Were you to have been asked that question some years ago, the answer most likely would have bee “I’m not sure”....
DataExpress – it will always be about where the data is!
Whenever you walk up to the counter at a fast food outlet or to a teller in your bank’s local branch office, even a website selection, it’s all about service. If it is taking too long you are out of there! Mostly, when there are alternatives of course. On the other hand, in the fast food outlet, if the response happens too quickly then chances are, whatever it was you ordered has been sitting on the shelf for some time and is only lukewarm at best. Service, after all, is one of those deliverables that is always about perception and has always been “in the eye of the beholder”. Yet there is rarely a conversation held or an analysis published in IT that doesn’t focus on the customer driven world around us – a world that is only a click away on your smartphone or tablet, and as mentioned above, if it’s too slow you move along, translating to a lost opportunity.
IT professionals on the other hand have begun to enhance the dialogue – “it’s a dataaa world! It’s a dataaa world, after all!” Apologies to Disney for paraphrasing their classic tune from the 1964 World’s Fair in New York, entrenched in every Disney theme park ever since but the results are similar. There are LinkedIn groups focused on nothing apart from data – there’s one small group we know called Data Driven Apps, for instance.
There is Big Data, Data Streams, Data Lakes, perhaps too even Data Puddles (?) and of course, the older more traditional Data Warehouses. There is data analytics and data visualization and a whole lot more – do a search on Google for “data” and you will get more than 10 billion references and that doesn’t even include the Star Trek character, Data. What did they know all those years ago when Star Trek First Generation appeared? And, of course, what spaceship did Data live on – the Enterprise!
Bring together data and service and you quickly come to realize why there is as much discussion of late about serving up data on the basis of a service – having the database available on the basis of DataBase-as-a-Service (DBaaS) is becoming common place even for the NonStop development team. Not just the database but the supporting tools and processes fall under this services banner as well, with all manner of popular infrastructure being offered on the basis of a service – running a backup of a file or a table can be initiated from a service with the resultant data loaded by a management tool running as a service. Likewise, data replication and yes, even data and more than likely, file transfer. In the always-connected world we live in, there will be regulatory bodies and other industry-specific institutions that just need to know more about the data you are processing. Anything at all associated with data can be considered as being ripe for processing and storing on via any XaaS you care to name.
At DataExpress we have witnessed firsthand this transition to a services-oriented model. Some of the biggest card processors we all interact with almost on a daily basis are little more than facilitators for moving data to where it’s needed – lakes, streams, puddles, whatever. It’s important to know that data is never “done”, but rather is subject to deconstruction, reassembly, enrichment, analytics, not to mention everything designed to protect the sensitivity of that data. Rarely today do we read about enterprises that set about wholesale deletions of data – it’s become too precious a resource to simply throw away. IoT may be in its infancy and there is talk of sensor information being nothing more than digital exhaust, but ultimately, what we are seeing here at DataExpress is an increased realization that moving a file of information is always going to be demanded by one party or another, and can in fact bounce from place to place, satisfying differing needs.
Long before SaaS became a known practice, DataExpress laid the foundation to operate on the basis of a SaaS offering. While none of our existing DataExpress customers had asked about running DataExpress as a Service, in practice most, if not all, of them had been heading down this path – DataExpress on NonStop didn’t necessarily have to be deployed on the NonStop where the files were stored. Put that down to the architecture of NonStop, but there was more to the story – the nature of DataExpress NonStop (DXNS) and yes, DataExpress Open Platform (DXOP) implicitly allows them to be provided as such. Enterprises can set up onprem resources that serve up DXNS and DXOP to any other system, business unit or team, needing to move a file. It’s just that simple to do and we are only too happy to discuss this option in detail with any enterprise considering going down this path.
However, this is only the starting point. As we consider all that the NonStop team has been divulging of late and the focus that they are bringing to partnerships and vendor private cloud offerings, the NonStop vendor community is giving serious consideration to where they stand on this topic and how best they could leverage this to their own advantage. This consideration by the NonStop vendor community has come about following the successful launch of virtualized NonStop (vNS). While we hear a lot about the efforts the NonStop team has put into supporting multitenancy for NS SQL to better support the needs of their own IT group, an equivalent capability has already been built into DataExpress – you can support as many different endpoints and customers and clients as you might need to do, and group them together in any meaningful blob you desire.
“DataExpress can easily scoop up either Customer or Endpoint and produce unique groupings for reports or management so it allows us to ‘segment’ accordingly,” said DataExpress CEO, Billy Whittington. “Of course, DataExpress can be triggered by any one of a number of things but in many cases, its batch-job output which drops into our hopper and is distributed per the rules for ‘Payroll’ or ‘Forex’ or ‘Clearing & Settlement’ etc., etc. – we see that there are literally dozens of different file types being moved on request for many different departments. So our current customers are already running DataExpress “as a Service” (DXaaS) today across their own organization. And you have to believe that they already have figured out how to bill these efforts back to other departments, accordingly.” Yes, DXaaS is most definitely here and the usage of DataExpress among our NonStop customers will surely rise as we see vNS taking hold and creating a much bigger NonStop footprint within the enterprise.
As a matter of fact, there will be opportunities for some of the bigger financial institutions to turn this into a new source of revenue as they bill not just other departments but other businesses large, medium or small for the services they support – an opportunity that already is being pursued by a number of DataExpress customers today. Not every business partner may have the wherewithal to run mandated movement of data as reliably and as securely as is done today by the very biggest of enterprises! We anticipate this as being a new avenue for DataExpress and the more we hear from the NonStop team about successful use-case deployments of vNS in 2019, the more excited we are for the potential benefits we can provide to all those who process and store data today. Everything an IT group provides to an enterprise is done as a service to that enterprise – are you best serving IT and the enterprise with what you do today?
Should you be interested in finding out more about DataExpress-as-a Service and the value it can provide for your enterprise, email or call us; we would be only too happy to discuss the right way for you to deploy DataExpress to better manage the secure movement of your files to where the data is valued the most!
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