March 2009 Newsletter Sponsored by      


Tandemworld Newsletter for March 2009


Ban Bottlenecks®

NonStop - A Running Commentary – March, 09

Availability Digest Eavesdrops on the Internet


Marshall Resources, Inc.

 March 2009 / General State of the Second User Non-Stop Market

  Insider Technologies – An ‘RTLX FAQ’, and XML Monitoring for BASE24-eps



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NonStop - A Running Commentary – March, 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

Over the course of any given week I manage to read a lot of publications. These vary, and include those providing coverage on general news, like Time and Newsweek, as well as on business, like Fortune. And I also read some of the general IT publications like InformationWeek.  I have a number of electronic publications that I also peruse, and then there are the car and motorcycle publications I’ve always found time to read cover to cover. USA Today and the Financial Times can get a thorough read but only when I am on the road – and over coffee at Starbucks, if someone leaves a copy of the New York Times lying around, I will grab a section or two.

Most recently, I picked up a new magazine focused on high-performance sports cars – in particular, those that develop more than 600 horsepower. Flipping the pages I stopped and read the editorial and I found it highly amusing. Clearly, this is not a magazine for the general public but even so, the editor was having a little fun with his readership. What was the topic of the column was demographics – more specifically, who the car manufacturers believe buy these highly specialized cars.

From the car manufacturers came the usual statistics – high income, mid to late 40s, mostly male drivers, etc. But the editor thought statistics like this didn’t tell the whole story. Rather than running through lists like this they proposed new categories like “shows strong aversion to stop signs, red lights, and speed bumps,” and “feels national speed limit should be 120 mph,” or even “experiences frequent interaction with law enforcement officials!”

And it had me thinking – how would HP respond to a similar question – who do they believe buy highly specialized NonStop servers? I would expect to see a list that included market segments like Financial Services, Telco, Healthcare, etc. But what does this really tell us other than there is most likely a selection of application solutions available for NonStop addressing that market segment. So, what new categories do I think should be included?

For starters, there’s the reluctant first-timer “after the merger, we were told we needed to switch to NonStop,” as well as the sandbagged first timer who never saw it coming “the new guy had us switch to NonStop!” Then there is the old guy in the corner “we’ve only ever run a NonStop,” and finally, the ever-popular contrarian “we would never let IBM into our shop!” With these categories described here, the picture that we would get is of a community that understands the value proposition of NonStop and selected an application from a well-known vendor, yet remains quite proud of their association with a product that is as unique as it is highly specialized.

NonStop as a web server? NonStop as a data warehouse? NonStop in every data center? NonStop for the home? The breadth of choice and the variety in deployments only adds to the “dialogue” cutting across the community. Who’s coming to NonStop? Who’s moving away? Who’s upgrading to the new models? And then these days, there’s probably no more frequently asked question than “what is happening in the BASE24 community?”

Did ACI jump ship too soon? There are many exchanges now across forums and blogs about BASE24 running on Blades as users in the America’s and Europe complete migrations. The banks that have upgraded aren’t second or third tier banks but are among the biggest in the world – and the responses I have received are positive. Some irritating teething problems were encountered at one bank but in general, smooth transitions. Here at GoldenGate we moved our product to Blades and experienced no problems doing the migration.

For many years the concern of ACI was that NonStop had become too expensive and would fail to penetrate new markets. There was also the concerns that little marketing was done that helped ACI sales teams – they were being left to do it all on their own. But with the support we now see by HP management for Blades, and with the much lower price points, perhaps these arguments are mute? Did ACI not see blades coming, or were they blissfully ignoring it after all the years working with NonStop? Was it a case of ACI, having seen it all before, not being able to believe NonStop could change it’s game?

Perhaps another category could be added to my list, with what we have seen at ACI, the “we just have to try something different?” Not out of any disenchantment with the NonStop product but simply that, with the change of leadership at ACI, perhaps they could play one vendor against the other and land some development dollars. And I really can’t blame them for that – in today’s economy I see solution providers routinely evolving their tactics to attract as much development funding as they can.

Could ACI return to HP and to NonStop? I wouldn’t say this will happen any time soon or with any marketing hoopla, but then again, does it ever make sense to forgo the attention of one major vendor in favor of its nearest competitor? ACI is well into its second year with IBM and, with only a handful (less than six, as best as I can tell) of BASE24 eps customers on the IBM mainframe with none, that I have heard of, being former NonStop customers, its becoming harder for ACI to view the strategy as a roaring success. Some users in Asia Pac / Japan are considering the switch and there’s anxieties within HP management as a result – but overall globally, it’s been a less-than-stellar performance by the joint ACI / IBM sales teams. And for a very good reason!

Recently I have produced a couple of blog postings: Tough Neighborhood! and Knives in the Library! that looked at the heritage of NonStop, and its continued relevance versus the offerings from other vendors. I blogged that  “perhaps our roots in Tandem have given us less tolerance for the messages of other platforms. Perhaps our patience for alternate solutions has weakened with time and experience. “Almost as available” as a NonStop? Operating in “near” real time? Scalable as other MPP architectures! How meaningless this all sounds to those of us familiar with NonStop.”

Whether it’s someone new to the NonStop community following a merger perhaps, or someone with a lot more experience and who has seen it all and has only ever run NonStop, the love-affair with NonStop can be a very difficult hurdle for solution providers to get over. Most of them eventually end up working with both old and new communities – there’s value in maintaining a dual-path strategy with the economic climate that exists today.  NonStop is a very specialized product that will never be marketed to the global IT community, yet it remains one of those technologies that users consider replacing with border-line fear and trepidation!

Solution providers have every right to try things and to develop additional partnerships. And it isn’t always easy understanding the demographics. But when it comes to NonStop never underestimate the resilience of the community or the healthy skepticism that exists when anything else is proposed.

Now wait a minute! NonStop in every data center? Nonstop for the home?

Maybe not quite yet – but if HP ever drops NonStop onto an X86 platform, then just stand back! Deep with all of us who have been associated with NonStop over the years is the nagging suspicion that there’s still a much bigger marketplace for NonStop – it’s been a heck of a ride so far and perhaps the ride is far from over after all. Perhaps 600+ horsepower may not be so narrow a focused group and perhaps we all can make use of it and get to appreciate the advantages!

Richard Buckle

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

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

Real Time View blog: 

Availability Digest Eavesdrops on the Internet

We’re not hijacking your Internet traffic, but others may be.  At a recent DEFCON hackers’ conference, security researchers successfully demonstrated how easy it can be for corporations, governments, or even individuals to divert your messages to an eavesdropping site on their way to your intended recipients.  In its March issue, the Availability Digest examines the vulnerability of the Border Gateway Patrol (BGP), the core routing protocol of the Internet, to disruptions that may leave a site inaccessible or to Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) eavesdropping attacks that can modify your messages enroute. 

Also in this month’s Digest is “Has Gmail Become Gfail,” a review of the so-far dismal availability record (less than 99%) of Google’s widely popular free email service.  Google’s strength in the face of multiple downtimes has been the company’s commitment to communicate the status of problems with customers.  Our Recommended Reading is “Business Continuity Today,” a freely available living eBook, with a new chapter added each month.  The Geek Corner’s “Configuring to Meet a Performance SLA” focuses on the sizing of single servers with general service times.

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

Marshall Resources, Inc.

 March 2009 / General State of the Second User Non-Stop Market

I will repeat much of what I said in the last issue of Tandemworld, but I think the message holds true.

From the second user point of view, timing and market factors have had a positive influence on our activities.  Now is indeed the time to consider second user hardware solutions.

As budgets are reduced or frozen, many, if not most of our Non-Stop customers are being required to look at cost savings as they maintain production on their Tandem platforms.  We have indeed seen a surge in demand for items like S88000 and S7800 Processors, 36, 72, and 144 GB Disk Drives, and some Integrity Disk as well.  The last quarter of 2008 saw this demand, very limited supply, and a lot of pressure on increased prices and delivery delays.

The first quarter of 2009 has brought some positive changes.  Several very large migrations and restructuring plans for 2008 have been realized.  This has allowed Marshall Resources to purchase several large S Series packages and some Integrity Disk.  We are also closing on several other very large systems and peripherals through the remainder of the first two quarters of 2009.   Supply has caught up with demand, and we have some very attractive pricing on these S Series parts.  So again, now is indeed the time to look at keeping your current systems up to date. 

We do anticipate this supply to tighten sometime this summer as most users have little or no long term plans to change their status.

Marshall Resources is also offering hardware and software maintenance solutions as well as remote system management services as another cost savings alternative.

At Marshall Resources, we strive to provide the highest quality service with the highest quality equipment.  Our repeat customers are our greatest compliment.  Please visit our website at for our company information, and find a sales representative in your area to assist you.  We can always be reached at 800-443-0128, or by e-mail.  We are looking forward to working with you.


  Insider Technologies – An ‘RTLX FAQ’, and XML Monitoring for BASE24-eps

XML Monitoring for BASE24-eps

Insider Technologies Limited have developed an extension to their RTLX (Real-Time Log Extract) product to monitor BASE24-eps transaction metrics via an XML feed.

This new development from Insider, utilises ACI’s Real-Time Feed Interface (more specifically the Online Extract Interface – product code EE-SE415), which enables XML feeds to be performed against the BASE24-eps Journal Log files.

For further information, please visit the following link:

See also the RTLX FAQ below.

RTLX (Real-Time Log Extract) FAQ

If you're looking for a real-time, highly integrated transaction / payments monitoring WEB Browser solution to ensure your BASE24™ and BASE24-eps™ systems are always at their highest level of availability, you’re looking for RTLX REACTOR. RTLX also incorporates NonStop EMS alert, generic log file, JMX and XML monitoring. 

To help you determine if RTLX is right for you, please visit the following link:

Just three examples of some of the topics covered within the FAQ:

Q: What BASE24 files does RTLX currently monitor?

A: RTLX Reactor currently monitors both the TLF and PTLF Enscribe log files of the BASE24™ application as well as the EMS event logs.

RTLX can also take XML feeds from the ACI Online Extract Interface (EE-SE415).

Other HP NonStop files can also be monitored by RTLX with a short development project required to build a lean extraction client based on the record schema layout. Contact us for an estimate on integrating your bespoke files into the RTLX product for real-time monitoring.

Q: How does RTLX Reactor monitor ACI’s BASE24-eps?

A: In order for RTLX Reactor to monitor ACI's BASE24-eps™ application, an XML feed is required. One option here is to use ACI's Real-Time Feed Interface (see above) which generates XML formatted journal file output to third-party products (product code EE-SE415).

RTLX imports the XML Schema Definition file (XSD) which describes the format of the incoming XML data. The XML records can be generated in TLF/PTLF format or abridged to just the required field set for monitoring the performance and health of the BASE24-eps™ application.

Q: Can RTLX Reactor carry out real-time historical comparative analysis?

A: RTLX is capable of comparative historical analysis since data can be held on less expensive offline storage, for example 3-4 months of POS data on a 500GB hard drive. As such, the current real-time flow can be compared to yesterday, last week, last month or last year.

A real-time alert can be triggered if the POS transaction flow say, falls below 10% of the same flow for a similar period, e.g. compared to Christmas Eve 2008 or a previous Bank Holiday. Trend lines can be shown on the same or separate charts to show the current trend versus another time period.

Historical comparative analysis can also be carried out using the integrated Microsoft SQL Reporting Services for end-of-period reports. These can be emailed manually or automatically and in a number of different formats, e.g. PDF, HTML.

Insider Technologies – Company Introduction

If the above interests you, then please visit our website for further details, or download our Company Brochure for all you need to know about Insider Technologies Limited.

Insider Technologies – Newsletter

You can also subscribe to our free newsletter where you will be kept informed of Insider’s latest news. If you wish to subscribe, or you just wish to view our wide range of our products, then please visit the following link:

Insider Technologies Limited

Spinnaker Court, Chandlers Point,

37 Broadway, Salford Quays,


M50 2YR

United Kingdom

Tel +44 (0)161 876 6606

Fax +44(0) 161 868 6666




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


All Trademarks acknowledged.

HP Technology Forum & Expo 2009

Save the date!

June 15-18, 2009
Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas

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 Special Interest Group
MQ and Comms

Date: Wednesday 15th April 2009
Venue: HP Offices, 5th Floor, 88 Wood Street, London EC2V 7QT

High attendance is expected for this Special Interest Group. Please see the detailed agenda below. Bookings are now being taken.

Map of Wood Street

<<< Book a place here >>>

<<< Check an existing booking >>>

Time Agenda
09:30 Coffee, kindly provided by HP
10:00 Welcome from BITUG host Stuart Taylor and HP Host Dave Russell
10:15 Comms on NonStop Blades – Vince Cooper, HP
11:00 MQ v7 – a NonStop perspective – Morag Hughson, IBM UK, Hursley Labs
11:45 Coffee, kindly provided by HP
12:00 Managing MQ as a Service – Dave Shields, Insider Technologies Ltd
12:45 Lunch, kindly provided by HP
13:45 MQ5.1 to MQ5.3 – one users experience – Andy McLaren, Chris Chambers, Brightstrand
14:15 User forum – Comms and MQ v5.3 and beyond – raise issues with other users/HP/IBM/vendors
15:00 Coffee, kindly provided by HP
15:15 HP presentation / update – tbd, HP
15:45 Roundup and close

Map of Wood Street


OTUG plans to have an OTUG meeting on Thursday,  April 30th at the Huntington Easton location on the east side of Columbus.  

Once the agenda has been  finalized I will pass it along as well as other needed information.  

Please note that OTUG is not part of the Connect Website right now but it will be there in the near future.   Once this work is completed I will also ask Connect to set up an  registration site on the OTUG website.    I will let you know when that is activated.

See you  on April 30th

For further information please email us



Upcoming Meetings

Save the date for our 17 April 2009 Chapter meeting! More details about this meeting will be provided shortly at


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