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HPE NonStop Corner – one partner’s perspective

NonStop Insider



HPE NSC JAN 21 - 1

Last month we took a longer look into HPE GreenLake. The program itself, it’s potential influence and indeed impact on the High Performance Computing / Mission Critical Systems (HPC / MCS) where the NonStop team reside these days as it is a HPE program proving hard to ignore. No sooner had this article appeared in the December 2020 issue of NonStop Insider than news broke of HPC working with the GreenLake team to better accelerate adoption by mainstream enterprises of these most powerful of all HPE systems. Ever since HPE CEO Antonio Neri drew out attention to the pivot away from an era of information to where enterprises were beginning to enter the era of insight, it was inevitable that HPE would leverage its most powerful solutions as soon as it was possible to do so.

Integrating it into the GreenLake family therefore represents a major step forward for HPE as now these mainstream enterprises can tap into HPC systems as easily as they would any other system already deployed. According to the December 9, 2020 press release HPE will be:

“Accelerating mainstream enterprise adoption of high performance computing (HPC) by offering its market-leading HPC solutions as a service through HPE GreenLake. The new HPE GreenLake cloud services for HPC allow customers to combine the power of an agile, elastic, pay-per-use cloud experience with the world’s most-proven, market-leading HPC systems from HPE. Now any enterprise can tackle their most demanding compute and data-intensive workloads, to power AI and ML initiatives, speed time to insight …”

Tying together this era of insight back to demanding compute and data-intensive workloads even as it makes reference to the “pay-per-use cloud experience” is a very clever albeit astute move on the part of HPE. All sides agree that data being created as rapidly as it is today will need systems other than traditional data processing systems to perform the much needed AL and ML required to influence business outcomes. In other words, behind the scenes there has to be something very powerful capable of being tapped continuously to perform the gymnastics that will lead to more competitive product and service offerings that end-users demand from them. In this day and age when everything is tinged with the downside from the global pandemic, it’s important to realize that the systems best suited to transaction processing may not necessarily be the systems best suited to the massive number-crunching AI and ML models demand.

But why GreenLake and what value will there be for the enterprise and ultimately HPE? According to the same press release:

“The new offering removes the complexity and cost associated with traditional HPC deployments by delivering fully managed, pre-bundled services based on purpose-built HPC systems, software, storage and networking solutions that come in small, medium or large options.

“Enterprises can deploy these services in any data center environment, whether on-premises in their own enterprise or in a colocation facility, and gain fully managed services that allow them to pay for only what they use, empowering them to focus on running their projects to increase time-to-insight and accelerate innovation.” 

Historically, selling high performance solutions is a lengthy process with large investments being necessary from day one. This upfront investment by the target customer is equaled by the time spent by the vendor in tailoring a solution that best meets the needs of that target customer. Not surprisingly, HPE quotes research undertaken by Hyperion Research that “traditional deployment and management of HPC systems is costly, complex, and resource-intensive. Top concerns involve system costs, operational costs related to power and cooling, and lack of skilled HPC technical staff.” Now if you think that this sounds similar to what enterprises also face when making a decision to purchase a NonStop system then this isn’t a coincidence.

When you look at what drove the decision to combine HPC and MCS into a single organization, the argument made was that systems from both HPC and MCS tracked almost identical paths when it came to sales and where the top concerns of the enterprise were very similar. For the NonStop community it therefore makes sense that the NonStop team talks openly about the steps needed for NonStop to likewise participate in GreenLake. When this subject was covered at the recent NonStop Technical Boot Camp it was best described as being a journey and where it might be best to consider progress as a series of waves. When you read in this HPE press release of how “Customers can order (HPC Solutions) through a self-service portal with simple point-and-click functions to choose the right configuration for their workload needs and receive services to get started quickly,” then there is a lot of work to be done by both GreenLake and the NonStop team.

Writing of the inevitability of HPC participation in GreenLake only strengthens the argument that at some point NonStop too will be a participant in the GreenLake program. How that comes about and how soon similar goals to those promoted by HPE will also be options for MCS NonStop are open questions. Clearly, the image of point-and-click functions to “try before you buy” NonStop present problems that may test the ingenuity of the NonStop team but whatever develops, one thing we can be sure about is that HPE is making a massive commitment to support the vision of every product in the HPE product portfolio will optionally be available on the basis of “as-a-Service.” No mistaking the intent here, by June 2022, this goal is to be met and from all that we have seen to date, I have no reservations in saying that yes, NonStop will become available under the overarching mantle of the GreenLake program.


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All opinions and observations expressed here

are those of Pyalla Technologies, LLC,

and unless otherwise expressly identified,
are not provided by HPE employees.