auto industry is watching the computer business with interest, and perhaps a little envy, then it’s because we have been effective in minimizing risk, embracing commoditization, and driven up productivity!

Richard Buckle

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

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

Real Time View blog:           www.itug-connection.blogspot.com


Availability Digest Probes Dangers That Turn Networks into Notworks

The Availability Digest’s January issue examines networks that become “notworks” due to the lack of redundant communication links. Examined are the issues that must be avoided in order to prevent network faults from wreaking havoc on system availability. Case in point – the massive Internet Notwork of January, 2008, caused by the inadvertent cutting of undersea cables.  

Also in this month’s Digest is “Hubble Trouble,” an analysis of a backup unit failure that almost killed the Hubble Space Telescope, the only telescope ever designed to be serviced in space by astronauts.

Our Product Review is TANDsoft’s Opta2000, a powerful tool for use in consolidating worldwide backup resources for disaster recovery as well as for data-center consolidation and time-sensitive test environments.  The Geek Corner continues its three-part discussion on “Configuring To Meet A Performance SLA.” Part 2 focuses on multiserver systems.  For those who consider themselves math-challenged, pass on this article to your colleagues who paid attention in algebra class. 

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

Insider Technologies Limited – A New Year, A New Website and New Solutions 

Insider Technologies Limited are proud to announce the launch of our website portal at www.insidertech.co.uk

We hope you will take the opportunity to explore and enjoy the benefits our new website will bring, enabling you to view our wide range of products developed for the HP NonStop (Open System Services (OSS) & Guardian), Windows, Unix, Linux and Messaging communities, including latest features for:

RTLX Reactor                                     - XML release imminent for both Payment & BASE24-eps monitoring

Reflex                                                   - Blade accreditation due in the coming weeks

              - Support for WebSphere MQ ( now available, via Reflex 4.7L

MultiBatch                                           - See below for details on the latest Blade accredited version

EMS Gateway for MQ & OSS           - HP NonStop EMS event conversion for WebSphere™ MQ

Windows Mobile Solutions                - XML driven and easily implemented for mobile data capture 

All of our products and solutions can be fully explored via White Papers, Screenshots, PDFs and Flash Demos.

You may decide to just view an ‘Overview’ of the product, or that you would prefer to explore a products ‘features’, ‘requirements’, or ‘demo’ before deciding which product meets your needs.

In addition to our product range, you can also investigate our comprehensive range of solutions to see which best fits your requirements, e.g.:

ATM/POS Monitoring

Bespoke Development

HP NonStop Management

Message Monitoring

OSS (Open System Services)

Payments Monitoring

Systems Monitoring & Management

WebSphere MQ Monitoring

View our Company Brochure for all that you need to know about Insider Technologies:


The specialist solutions provider for event and financial monitoring, tracking and management

To keep abreast of Insider’s latest news, please feel free to register for our free newsletter.

Software Integrators User Group – Presentation by Insider Technologies

Insider was invited to attend the recent Software Integrators User Group meeting and provide a demonstration of Insider’s proposed STAR (SWIFT and Telex Automated Routing) application management facilities.  

The product’s functionality will be based on the Insider Technologies Sentra product and it will provide tracking and monitoring capability for the Payments, Queues and EMS logs processed by the SI STAR application.

Based on the proven and successful Sentra architecture, this module lets you probe and analyse the real-time flow of business and performance data generated by Software Integrator's STAR application

A copy of the User Group presentation, including a Flash demonstration of Insider’s “Sentra for SI STAR” product can be obtained via our website:


MultiBatch Blade Accreditation

Insider have successfully accredited their mainframe-class batch scheduler against the latest HP Integrity NonStop BladeSystem, running Guardian J06.04.

The ‘Blade Ready’ version of MultiBatch is 9.3F4 and is currently in use on a Blade system, at one of the UK’s leading retail banks.

Further details can be obtained via our website:


Insider Technologies Limited

Spinnaker Court, Chandlers Point,

37 Broadway, Salford Quays,


M50 2YR

United Kingdom

Tel +44 (0)161 876 6606

Website: www.insidertech.co.uk

Email:    support@insidertech.co.uk

Insider Technologies is Quality Certified to ISO9001:2000 and TickIT.


All Trademarks acknowledged.

Extend Retrievability of Tape Archives
with BackBox® Legacy Tape Server

NonStop system users face a dilemma - what to do with tape media written on drives that are no longer supported on NonStop systems?  This is particularly troublesome for users migrating to NS Blades, where many tape drive models are not even connectable.  But regulations typically dictate retention and accessibility of that historic data long into the future.

ETI-NET eliminates these problems with the BackBoxÒ Legacy Tape Server.  Cable any media-compatible NonStop or open system tape drive to the BackBoxÒ Legacy Tape Server and access legacy data via Fibre Channel to the Nonstop.  Or, without involving the NonStop systems, use the Legacy Tape Server to reconstitute this media onto your choice of storage, from which you can later retrieve it without changes to your NonStop catalogs.

BackBox Legacy Tape Server is a cost-effective way to ensure continued access to vital archived data, and an excellent tool to migrate those archives onto modern storage subsystems without tying up your NonStop system resources.

For more information call 1-650-888-8949, email us at information@etinet.com, or visit www.etinet.com


HP Technology Forum & Expo 2009

Save the date!

June 15-18, 2009
Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas

Help us create the best event ever by submitting your abstract by February 6, 2009

Subject areas to consider include: Business Continuity & Availability (Disaster Tolerance & Recovery), HP-UX, NonStop (including Developing Applications), Open Source and Linux, OpenVMS, Security, Service Oriented Architecture (including ITIL& ITSM), Servers (Blades, Integrity, Power Mgmt & Cooling), Storage (including ILM), and Virtualization

BITUG 18 February 2009  NonStop Migration Considerations SIG. More information can be found at www.bitug.com

SATUG Meeting  Monday, March 02, 2009 9:30 AM  to  Wednesday, March 04, 2009 10:00 AM

For more information, please visit http://www.SATUG.org

DUST Chapter Meeting  Tuesday, March 24, 2009  Click Here for More information


For More on Employment in EMEA Go Here

For More on Positions in the Americas Go Here (to advertise your positions here please contact us)

For More on Positions in AsiaPac Go Here (to advertise your positions here please contact us)

Looking for a Solution or an answer to a particular problem ASK Tandemworld. We will contact the vendors for you and find a suitable solution that meets for current and future needs.



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