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ETI-NET embraces the new NonStop

ETI-NET sees so many options for NonStop customers; it will be interesting to see what trends as being the most popular!




Last month we wrote of how we would be spending a lot of time with the NonStop community on both sides of the Atlantic. That is now behind us and we are undertaking internal analysis of all that we saw and heard – it was quite a show, particularly given how Randy Meyer, HPE VP & GM, Mission Critical Systems, dropped in to meet with us. The story he conveyed to all those present was well worth the ticket over to Europe along with the price of admission.

At ETI-NET we have been aware of some of what has been transpiring within HPE when it comes to NonStop and we continue to develop new products for the NonStop that are coming in parallel to supporting the products we currently have deployed at many NonStop sites. If one message resonated with us more than anything else we heard it was Randy emphatically promoting that going forward NonStop customers will have considerable choice that essentially allows them to consume NonStop any way they want. And this word, consumption, kept working its way into almost every presentation featuring a NonStop product manager or developer.

“Traditional users of NonStop – those who will continue to buy the NonStop system and accompanying software stack from HPE – will keep doing what they always have been doing. This is being categorized as the traditional NonStop business and from all that we heard HPE will be doing nothing to impede this business from continuing and will not be taking any steps to lessen the range of NonStop systems on offer,” said ETI-NET COO, Sylvain Tétreault. “We have no issues with this stated direction and with BackBox, HPE has the best products for virtual tape together with support for multiple backup strategies.” On the other hand, it’s the other options that will test the resilience of the NonStop vendor community.

Central to the new NonStop is the emergence of NonStop as virtualized workloads. Now that support for NonStop running on VMware – yes, in case you missed it, this will be the VMware ESXi that doesn’t require the presence of an underlying OS. Virtualized NonStop workloads will be supported by the bare-metal ESXi that has its own kernel unlike other VMware products. And that’s a very important element for the NonStop community as it should set at ease any thoughts that a virtualized NonStop was anything less than a NonStop we all know and love today.

On face value it would appear that HPE is continuing to invest in traditional NonStop systems for existing clients while developing virtualized NonStop for new clients that have a need to run within private and possibly public clouds. This is in addition to the market HPE clearly sees for its own package of virtualized NonStop – what HPE has elected to call the NS2 – running on HPE Debian Linux with KVM, a perfect solution for those larger NonStop clients who can develop and test new applications in virtual machines. The vBackBox and the BackBox support the NS2 and will be offered by HPE as part of the NS2 solution.

A future direction for NonStop being NonStop-as-a-Service (NSaaS) about which we will hear later as we all have to wait and see how this develops and how HPE builds a business around supporting such a model. ETI-NET is very well position with the vBackBox and the BackBox are already well position to allow HPE to offer BackBox-as-a-Service (BBaaS) along with NSaaS offering.  We are planning to improve the vBackBox and the BackBox to add new functions to allow more flexible billing scenarios.

“Ultimately, what we like most about HPE is that it has a vision and has set in place a strategy and NonStop is a funded part of that strategy,” added Tétreault. “What HPE is looking to do for the most part we can already do today, whether it’ll be connecting to public clouds as an ultimate destination for backup or simply networking between adjacent virtual NonStop machines in a single physical system. We see so many options for NonStop customers that it will be interesting to see what trends as being the most popular approach taken.”

Again, it is the recognition that HPE is committed to NonStop and funding a variety of key programs that kept conversations at GTUG going late into the night.  While none of the attendees thought the options would lead to dramatic changes to how NonStop is deployed in the short term, clearly there was a lot of discussions taking place about the likely future direction each NonStop user might take as more is known about the options. As for consuming any which way you want, well, it’s so early in the roll-out phase that like every other vendor present at GTUG, ETI-NET will be watching very closely for any medium term interest in this intriguing deployment option.

There are still a number of major RUG events planned over the summer and we will be present at a number of them. Should you want to know more about our own approach to how best to work with the choices on offer from HPE for NonStop then we are open to take a call and to respond to an email on any aspect of the NonStop rollout that is important to you so feel free to contact us at any time.