Here in Dallas the storms continue to rage, with some of the largest hailstones ever recorded wreaking havoc in our immediate vicinity. Apparently Texas and the surrounding area don’t hold exclusivity on havoc as those we know who are familiar with the geography of Queensland, Australia, reporting the onshore appearance of a devastating slow-moving cyclone. It is always at times like these that it begs the question: when the alarms are sounded, and mandatory evacuation notices are made – do we have time to think of moving our files?For many users of NonStop systems in support of Mission Critical applications this isn’t an issue, as for all of the NonStop users we know there are operational plans already in place to protect files and for some of them, there is more than one data center where the files and databases are replicated and have become an integral part of how transactions are being processed. Considerable progress has been made over the last decade with such practices as real time bidirectional replication via systems configurations supporting active-active replication models such that “evacuating our files” doesn’t generate levels of panic to ensure you throw a box of backup magnetic tapes in the back of the truck, that once may have taken place. However, there’s much more than the database that is involved. For any installation, there is still the need for backups of pretty much everything, not to mention ensuring files needed for the ongoing operations of business partners and other institutions are delivered when and where they are needed – for as long as there has been a data center, there has always been the need to move files. Today, there is perhaps a new element being introduced – the Hybrid IT Model. With typical configurations of disparate systems, including early-stage private clouds, it may no longer be a case of simply moving a file from one of the systems to somewhere else but rather, pulling together information that may be spread across systems. We often hear stories about the “unknown file” – those files that companies continue to support without supporting documentation to fully qualify their purpose and yet, when the time comes to bring up an application on a secondary site and the “unknown file” is missing, it all comes crashing down. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to aggregate files in a manner that ensured all the information an application needed made it to where it really was required? Wouldn’t it be nice if, with a minimum of fuss, all of these files could simply go along for the ride? In the March, 2017, issue of NonStop Insider we wrote of how we go around shifting stuff and taking it from one place to another even as we don’t care where it came from and don’t judge the content and we don’t care what happens to it after it’s put down where we were told to put it. Whether files are destined for an FI and include critical customer financial information or simply meant for a robot and include basic instructions to pick up a nut and thread a bolt, it matters little to DataExpress. Furthermore, what DataExpress is asked to move is only limited by your needs and indeed your imagination. If it’s been a while since you last looked at exactly how you get all the files critical to the daily operation of your business “to safety” then perhaps it is about time you revisited it, and perhaps there’s an important role for DataExpress to play. As we said in that article in NonStop Insider, the elegance of our solution is that we aren’t the utility that you prefer to manipulate the file, we just make those utilities line up to meet expectations on either end. In our last post to the NEWS/BLOG on the DataExpress web site, we noted how DataExpress supports user exits to concatenate multi-files into just a single file. And we can do the exact opposite via user exits – breaking a single file into multiple files, or even bursting a single file to multiple addressees. With this capability there really isn’t any reason why any file should be left behind no matter the crises being faced. Those unknown files can enjoy the ride after all. In a time when databases gain as much attention as they do and when there is as much talk coming from HPE about its internal deployment of NonStop SQL/MX in support of a DataBase-as-a-Service offering to everyone within the HPE organization, there is still a lot more information locked away in files that oftentimes just don’t make it onto our radar. You may want to think of getting these files to safety as part of your disaster recovery plans. You may want to think of moving these files to safety as part of your enterprise security initiatives no matter where in the world that may take them. You may even want to think about ensuring ongoing compliance with institutional mandates continues no matter what Mother Nature throws your way. Irrespective of how you view the need to move a file(s) at any time, it may just be time to take a good long look at what DataExpress can provide. In a world that is increasingly turning to a Hybrid IT model and where the information you need may be in data scattered across participating systems in the hybrid mix and your needs aren’t limited by your imagination then perhaps it’s time to give us a call. Here at DataExpress we have pretty much seen it all so let us have an opportunity to explain in more detail how we can best ensure none of your files miss that all-important ride away from any danger that may be lying just beyond the horizon.