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Changes continue and with change …

Will we be seeing strange days, indeed?

Pyalla Technologies



Last month it was about change, yet again, and the accidental entry into hybrid IT that apparently happened for many enterprises. However, this month, it’s been less about accidents and more about the clarity with which plans are being discussed. And yes, yet again, it’s about change as well! It would seem that everyone has a good sense as to where they are headed and it’s now only a matter of execution. For the NonStop community, there is a good understanding that we have choice when it comes to running mission critical NonStop workloads –traditional NonStop running on systems supplied by HPE as well as virtualized NonStop (vNS) running on any vendors’ x86 servers including, naturally, those from HPE too!

However, the waters do get a little murky once choices have been made. For those who decide to buy the full package from HPE and see the boxes lined up on their delivery dock, little has changed over the years. This has always been the way NonStop systems have been delivered. On the other hand, what can we expect from HPE when we order vNS? For those who elect to go the virtualized route and have satisfied the NonStop team that they know what they are doing and have all the prerequisite hardware in place (including the switches), then perhaps it is a simple case of bringing in the HPE Pointnext and RedHat teams to help ensure that the NonStop configuration is truly NonStop. Not to make too light a point of this but, pardon the pun and yes, quoting another reliable source, it ain’t over till it’s over!

Getting an assurance that your NonStop system will run non-stop is going to see the growth in ISVs selling certification services. The service providers will have their own tools and dashboards and yes, their own preferences (and indeed prejudices), but ultimately as a community we all are just going to have to get used to outsiders peering over our shoulders while we dabble in the dark art of sorting out “where the chips fall” and, as one recent consultant noted in an email exchange, “it would be hard to start off only selling vNS just to new customers or for brand new applications at current customers.”

Remember, everything we need to understand, configuration wise, concerning number of processors, cores, etc. in order to run NonStop on traditional systems applies in the virtual world, so to be safe and to gain experience in the real world, it may not be for new customers or new applications but rather, for those crusty old developers and testers who have been around NonStop for decades. It will be these folks who will not be all that miffed when a fancied config fails totally – these crusty old folks will simple take a look at what happened and try something else! But therein lays yet one more paradox: I am hoping that with vNS HPE attracts a new generation of much younger NonStop acolytes whose approach to NonStop is different than what we have typically resorted to doing and takes us into new markets – would be nice to see!

The lyrics of a Jack Johnson song, Change, seem more than appropriate at this stage:

Just when you were getting used to this place
You were getting used to these bones
You were getting used to the changes
Well the change won’t leave you alone

All these changes
Different stages
Turning page after page after page
It gets stranger day by day

For everyone that has been a part of the NonStop community for as many years as I have been, change is constant. No, change won’t leave us alone and no, paging through manuals on vNS and virtual machines well, in truth, it does get stranger day by day. But it is very much the future for NonStop – virtualized NonStop workloads in a software-defined world capitalizing on cloud-like elasticity (of provisioning), which I believe will be the basis on which every workload will run and it is going to involve product and services vendors to make it happen. In other words, there will be vendor who will be happily getting used to the changes knowing full well that the changes won’t leave any of us alone.

In an upcoming feature article for the May – June, 2018 issue of The Connection, Virtualized NonStop has arrived … No need to fear the little man!I write of how it is HPEs plan to develop an ecosystem of ISVs and SIs to the party but even the most experienced vendor will not have all the answers on day one. It is more than likely that as the ecosystem develops we will see partnerships arise as managed services companies familiar with NonStop reach out to other ISVs and SIs who have the experience with VM. In this way, shared experiences would be easily leveraged and the NonStop community wins out from getting more concrete advice. However, this is still very much a work-in-progress reflecting just how early in the game NonStop happens to be when it comes to running virtual, but again, the magic and the little man will certainly go some ways to give us all a running start.

HPE fully anticipates vNonStop driving change and in so doing, is looking at embracing new technologies on NonStop even as it looks to open the doors into new market verticals. While change may be worrisome to some, I welcome change. At first, what HPE is doing with NonStop may seem strange but in reality, it was a necessity. In the world HPE envisions for hybrid IT, these changes to NonStop are going a long way to ensure its ongoing relevance and for the NonStop community, to see that eventuate, won’t be strange at all for all!

Richard Buckle
Cofounder and CEO
Pyalla Technologies, LLC