The Sombers Group, a custom software house, has been building large real-time systems for its customers for over thirty years. Our multi-platform expertise includes HP NonStop, HP OpenVMS, IBM, Unisys, Stratus, Sun, UNIX, and PC systems.
Our early experience is rooted firmly in the implementation of fault-tolerant, high performance custom systems for our customers. Before the advent of Tandem and Stratus systems, these were definitely "roll your own" propositions. Today, high availability is a given, and true fault tolerance can be purchased off the shelf. But you still have to know what you're doing, and that takes experience.
The Sombers Group was founded in 1968 as an implementer of real-time, mission-critical
systems. Now, more than thirty years later, we’re still in the business
because the demand for “mission-critical” has never gone out of style.
Back in the late ‘60s and ‘70s, the focus on “mission-critical”
implied highly reliable systems with extraordinary performance.
“Reliability” meant growing your own fault tolerance. The Sombers’
Group founders were involved in several large systems that obtained their fault
tolerance from carefully architected multi-processor systems. Examples included:
When Tandem Computers
(now HP NonStop servers) introduced their fault-tolerant computers in
1976, they became an ideal platform for our customers. As a result, we were out
of the business of creating custom fault-tolerant systems but became strong
proponents of this new technology. Our large Tandem system developments include:
Yet another totalizator system for the racing
A real-time train control system for a major
A state lottery system for a vendor of such
A few years after Tandem started delivering product, Stratus Computers
announced a competitive fault-tolerant system; and we began using that system as
well. Some of our Stratus systems include:
A world-wide messaging system to tie
international correspondents to editors in New York for Time magazine.
An information distribution system for the
construction industry for McGraw-Hill
A corporate event registration system for
A prototype trading system for the New York
Many of the systems that we developed over the years were distributed
systems in which the data and the business rules that operated on that data were
distributed across several diverse systems. They included equipment from Tandem,
Stratus, Digital, IBM, and all of the NT, UNIX and PC variants. These
distributed systems required means for the various processes to interoperate
across the network and to access data in the many foreign data bases that were
involved. Out of this requirement came the development of our popular middleware
product, NetWeave, which currently is
installed on dozens of systems around the world. (The NetWeave product has since
been purchased by NetWeave Integrated Solutions, Inc., and is actively marketed by its new
Virtually all of our systems have had stringent reliability and
performance requirements. Consequently,
we have become expert in these areas. Sombers professionals have published
extensively on these topics, including three books:
Performance Analysis of Transaction
Processing Systems by Dr. Bill
Highleyman, Chairman of the Sombers Group.
Published by Prentice-Hall.
· Breaking the Availability Barrier: Survivable Systems for Enterprise Computing by Dr. Bill Highleyman, Chairman of the Sombers Group, Paul J. Holenstein, and Dr. Bruce Holenstein. Published by AuthorHouse.
Multiple Processor Systems for Real-Time
Applications by Burt H.
Liebowitz (former President of The Sombers Group) and John H. Carson.
Published by Prentice-Hall.
Sombers’ personnel also have been very active in the HP NonStop community, formerly the Tandem community. The founder of The Sombers Group, Dr. Bill Highleyman, acted as the performance auditor on two of Tandem’s performance prediction products - Tandem Capacity Model (TCM) and Guardian Performance Analyzer (GPA). He was Chairman of the International Tandem User Group (ITUG), has contributed heavily to the ITUG technical journal, “The Connection,” and currently serves on the HP enterprise advocacy committee. Janice Reeder, Sombers’ Vice President for Business Development and Marketing, ran ITUG’s annual conferences for several years and also served as Chairman of the ITUG Board of Directors in 2001.
Today, as has been the case for over thirty years, we continue to be a
leader in the implementation of mission-critical systems.
Our customers also benefit from our performance modeling and reliability
analysis services, so often required to determine the success of
The Sombers Group has offices in Florida and Northern New Jersey. We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 352-245-7510.