What do you really learn at conferences and exhibitions? What are the high points from big-tent marketing events? And what do you take away from sales kick-off meetings? These past couple of weeks I have had the good fortune of sampling all three venues and while they all featured HP NonStop systems, users and solutions, to some degree, it was clear that each of them was able to pull a crowd. The opinions of colleagues appear to be as important a source of IT information as it always has been and as jaded as I may become sometimes, I am always looking out for that gem of insight, that useful sound bite and of course, that relevant anecdote.
This past week I happened to attend the sales kick-off for one of the largest NonStop vendors in the community – IR. I have attended IR sales kick-off meetings for several years now, and whereas in my first year of attendance the meeting was conducted in nothing more than a conference room in the company’s Denver, Colorado, office, this year it was held in an auditorium in a nearby hotel where nearly 100 sales and marketing types came together. What is it of late with baseball game attendance? Just as it was in Dallas, Texas, at the N2TUG user group meeting, the first day wrapped up with a trip to the ballpark. Not the well-placed Texas Rangers this time, but rather, the lowly Colorado Rockies. Having attended the game in Texas I opted for a diner and a good conversation instead, with a colleague from HP.
I was invited to the IR kick-off meeting in the Denver Tech Center (and yes, they run a July to June financial year, typical for companies headquartered in Australia), to give a presentation on my perspective of NonStop, and in particular, the new NonStop X family of systems. Rather than simply repeating the presentation by a NonStop product Manager, I was a little more subjective illustrating mine with updates from what I call adjacent vendors and this year, I included WebAction. When you think of an application / solutions monitoring product like IR – Prognosis, it’s becoming quite natural to connect the dots between monitoring, big data analytics, the intersection of all that’s happening in real time with what’s being captured in big data frameworks, and WebAction!
WebAction with NonStop Moves Beyond Visibility to Insight
It’s only natural for me to project a real value proposition of WebAction as we witness monitoring progress from simply providing visibility to where there’s a requirement for delivering insight, then recognizing predictability and finally, undertaking self-healing. In other words, simply providing a “show me what just happened” is being enriched by “why did that just happen” to where I want to “know what might have happened” (and the actions taken in preventing bad outcomes) as I remain focused on delivering a quality, uninterrupted service. As IDC explains whenever it categorizes HP NonStop Systems as Availability Level 4 (AL4), what determines elevation to AL4 is “the ability to switch to alternate resources (that) is not perceptible to end users.” Eventually we will head to a monitoring world where the ability to self-heal too is not perceptible to end users, but for this to happen, you will be well served when you insert WebAction into the event stream that monitoring products, like a Prognosis, depend upon.
WebAction provides the necessary event actions that help move the monitoring of applications from simply providing visibility to where they provide insight. The steps then to prediction and self-healing will be less intimidating as monitoring takes on more advanced learning properties – something many other data center applications are doing as they track changes in behavior to better serve company’s customers. While there’s many scenarios I foresee that WebAction provides immediate value, the more I listen to presentation on monitoring the more I am drawn to evangelizing big data analytics and products like WebAction as the reality is that those highly skilled in all aspects of monitoring are increasingly focused on the transition to providing greater insight and could quickly leapfrog alternate approaches with a tighter association with the products like WebAction. For the NonStop community, to borrow a well-worn phrase, this just has to be the win-win-win proposition all parties desire and if I can influence the outcome here for the NonStop community, then all my time spent at conferences, events and meetings may just prove worthwhile.