Order of the Blue Polo Profile: Ho Trong Dat

When we started the Order of the Blue Polo, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It’s been interesting, since most of the OBP members so far are people I either didn’t know or haven’t heard from in a long time, and some people I figured would be the first to jump on it haven’t (probably due to the fact we require a company name).

Back in 2002, OpenNMS was pretty much just me in my attic (well, the room over the garage). The economy was still depressed post-9/11 and sometimes I wondered if it was all worth it (luckily I don’t give up too easily).

However, something happened in September of that year that gave me my first glance into how powerful an open source community could become, and it strengthened my resolve to make OpenNMS the de facto management platform used by everyone.

It was a letter from Vietnam.

I am calling you MAN because I consider you as a great man in NMS field. You and your band have made an wonderful product as I’ve ever seen and used. I am using OpenNMS 1.0 ( from 0.8.x) at my sites for approximately a year and it keep running well. In future, we will use NMS to monitor almost our VNPT’s network ( VNPT – Vietnam Post and Telecomunication ).

Here our information:
CDIT – Center for Development of Information Technology-VNPT

I hope some day I will have a chance to contriubte my little knowledge for OpenNMS’s development.
Best regard.

It was from a man named Ho Trong Dat and it seriously made my day, if not my month. Here I was, working by myself in a little town in rural North Carolina, getting a great letter from a guy in freakin’ Vietnam (and while some readers will probably chuckle at the English, Dat’s English is a hell of a lot better than my Vietnamese).

Note: In most Asian cultures the family name comes before the given name, and I make sure I am aware of this when I travel. However, especially in Japan, some business cards will compensate by reversing them on the “English” side of the card. Note that I said “some” and since I don’t read Japanese I often can’t figure out if it has been done or not. It’s an example where accommodations made for Westerners cause more problems than they solve. So let me apologize in advance if I ever get your names backward.

Another Note: Vietnam has become a popular tourist destination. Think about it – in 40 years the in place to be might be Bagdad.

I was both surprised and extremely happy to see that Dat was to become one of the founding members of the OBP.

Dear OpenNMS users

My name is Dat and I am working for CDIT, a subsidiary company belong to PTIT (Post & Telecommunication Institute of Technology). We are R&D centre. We know OpenNMS when we researched about open source software.

We have been using OpenNMS in CDIT since 2002. From that time, OpenNMS did not release the first version, still 0.9, I remember. We had to install and reinstall OpenNMS a lot of time to get familiar with it. After six month, we finally and totally control OpenNMS in administrating our network. We deployed an WAN for our mother company (VNPT) with over 50 network nodes (router, firewall), a lot of servers (30). Using OpenNMS, we can monitor the status of links between subsidiaries, the performance of the link, of the server. We also monitor a lot of services such as : email, web of collaboration – our internal website, file servers, We think OpenNMS is a very convenient, flexible and highly configurable network management software. We feel happy when using OpenNMS.

Thanks you guys who have been developing such a nice and beautiful software.

So here is a guy from halfway around the world who used OpenNMS back when it first came out, and nearly seven years later he’s still using it (plus Dat’s English is much improved).

It’s letters like these that make me feel happy making OpenNMS.

4 thoughts on “Order of the Blue Polo Profile: Ho Trong Dat

  1. The family-vs-given name conundrum is one reason I like the convention of writing the family name in all caps regardless of its position. I see this done pretty consistently in film credits from outside the US. I’ll let you know when I’ve burned through my current deck of business cards and need new ones made up for Jeff GEHLBACH 🙂

  2. Awesome on all counts.

    In ~2000, my friend Meg visited Vietnam for a month of work. After several reminders, she finally internalized “Vietnam is a country, not a war.”

  3. Top Gear did an hour+ finale for the season on riding bikes from South to North Vietnam. My SO is now an avid fan of the show and both of us looked at each other to say “I would so love to do a trip like that.”

    Still working on permission to get into OBP. 🙂

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